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Though it’s long been known that actor Sandra Bullock was almost cast as The Matrix‘s female lead Trinity, now producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura says Bullock was also offered the film’s central role of Neo in an attempt to attract a big name to the cast.
“We went out to so many people I don’t remember. We were getting desperate,” di Bonaventura told The Wrap. “We went to Sandy Bullock and said ‘We’ll change Neo to a girl.’ [Producer] Joel Silver and I worked with Sandy on Demolition Man and she was and continues to be a very good friend of mine. It was pretty simple. We sent her the script to see if she was interested in it. And if she was interested in it we would try to make the change. It just wasn’t something for her at the time, so it didn’t go anywhere.”
Of course Bullock’s Speed co-star Keanu Reeves went on to star as Neo, with Carrie Ann Moss taking the role of Trinity for a trilogy of movies now considered sci-fi classics.
Still, given Bullock’s profile in the late 90s, following a string of blockbuster successes, it’s interesting to consider what The Matrix would have looked like with her in the starring role.