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Why Brad Pitt was supposed to be in “The Matrix”

Brad Pitt has a pretty impressive acting resumé that includes the cult-favorite Fight Club and a couple of Quentin Tarantino films (Inglourious Basterds, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood). But did you know that he almost had The Matrix franchise in that lineup?

You read that right. The actor recently admitted that he had given The Matrix a pass when a major role was offered to him. Pitt made the confession during a panel at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Wednesday. At the event, he was honored with the Maltin Modern Master Award. While discussing his career, he opened up about the roles he turned down including one in the first Matrix movie.

“I really believe it was never mine. It’s not mine. It’s someone else’s and they go and make it. I really do believe in that,” the SAG Award-winning actor explained.

“I really do. But I did pass on The Matrix. I took the red pill,” he added.

Pitt then explained that his belief in fate is the reason behind ultimately deciding against the role which he did not disclose. “Maybe it’s my upbringing. Fate, like, in the sense that, like, if I didn’t get it and it wasn’t mine, it just wasn’t mine. But I could feel myself getting closer. [That’s] usually the way it works, and I see it with younger actors too.”

While Pitt refrained from revealing which particular role he was offered, it might be safe to assume that he could have been the lead character Neo. Don’t get me wrong, Keanu Reeves was a shoe in for the role, and it ultimately ended up in his lap. But with Pitt’s star power in the 1990s and early 2000s, it’s not hard to imagine that he could have been approached to headline the franchise.