Which stars almost played Batman, James Bond, Bella and Neo?
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Will Smith, "The Matrix"
What role he was rumored for: Neo
Who actually got the role: Keanu Reeves
What he would've brought to the table: A lively personality and his trademark charisma. In 1999, Smith was arguably the biggest movie star in the world — riding high off hits such as "Independence Day" and "Men In Black." Compared to Reeves' "Bill and Ted" pedigree, the difference is night and day for potential box office draw.
Why it's good that they didn't: Part of the appeal of Neo was his emotional stoicism, even in the face of absolutely bonkers reality. Who know, a more exaggerated response might have killed the magic that was "The Matrix."
- Donna Dickens