Will Smith is one of the highest paid actors in the world.
His list of credits includes films like Independence Day, Men in Black, Ali and Hitch.
But did you know that he could have been Neo in 1999's The Matrix?
It's hard to imagine anyone other than Keanu Reeves in the role, but stranger things have happened.
In a video posted to YouTube, Smith explains why he turned down The Matrix.
The film, directed by Lana and Lily Wachowski, is the work of "geniuses," Smith says.
So why didn't he take the project?
Smith added that there's a "fine line in a pitch meeting between genius and what I experienced in the meeting."
The pitch meeting went something like this:
"So, dude, we're thinking like, imagine you're in a fight and then you, like, jump."
"Imagine if you could stop jumping in the middle of the jump. But then, people could see around you…"
Doesn't sound too exciting, right?
If the pitch meeting was that dull/odd, then it's no wonder Smith backed out of doing a science fiction film after the successes of Independence Day and Men in Black.
You can check out his video below:
Why I Turned Down The Matrix | STORYTIME www.youtube.com
So what film did Smith choose to work on instead of The Matrix?
Well, it ranks up there with Sean Connery picking League of Extraordinary Gentlemen over Lord of the Rings in the list of bad career choices.
Oh, that's right, Wild Wild West, aka the film with the robot spider we:
would rather forget we had.
Wild Wild West (8/10) Movie CLIP - 80 Foot Tarantula (1999) HD www.youtube.com
Also, yes, Mr. Brandwood...
Am I the only person who liked Will Smith's Wild Wild West? I even bought the CD single. Seems even he doesn't like… https://t.co/G4fj4PKCN9— Mr Brandwood (@Mr Brandwood)1550096806.0
...you better be the only one.
So... Will... what part of the pitch meeting for Wild Wild West sold you on it? Was it the giant mechanical spider?… https://t.co/Isn3E4pshc— Mathew Buck (@Mathew Buck)1550169070.0
Can't necessarily knock Will Smith's decision to turn down The Matrix just off of what the Wachowskis' pitched him.… https://t.co/rasY3NpdOi— 3BG...MAXIMIZE!!!!! (@3BG...MAXIMIZE!!!!!)1550168951.0
Smith, to be fair, is not happy with his choice.
Wild Wild West is now considered an embarrassment, while The Matrix is considered one of the most influential science fiction films of all time.
"I'm not proud of it," Smith tells us.
You shouldn't be.
But you did us a favor, because Keanu Reeves is a legend thanks to The Matrix.
Will Smith is right, he did do us a favor, and there's a good chance he might have ruined The Matrix. Thank you Wil… https://t.co/S2UbvenGrv— Adario Strange🤟👁 (@Adario Strange🤟👁)1550166498.0
Will Smith's video on why he said "no" to playing The Matrix's Neo is funny. The Wachowskis' pitch sounded like a stoner's dream.— Siyabulela Sekeleni (@Siyabulela Sekeleni)1550154968.0
Everyone is saying Will Smith should have taken the Role in THE MATRIX but let’s be real he would have destroyed th… https://t.co/yCNTPGliJv— KINGSMAN (@KINGSMAN)1550089127.0
Trying to picture The Matrix with Will Smith as Neo 😶 https://t.co/jsDeMvnK53— HitokiriSith (@HitokiriSith)1550097436.0
But at least we'll always have the live-action remake of Aladdin, right?
Will Smith Then: The Matrix? Pshh, nah. Will Smith Now: https://t.co/cj8E5w9isV— Jonathan Diener (@Jonathan Diener)1549852362.0
Jokes Will Smith will probably make as the genie: "You lookin' like a Fresh Prince!" "It's like the Wild Wild West… https://t.co/fVX6pQj7ol— Jacob Lenard (@Jacob Lenard)1550007424.0
Uh, jury is still out there.