So I was texting my family earlier today, discussing whom I think would make great actors in a reboot of The Matrix Trilogy. My master of marketing Cazoshay (of D.I.D. with Cazoshay) recommended that I share those thoughts and observations with you lovely people! So, with no further ado, let's take a look at how I would re-cast The Matrix:
Michael B. Jordan as Neo
I'll be honest, it was a tough pick. I was actually torn between Michael B. Jordan and another actor, but ultimately I think my top pick to don Keanu's trench coat and shades has got to be Mr Johnny "Killmonger" Creed himself! Michael's presence and depth would make him an ideal pick; he can transform himself from goofy to wrathful to pensive to mournful in the space of a breath, and I think after Creed and Black Panther there's no doubt that he can carry himself in a fight scene.
Zoë Kravitz as Trinity
Though her part in Fury Road was on the small side, I think Zoë is more than ready to step into a leading role. She carries herself with a presence that can scream badass as much as it whispers confidence and charm. I don't know about you, but I could see Miss Kravitz running down the side of a building with dual pistols in hand!
Keanu Reeves as Morpheus
You can't do The Matrix without The One! Keanu's presence and style has changed over the years, evolving and transitioning into a calmer, quieter, more focused and driven portrayal. Keanu would have no problem putting on the mirrored shades and stepping into the role of mentor, older brother and friend to our young new Neo. There's the potential for cute little easter egg jokes, such as banter between Michael and Keanu like
Michael: Man you can't be The One.
Keanu: I could be.
Michael: No one would believe you're The One.
Keanu: You'd be surprised.
What's more, who wouldn't want to see a young new Neo utter the iconic "I know Kung Fu" line only to have Keanu John Wick him in the face and show him he's got a whole lot more to learn?!
Laurence Fishburne as The Oracle
Not only is Mr. Fishburne epic no matter the role, you can't do a Matrix reboot without bringing the dream team together again! Think it's an odd pick? Close your eyes and imagine Laurence's deep, gravely voice and commanding aura delivering some sage wisdom to Michael B. Jordan. Yeah, you know you just got a chill down your spine!
Beyond that, by casting Keanu and Laurence side by side in these roles, we continue the portrayal of Laurence's character playing mentor to Keanu's. And, we could use the casting to slip in a wham line where Michael B. Jordan's Neo goes off for his next battle leaving Keanu/Morpheus and Laurence/Oracle behind to talk.
Keanu/Morpheus: Kid's got a hard road ahead of him.
Laurence/Oracle: That he does, that he does. Harder than our time around, old friend.
Keanu/Morpheus: Here's hoping he doesn't have to pay the same price...
Denzel Washington as Agent Smith
Does this even need an explanation? I mean, you saw Book of Eli, The Equalizer, Fences, The Magnificent Seven, American Gangsters and Man on Fire, right? The man can do cold, calculating, cold-blooded, stalking, hunting, terrifying, without question. I picture a more sociopathic Smith, one that plays more strongly on the elements of fear and control, power and powerlessness. This Smith with Denzel's overwhelming magnitude and effortless cool could show a bit more condescension and a little more swagger, a program who knows he's a lion standing before a lamb. And, Denzel would be absolutely perfect to play the part.
Donnie Yen as Seraph
The only problem with this casting choice is I can't see anyone believing Neo would win against Ip Man. That being said, I've never seen a Donnie Yen film that wasn't amazing, and his flurry punches would require the camera to slow him down rather than speed him up! Seraph had a small role in the original Matrix, and I'd like to see that role expanded a bit more. It's still Neo's story to be sure, but someone as important as The Oracle's guardian ought to have more than one fight scene.
Donnie showed his depth with the Ip Man trilogy, able to portray a sort of quiet sorrow and a burning resolve that would be perfect for the role of Seraph in this reboot.
Donald Glover as Cypher
Donald Glover may be known more for his comedic roles, but anyone who has seen his music videos (and probably Atlanta; I admittedly haven't seen it yet) knows the man can bring pain and intensity with ease when the moment calls for it. What's more, Donald's lovable, easy going nature combined with a disarming laugh, an enchanting smile, and a presence that makes you just want to kick back and have fun would make the inevitable sting of his betrayal that much more devastating.
Dennis Haysbert as Tank
If all Tank needed to be was big and imposing, many a built actor could pull it off. But, if we want to see Tank portrayed with a sense of greater emotional depth that would really leave you biting your nails hoping he lives through this reboot trilogy, Dennis Haysbert is your man! While we may be used to him asking us about our insurance, I know him better for his intense at times and subtle at others roles as Major Jonas Blane (The Unit) and President David Palmer in 24. Any who doubt that Dennis would play Tank in a manner that would utterly shift your perception of the character needs to shut off the insurance commercials and pull out their dvd's for a second go around the block!
Carrie-Anne Moss as Niobe
It honestly should not have been as hard as it was to find a role for me to recast Carrie-Anne in. That really just served to show how few women had important roles in the original trilogy. But, as Niobe Carrie-Anne will have the opportunity to step into a different kind of badass warrior. Niobe is more sure of herself, while Trinity was still that young woman searching for answers and trying to find herself. While Trinity was far more uncertain, Niobe commands confidence and carries herself in a manner that exudes waves of self-confidence and self-reliance. I think it'd be fun both for viewers and for Carrie-Anne to give this role a shot, and, if Keanu is going to be Morpheus I think it's pretty fitting that Carrie-Anne play his estranged beloved.
Jada Pinkett Smith as Ghost
Now, hear me out. Anyone thinking to themselves "Wait, you want Jada Pinkett Smith to play second fiddle to essentially herself?!" obviously never played Enter the Matrix or saw The Animatrix. The problem with Ghost wasn't that he was an unimportant character, the problem was that The Matrix Trilogy was one of the first major cross media initiatives. As a result, anyone who wasn't a gamer has no idea how vastly important Ghost actually was and can be.
And, not unlike how I want to expand Seraph's role, there's plenty of room for Ghost to play a more important part in the narrative as well. While I could easily come up with a compelling love story for Ghost, as Jada had one when she played Niobe, I think there's importance in also showing a confident, strong black female lead who isn't in a relationship. That being said, it would also be a fun opportunity to cameo Will Smith as a stay at home dad character, defying the stereotype that black men aren't involved in their children's lives or are somehow weak for being homemakers.
Chadwick Boseman as Commander Jason Lock
Again, do I even have to explain this one? I feel like I shouldn't have to explain this one. I'm not going to explain this one. Go watch Black Panther if you need me to explain this one. Already saw it? Go watch Black Panther again if you still need me to explain this one. I'm not explaining this one.
Hugo Weaving as The Architect
You didn't think I'd forget about Agent Smith himself, did you? For one, he's got the look. For another, the presence. And, if we keep up with our fun little theme of teasing that this reboot could be more sequel than re-telling, who wouldn't want to see the former One standing opposite his arch rival who has now ascended to the rank of Architect of the Matrix? I'd also like to see the Architect factor a bit more into the narrative as well, and Hugo is certainly the man to do it!
So there you have it! My dream team if I were going to recast The Matrix for an epic reboot! Did you enjoy this article? No? I don't care. Kidding, kidding! Mostly.
I intend to give my own novels this same treatment, so tune in next time for my dream cast for my dark fantasy/gothic Christian sword epic, Kill All Christians Book 1: In the Village of the Devil's Daughters, as well as a new update on all ages fantasy novel Nora and the Eternal Waterwheel now targeting a June 3rd release!
Eugene the Author a.k.a. Xeawn Cross a.k.a. Gentelman Raptor, out!