15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About 'The Matrix Reloaded'

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Vote up the facts that made you say, 'Whoa.'

The Matrix was one of those rare examples of a film that comes along and changes the world. Its deep philosophical look into the nature of humanity and its use of technology spawned whole new genres of fiction, and the movie netted significant profits. As a result, it wasn't long before the Wachowskis got the band back together to make a sequel, and what they came up with was The Matrix Reloaded in 2003, which achieved similar financial success.

Like its predecessor, The Matrix Reloaded broke new ground, and the digital special effects used in the movie required all sorts of innovations. The story continued the previous film's narrative, and it set up the franchise's greater world in a big way through intense foreshadowing. This list features some of the more interesting things you (probably) didn't know about The Matrix Reloaded. Check them out below, and if you see something you didn't already know, be sure to give it an upvote to see which one rises to the top!

  • 1
    174 VOTES

    Keanu Reeves Gave Up His Profit-Sharing Deal To Pay The Crew More Money

    Keanu Reeves has spoken about how he doesn't need a great deal of money since he's got more than enough to keep him going for years, and this has resulted in numerous charitable acts. When he signed up for the two Matrix sequels, he passed on the profit-sharing points so the special effects and costume design teams could earn more money.

    When he signed the contract to return as Neo, his deal would have netted him a total of $93 million, but he ended up giving away about $66 million to the people in those departments.

    He didn't stop with that act of giving either. He made sure the people who helped make the movie possible were properly compensated. On the final day of shooting on The Matrix Reloaded, he had a truck pull up to reveal that he purchased brand-new Harley Davidson motorcycles for 12 stunt performers.

    174 votes
  • 2
    178 VOTES

    Keanu Reeves's Pay For 'Reloaded' And 'Revolutions' Broke Records

    Keanu Reeves has been a bankable star for decades, so he got paid handsomely when he came back to reprise his role as the One in The Matrix Reloaded and its sequel. The movies were shot simultaneously and were released only five months apart, so his contract covered both films. He was paid a whopping $114 million for playing Neo in those two movies, and that's the most a single actor has been paid to star in a film (or films) up to that point. Since then, Robert Downey Jr. has made more for playing Tony Stark, but that's a story for another list.

    When Reeves was paid, he didn't take all of his money. As mentioned previously, he gave a lot of his money away to the special effects and makeup department staff. He gave away some $80 million in total to the people who worked on both of the films, making him an incredibly generous person. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he said, "Money is the last thing I think about. I could live on what I have already made for the next few centuries."

    178 votes
  • 3
    137 VOTES

    The Hacking Shown In The Movie Is Legit

    In just about every movie featuring some form of hacking, a character sits down at a computer, uses the keyboard by instantly typing up 40,000 words in a few seconds, and that opens up a program that does some magical stuff to break into the system. It's rarely done well, and in some movies, it's done so ridiculously, it gets memed like crazy (looking at you, Hackers). The Matrix Reloaded didn't take this route, and instead, the hacking you see is as real as it can get.

    In The Matrix Reloaded, Trinity uses the real CRC32 exploit (pictured) to gain root access into a system, and it's not done up with any fancy visuals; it's simply a text-based system for code entry, and it gets her into the system. This was legit hacking shown in one of the most advanced visual movies of its time, and nobody thought it needed any added flair, which is why this stands as an excellent yet rare example of hacking done right in a movie.

    137 votes
  • 4
    135 VOTES

    Agent Smith's License Plate Is A Biblical Easter Egg

    When Agent Smith returns to the Matrix, despite the fact that he wasn't supposed to do that, he ends up causing all sorts of problems. It's the primary basis of the film, and everything about him is different. He was disconnected and no longer a part of the system, which made it possible for him to duplicate himself over others inside the Matrix. There were little hints and allusions to his situation, which extended to his car's license plate.

    In The Matrix Reloaded, Agent Smith's license plate reads "IS 5416." To the casual observer, this is a meaningless series of letters and numbers, but the Wachowskis rarely put anything into a Matrix film without some hidden meaning. In this case, IS 5416 refers to a passage in the Christian Bible. Isaiah 54:16 reads, "Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and bringeth forth an instrument for his work, and I have the waster to destroy."

    135 votes
  • 5
    118 VOTES

    Jet Li Isn't In The Movie Because He Would Have Had To Give Away His Moves

    Jet Li was heavily involved in The Matrix Reloaded but ultimately turned down the role of Seraph, which went to Collin Chou. At the time, Li was already a high-profile martial arts star, so his involvement with the film would have only elevated his standing. In the end, he chose not to appear, and his reason for walking away from The Matrix Reloaded was actually pretty practical. He explained his decision in an interview with Abacus in 2018:

    I realized the Americans wanted me to film for three months but be with the crew for nine. And for six months, they wanted to record and copy all my moves into a digital library. By the end of the recording, the right to these moves would go to them.

    He went on to explain that he had trained his entire life, and his moves were very much his style and signature. Giving them up to a studio wasn't something he was willing to do, as that was his intellectual property, and he had no interest in giving it away for a part in a movie. As it happens, Jet Li wasn't even the first actor to turn down the role of Seraph. Initially, the role was written for a woman, and Michelle Yeoh was set to take it. She had to back out due to a scheduling conflict, which is how Li was offered the job.

    118 votes
  • 6
    97 VOTES

    One Of The Council Members Is A Renowned Academic

    The Matrix films are deeply rooted in symbolism and philosophy, and that's true from the first to the last movie. Keanu Reeves and many other cast members had required reading to play their parts, and it wasn't light. Reeves had to read three booksSimulacra and SimulationOut of Control, and Evolutionary Psychology. Nobody who's read those would describe them as a "casual read," but that doesn't make them any less important, as they were the basis of the Wachowskis' philosophy in creating the franchise.

    Since philosophy was such a key component of the movies, the Wachowskis reached out to some of the people who studied and taught it. One such person was Harvard University professor Cornel West. Lana Wachowski reached out to him directly, asking that he play a part (written with him in mind) in The Matrix Reloaded. West recalled their conversation in an interview with the Los Angeles Times:

    I said, "Good God almighty." [She] said my writings had been influential in [her] writing the movie. [She] had read my first book, Prophesy Deliverance, and Race Matters. I was flabbergasted. [She] said [she] had written a role for me, Councillor West, and [she] wanted me to play it. I said, "You’ve got to be kidding."

    97 votes