The following Matrix fan-mixed footage allows us to look into a world not too far from our own. A world without rules or controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Unfortunately, it may have been better if this was not possible. Thanks to the art of the deepfake, we now know what it would have looked like had Hollywood A-lister Will Smith starred as Neo in 1999's The Matrix. You have been warned.
So, that exists, then. Seeing Will Smith sporting Keanu Reeves' 90's floppy hairstyle, combined with his own pencil-thin moustache is a sight that will make the majority of people want to unplug. Add that the Reeve's surfer-like voice emanating from Smith's lips and you have surely entered a world more nightmarish than any that could be conjured by the Wachowski's. Other than having to watch Jupiter Ascending, of course.
The clip comes courtesy of a Youtube user named Sham00k, and takes us through some of the film's most memorable moments, including Neo being offered the choice of the red or blue pill by resistance leader, Morpheus. Smith replies in Keanu Reeves' nervous, confused tones and the mind boggles as to what kind of joke Smith would have actually made had he actually taken on the starring role. The pills being some kind of hallucinogen perhaps? Or maybe whether they were suppositories? One can't help but think it would have been the latter, and brought the scenes overwhelming intensity to a complete standstill.
We are also given the cursed gift of Smith entering the sanctum of The Oracle and learning a wise lesson from a small boy in the matters of self-reflection, change and control under the guise of cool spoon-bending. Again the presence of Reeves' hair on Will Smith's head is incredibly disturbing, but more disturbing still is Smith's lack of a jocular mention of Uri Geller, or rubber cutlery.
This fan edit is not just an act of wishful thinking, Will Smith was indeed offered the role of Neo way before Keanu Reeves came into the picture, and was in fact Warner Bros. Studio's preferred choice. However, the actor passed on the project after a meeting with the Wachowski's in which he was left as confused and dumbfounded as he appears to be in the deepfake footage. Smith opened up about his reasons for turning down The Matrix earlier this year, citing the director's stoned-esque pitch and immense passion for making him go in another direction and make...Wild Wild West. Reeves was perfectly cast as humanity's saviour, and though Smith has proven time and again that he is more than capable of drama, this was not so much the case back in 1999.
Still, Smith admits he more than likely would have ruined what went on to become a sci-fi-action classic, and having now sort of seen him within the world of The Matrix, he is probably right. Sham00k's Youtube channel is responsible for unleashing this on the world.