Will Smith, Nicolas Cage, Val Kilmer, Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp were also in talks to star in the film.
Brad Pitt has joined the list of actors who turned down the lead role in The Matrix, which eventually went to Keanu Reeves and cemented his position as a star.
Pitt reflected on the parts he passed over while accepting the Maltin Modern Master Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in California on January 22, and said he was up for the character of Neo in the 1999 blockbuster, reports aceshowbiz.com.
According to Collider, Pitt said, "I did pass on The Matrix. I took the red pill.That's the only one I'm naming. I wasn't offered two or three. Only the first one. Just to clarify that." The actor added that he never likes discussing the topic of his unrealised projects.
"I come from a place, maybe it's my upbringing, if I didn't get it, then it wasn't mine. I really believe (the role) was never mine. It's not mine. It was someone else's and they go and make it. I really do believe in that. If we were doing a show on the great movies I've passed on, we would need two nights."
Will Smith, Nicolas Cage, Val Kilmer, Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp were also in talks to star in the film, which spawned two sequels. In 2019, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura told The Wrap that even Sandra Bullock was approached to front the film.
"We went out to so many people... We were getting desperate. We went to Sandy Bullock and said 'We'll change Neo to a girl.' We sent her the script to see if she was interested in it. And if she was interested in it we would try to make the change," Bonaventura told the website. He added: "It just wasn't something for her at the time. So really it didn't go anywhere."
Reeves and his old The Matrix cast mates, Carrie-Anne Moss and Jada Pinkett Smith are currently circling the start date for a third sequel.