Brad took the red pill (Picture: Getty/Rex)

Neo in The Matrix is Keanu Reeves’ most famous role, with the nicest guy in Hollywood even returning for a fourth installment.

But the hacker could have looked a whole lot different.

Brad Pitt has revealed that he passed on The Matrix, but doesn’t believe the role was ever his.

The 56-year-old, who is Oscar-nominated for his role in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, was asked during a talk at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival about roles he had passed on.


Keanu made the role his own (Picture: Snap Stills/REX/Shutterstock)
Brad doesn’t think the role was ever his (Picture: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for Turner)

Pitt said: ‘I’ll give you one, only one, because I really believe it was never mine. It’s not mine. It’s someone else’s and they go and make it. I really do believe in that. I really do.

‘But I did pass on the Matrix. I took the red pill.’

While we can’t imagine anyone other than Keanu as Neo, the role could have actually went to a host of famous faces.

Nicolas Cage turned down the role due to ‘family obligations’, while Warner Bros wanted Val Kilmer and directors The Wachowskis wanted Johnny Depp.

And Will Smith famously turned down the role to work on… er, Wild Wild West.

Will also turned down the role (Picture: Miguel Cordoba/SIPA/REX)
The Matrix is returning for a fourth installment (Picture: Moviestore/REX)

The 51-year-old told Stephen Colbert: ‘There’s a certain naivety to youth that is powerful, right. When you don’t know something. Like, not knowing can be a real power ’cause… you’re aggressive. So, I feel like I would ask my young self for advice.

‘I just thought of something I would tell myself. I would go, “Hey man, don’t do Wild Wild West” I would say, “Dude, do Neo! Do Neo!” ‘Cause I got offered The Matrix.’

Still, it’s Reeves who made the role his own, and he will return for The Matrix 4, 14 years after double whammy of The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.

Lana Wachowski will write and direct the movie, while Frozen’s Jonathan Groff has joined the cast.

The Matrix franchise is one of the most successful in cinema history, with all three previous installments – The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions – grossing more than $1.6 billion (£1.3 billion) worldwide over the course of two decades.

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