Before Keanu Reeves eventually signed on, finding someone to play Neo proved nearly impossible. After exhausting potential leads including Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Will Smith, producers apparently briefly considered a female gender swap. Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura spilled the beans to TheWrap.com.
“We went out to so many people I don’t remember. We were getting desperate,” di Bonaventura said. “We went to Sandy Bullock and said ‘We’ll change Neo to a girl.’ [Producer] Joel Silver and I worked with Sandy on ‘Demolition Man’ and she was and continues to be a very good friend of mine. It was pretty simple. 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.” He added: “It just wasn’t something for her at the time. So really it didn’t go anywhere.”
Ultimately in the end, the right person was cast. It’s interesting that Bullock was considered for the role that eventually went to Reeves. The two appeared in Speed just a few years prior. Can you imagine Bullock as Neo? Weigh in below.