You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes
Outside, the WIND BATTERS a loose PANE of glass.
Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.
Hold out your hands.
In Neo’s right hand, Morpheus drops a red pill.
This is your last chance. After this, there is no going back.
In his left, a blue pill.
You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and you believe whatever you want to believe.
The pills in his open hands are reflected in the glasses.
You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.
Neo feels the smooth skin of the capsules, with the moisture growing in his palms.
Remember that all I am offering is the truth. Nothing more.
Once Upon a Matrix
This is the scene that launches the rest of the movie. Everything beforehand leads to Morpheus’s offer, and everything afterward springs from Neo’s decision.
The first Matrix movie was released on March 31st, 1999. Since then, a few things have changed.
- Offering the choice of a red pill or a blue pill means that inquisitive minds may be in for a paradigm shift – enlightenment and/or a trip down Alice’s rabbit hole. Before The Matrix, a red pill was probably an iron supplement. In 1999 the infamous “little blue pill” was newly on the market; Bob Dole’s Viagra ads came out at about the same time as the movie.
- Slow motion film action got fancy. The Matrix re-imagined slow motion, to give us the full flower of a trademarked effect called bullet time. Before bullet time, we had to imagine that Superman was faster than a speeding bullet. In bullet time, the unfilmably fast seems to be filmed at a leisurely speed. There is no real way for a motion picture camera to circle a martial artist in mid kick.
- Full-out Japanese anime-style action hit the American mainstream. We had magical ninja moves in “samurai” movies, and a move or three from semi-samurai vampires (Blade), but not so much in mainstream TV and film… unless you count the imagination of Chuck Norris fans.
I found this excerpt from The Matrix script online, and confirmed basic accuracy by listening to the movie. An official printed copy of this and other well known scripts is available from the Newmarket Shooting Script Series.