The Wachowski siblings’ 1999 breakthrough film The Matrix was not only a huge critical and commercial hit, but it also helped revolutionize the way movies are made, in a number of different ways. One of the most unique elements of the movie is The Matrix code itself, which is basically comprised of a perpetual stream of neon green icons running down vertically over a black screen. While we wait for more on the controversial and impending Matrix reboot, the creator of the actual Matrix code reveals that it was based on Japanese food recipes.
The franchise has been in the news this year after Warner Bros. announced a new project which was described as a Matrix prequel. Simon Whiteley was the man who designed and created The Matrix code, who got his start in the movie business designing the opening title sequence for the 1995 smash hit Babe. While his role as the designer of The Matrix code went uncredited, Simon Whiteley revealed in a new interview that the actual Matrix code was based off Japanese food recipes from his Japanese wife. Here’s what he had to say below.
“I like to tell everybody that The Matrix‘s code is made out of Japanese sushi recipes. Without that code, there is no Matrix.”
The original 1999 movie centers on a computer programmer named Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves), who moonlights as a hacker known as Neo. After being tracked down by Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), described as the world’s most dangerous man, Thomas/Neo learns the truth about his world, which is actually a computer-designed construct known as The Matrix. When Neo gets to “the real world,” he can see on Morpheus’ ship, the Nebuchadnezzar, the actual Matrix code, which, to the untrained eye, looks like unique characters streaming past a black screen.
As for the upcoming Matrix project, very little is known, aside from the fact that Zak Penn (The Avengers, Ready Player One) has been tasked with coming up with the script. The writer reassured fans on social media that the project he’s working on is not a reboot, as originally reported, but a movie that will not erase the existing continuity. There was also talk that the movie is actually a prequel, with Michael B. Jordan being sought to play a young Morpheus.
The original Matrix movie was a smash hit, both critically and commercially, which spawned the 2003 sequel The Matrix Reloaded and the 2004 follow-up The Matrix Revolutions. While the sequels were not as critically beloved as the original, the trilogy is still quite important to sci-fi fans around the globe. As for Simon Whiteley, he went on to become a production designer, working on 2010’s Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole, and last month’s The LEGO Ninjago Movie, while serving as a concept artist and designer for The LEGO Movie. You can take a look at his full interview at CNet.