‘The Matrix’: Trinity’s Rooftop Escape Was Originally on Chicago’s L Train

Nothing compares to 1999’s The Matrix, a movie lauded for its unique premise, fight sequences, and special effects. And then there’s the love story between Neo and Trinity. Carrie-Anne Moss became a fan favorite as Trinity with her kickass combat skills and agility. The first Matrix movie placed her in an unforgettable scenario where she had to outrun agents and the police on a series of rooftops. But the original plan had her doing it in Chi-town.

'The Matrix' with Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity
Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity in ‘The Matrix’ | Warner Brothers/Getty Images

Trinity’s famous rooftop leaps in ‘The Matrix’ were originally on a train

Picture Trinity sitting at the computer when the cops kick in the door in The Matrix. Agent Smith warns the cops on the ground that the officers are dead as she fights off the ambush. To flee Smith and the police, she runs through the building and up a fire escape to the roof. A chase ensues with acrobatics, gunfire, and tension.

In the book, The Art of the Matrix, storyboard artist Steve Skroce explained how the Wachowskis initially intended to shoot the escape sequence on top of Chicago’s L train. Why? It was the creators’ hometown. He provided the sketches which showed Trinity running, jumping, and evading her pursuers on top of a train car.

“The scene changed after the film was green-lit and the location moved to Sydney,” said Skroce. “The leap where she aims herself at the little yellow window in the building was all boarded the first time I went to Los Angeles, and is in the film, but originally she was jumping from a moving train. From the beginning, they wanted this one specific shot, the one where she’s flying through the air toward the window.”

Train swap shifted the story for Trinity

The move to Sydney and subsequent train cut changed the events in the movie too. Skroce shared that originally, the agent who was chasing Trinity would have been stuck on the train top, and thus angrily whisked away. Trinity would have exhaled with a clean getaway.

However, because the scene switched to roofs, the Wachowskis had Trinity land in the stairwell and immediately flip over with her guns aimed. That’s because agents knew her next move — head to the phone booth. They hopped in a giant truck and attempted to plow the booth over as she ran to it. One small change impacted the story and enabled the Wachowskis to keep up the suspense, tension, and momentum.

Though fans did not get to see Trinity do stunts on a train, Neo did battle it out with Agent Smith at subway station in The Matrix. In the sequel, Morpheus had a fight sequence on top of a semi.

Trinity will return in ‘The Matrix: Resurrections’

Moss endured a broken ankle in the first Matrix film and additional injuries in the sequels, but she’s back for more action in The Matrix 4. First look images on the Whatisthematrix website reveal a callback to the original movie where Trinity sat at the desk in front of the computer before a confrontation with the police. Who knows where that fight will lead?

Fans can enter The Matrix when it arrives in theaters on Dec. 22.

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