See Jada Pinkett Smith’s Amazing Transformation For Her Matrix Role In New Video

Check out the transformation Jada Pinkett Smith went through to get into character for Matrix Resurrections. It's a stunning process

By Doug Norrie | Updated

jada pinkett smith matrix

When Matrix Resurrections brought us back into the world of the simulation, a dystopian future where humanity, and frankly the machines as well, have gone off the rails, it was hard to conceptualize the timeline. It makes sense, after all, it was supposed to be years and years later after the last movie yet Keanu Reeves’ Neo looked exactly the same. But one of the ways the movie pulled off the timeline in the viewers’ eyes was to give us Jada Pinkett Smith back in the role as Niobe. When we last left the character she was a younger version, staring down the onset of peace between Zion and the Sentinels. When we see her again, she’s clearly very different. 

Well, recently Jada Pinkett Smith gave a look into what was involved with her on-screen transformation that allowed us to see Niobe 60 years in the future. She is barely recognizable from what we saw and really what she looks like in real life. But this aging was key to understanding just how much time had passed in the “real” world. It’s one thing to just say the film is decades later and it’s entirely another to show it. Check out what Jada Pinkett Smith posted on Instagram and what went into making her an elderly Niobe. 

The time-lapse video from Jada Pinkett Smith is pretty amazing and a testament to what goes into making these transformations really come to life on the big screen. She says in the post that the process took more than five hours and in the end, the effect was to have her now the aged, and wise leader of what was formerly Zion and is now Io. In the film, it’s clear she’s become even more hardened with time, now tasked with seeing to the peace and sustainability of the humans’ world in the way they weren’t able to pull off in previous iterations. Is she at odds with Neo in this one? Of course, he’s a threat to what they’ve built. But the juxtaposition in the two’s ages, with Reeves still looking the same, is important in establishing the differences in what the current movie is going for. 

Jada Pinkett Smith returning for Matrix Resurrections was something of a surprise considering not everyone from the first trilogy was back as their same characters. Of course, the biggest omission was Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus whose character was “replaced” in this one by Yahya Abdul-Mateen. There are some rumors out there that they could bring Fishburne back in some capacity for the fifth film if it happens. That remains to be seen, but we know that the “reality” this world plays with makes nearly everything possible. 

In all, the decision to bring back Jada Pinkett Smith for Matrix Resurrections as Niobe felt correct within the context of how they used the character. It made sense to have her because throughout the first trilogy, after she appeared in the second film, she was less emotionally connected to the Neo character. This allowed a better flow of disagreement when it came to not exactly seeing eye-to-eye. And as we said, the commitment to the transformation is impressive.