Sylvester Stallone Made A Movie With The Matrix Creators And It’s Streaming For Free

Sylvester Stallone starred in Assassins, a woefully forgettable action film written by the Wachowskis, years before they created The Matrix.

By Douglas Helm | Published

Sylvester Stallone in Assassins

You may not know it, but Sylvester Stallone actually starred in a film that the Wachowskis wrote before they created The Matrix. That film is the 1995 action flick Assassins, and it’s probably not worth your time. But if you’re intrigued, you can stream it for free right now on Tubi.

Assassins starred Sylvester Stallone as a professional hit-man who is ready to retire after finishing a few more contracts, but his targets keep getting killed by a newcomer hit-man. The film is directed by Richard Donner and written by the Wachowskis along with Brian Helgeland. Along with Stallone, the film stars Antonio Banderas, and Julianne Moore.

Interestingly, this forgettable Sylvester Stallone film is actually the first official writing credit the Wachowskis have in their career. However, they’d probably prefer that it wasn’t. The Wachowskis actually tried to remove their names from the film, but the Writers Guild of America refused to let them.

When you look at the pre-production story of Sylvester Stallone’s Assassins, it makes sense that the Wachowskis wanted to distance themselves from the final product. Producer Joel Silver bought their script for Assassins for $1 million along with their script for The Matrix for another $1 million. Silver then hired Richard Donner to direct the film, but he wanted the script to be rewritten to tone down the violence and make Sylvester Stallone’s character more sympathetic.

That’s when Brian Helgeland was brought in to do a page-one rewrite and get a co-screenwriter credit alongside the Wachowskis. However, the two didn’t like the new direction of the film and tried to get their names removed from the film. They clearly knew what they were doing, as the film currently has a 16% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Fortunately, both Sylvester Stallone and the Wachowskis moved on to bigger and better things. Of course, everyone knows that Lana and Lilly would more than makeup for Assassins with The Matrix. The Matrix is easily one of the best movies of the 90s, and it is considered a seminal sci-fi film for its story, visual effects, and stuntwork.

Julianne Moore and Sylvester Stallone in Assassins

Sylvester Stallone has released plenty of stinkers since Assassins, but he also found success with The Expendables franchise and the critically acclaimed Creed franchise. His Paramount+ series Tulsa King is also a hit and is bringing in huge viewership numbers along with great reviews. In 2023, we’ll be seeing Sly reprise two roles — Barney Ross in The Expendables 4 and Stakar Ogord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Meanwhile, the Wachowskis last worked as a creative duo on the TV series Sense8 and the 2015 film Jupiter Ascending. Lana Wachowski returned to the world of the Matrix in 2021 with The Matrix Resurrection, though it failed to live up to the lofty highs set by the original. Fortunately, the original still exists in all its glory.

While Sylvester Stallone and the Wachowskis have made far better projects than Assassins, it is a film with an interesting backstory (though the film’s actual story itself is supposedly fairly dull.) It might be worth checking out just for a piece of Hollywood history. Make sure to steam it on Tubi if you’re interested.