Matrix Where Are They NowIt's hard to appreciate how revolutionary the "bullet time" special effects were when "The Matrix" debuted on March 31, 1999, since nearly every action movie immediately following it ripped it off. No one expected this blend of sci-fi and martial-arts (and guns, lots of guns) would be such a massive hit, or raise the bar for action-movie fight scenes to unheard-of-heights.

The film earned more than $460 million worldwide, was nominated for four Academy Awards, and became an instant cultural icon. The movie's spectacular shoot-em-ups were even cited as an inspiration for the Columbine high school massacre, which happened less than a month after the movie's release.

"The Matrix" might have been very different: As fans know, Will Smith turned down the role of Neo (and unwisely chose to do the disastrous "Wild Wild West" instead). Brad Pitt and Val Kilmer also passed, leaving Keanu Reeves to step into the iconic role. (The Wachowskis' first choice was reportedly Johnny Depp.)

The movie spawned two money-making sequels (as well as comic books, video games, and animated short films) but they failed to impress, making a slew of "Worst Sequels Ever" lists.

Fifteen years later, Reeves's action movie crown has slipped a bit with the massive write-off taken for last year's "47 Ronin." But what has the rest of the cast and crew been up to? Read on to find out.

Article photo courtesy Everett Collection