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The Matrix code was actually a sushi recipe

The Matrix code is an iconic piece of production design but it actually has a really mundane origin as a sushi recipe scanned from a cookbook.

The Matrix code is more than just a cool screensaver you used to have on your laptop; it actually means something. Within the world of the Wachowskis’ science fiction movie, the random bits of data we see trickling down the screens on the Nebuchadnezzar are explained to be the programming language used to create the virtual world where humanity is trapped.

At one point, Cypher looks at a screen and tells Neo he doesn’t even see the code anymore, just blondes, brunettes, and redheads. While he may have been being slightly facetious – he is the action movie’s villain, after all – what he didn’t know was that the code really does mean something. It’s a recipe. A recipe for sushi.

The Matrix’s production designer Simon Whiteley admitted as much during an interview with CNET. He explained he scanned one of his wife’s Japanese cookbooks to get the characters used to write the fictional Matrix code. “I like to tell everybody that The Matrix’s code is made out of Japanese sushi recipes,” Whiteley explained. “Without that code, there is no Matrix.”

Who knows, maybe Cypher was lying when he said he could see a redhead? Maybe he was looking at a delicious tekkamaki?

If you’re wondering how they created that strange chattering sound as the code trickles down the screen, well, sound designer Dane A. Davis digitised the sound of raindrops on window panes to create the noise.

Check out our guide on The Matrix movies if this has you eager to join the war against the machines. Alternatively, check out our guide to the best thriller movies, or if you prefer your fiction more down to earth we have a list of the best drama series.