Neo Encyclopedia Wiki
The Matrix character
[[File:The Keymaker.jpg|250px]]
The Keymaker in his workplace
Publication information
First appearance The Matrix Reloaded
Portrayer Randall Duk Kim
Aliases The Exile
Species Computer program
Gender Male
Occupation Key maker

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[[The Keymaker.jpg|250px]]
The Keymaker in his workplace

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The Keymaker is a fictional character in The Matrix film series (originally from The Matrix Reloaded) portrayed by Korean-American actor Randall Duk Kim. The Keymaker is one of the sentient programs, rogue to the System. It carves shortcut keys used by every program in the Matrix. With those keys one can move throughout the entire Matrix, being able to access any and all of its entities.[1] Summoned by The Oracle in The Matrix Reloaded, protagonist Neo has to find the Keymaker to access the backdoor to the Architect (also credited as The Source) of the Matrix and ultimately save the only human stronghold in the real world, Zion.

The casting director Mali Finn succeeded in bringing Kim to the attention of Wachowski sisters, The Matrix creators. "Randall Duk Kim was cast for his talent, his presence and his voice", said Finn.[2] After meeting the sisters, Kim said he agreed to the Keymaker role "without a single bit of hesitation".[2]


Within the Matrix, keys represent tokens of authentication used to gain access to a backdoor or control of a device. The authenticator is represented by the bitting on the key, as illustrated when Seraph uses one to reach a corridor filled with backdoors in The Matrix Reloaded.


Randall Duk Kim describes the Keymaker as a character that belongs in Wind in the Willows but then somehow ended up in Alice in Wonderland and then got lost in the Matrix.[3] Wachowski sisters' thoughts on Keymaker were coming on the spot as various takes were done.[3] He is a creation of collaboration,[4] where Larry Wachowski suggested Kim to cut his stride in half, so that Keymaker's movements appeared as more of a scurry, than a normal gait.[3]

South and East Asians bodies navigate the interstitial spaces of the Matrix, such as sterilized hallways in The Matrix Reloaded and the purgatorial subway station in The Matrix Revolutions.[5] According to The Matrix in Theory by Myriam Díaz-Diocaretz and Stefan Herbrechter, the Keymaker and Seraph, depicted as subservient and asexual, fulfill the Orientalist fantasy.[5] The Keymaker is an old program[6] and his past is obscure.[7] Faced with deletion or exile, he chooses exile.[8] Consequently he becomes a type of program known as the exile and is referred to as such by the agents in The Matrix Reloaded.[9] The agents of The Matrix were always hijacking a human body through the Keymaker[10] in particular. Kim says his character shouldn't have any freedom of choice, but he did make a choice by hiding along with the other exiles.[3]

Along with the Trainman, Twins, Cain, Abel, the Chessman and Dire Lupines, the Keymaker belongs to infiltration programs.[11] Parallel with the Trainman, Sati, Kamala and Silver, he is within the modelization programs.[11] Facilitating rapid passage between otherwise incongruent spaces of the Matrix, characters such as the Keymaker and Seraph do so entirely to serve the purposes of others[5] (the Merovingian, who guards the imprisoned Keymaker, explains him as being a means but not a 'why').[12] Merovingian's world makes use of the access provided by the Keymaker to serve his own ends[1] (in The Matrix: Path of Neo Agent Smith wants the Keymaker to join his army).[13] As the Merovingian refuses to bring Neo to the Keymaker, his wayward wife Persephone makes a deal. In exchange for a single kiss from Neo in a way she could feel love, Persephone agrees to secretly guide Neo and the rest to the Keymaker's hidden workplace. The room is filled with thousands of keys representing different modes of activating higher states of awareness.[14]

The Keymaker says the backdoor corridor is in "the building", a skyscraper-like virtual counterpart of the computer which runs the Matrix. The corridor however is invisible to operators as it doesn't show up on their screens.[15] It is also a place "where no elevator can go, and no stair can reach" until the building is de-energized. The Keymaker informs further that there is only one door to the Source, adding that it will be accessible for exactly 314 seconds. The number is explained by the Keymaker as "the length and breadth of the window" without the measurement units being specified. There is also an assumption that the number is a reference to pi[16] (3.14) as every key and every door culminates in one event which completes the circle of accessing method.[1] Saying then to Morpheus "That door will take you home" the Keymaker shows him how to escape to the next telephone - a device used to leave the Matrix.

Keymaker's opposite is Captain Jason "Deadbolt" Locke, who stands in the way of Neo's path.[17] Having fulfilled his providential purpose, the Keymaker is shot dead by Smith's copies. He announces that "it was meant to be" and succeeds in passing his key to Neo.

Role experience

In an interview to Tim Lammers, which promoted the film's DVD release, Kim told: "I'm so happy to be part of such a wonderful tale as this. I was a fan before I even got the audition call for Reloaded".[18] "When I got the part, you could hardly keep me from flying off the ground," Kim gleefully recalled.[18] Despite the elaborate set-up and tireless hours, Kim said he could not get enough of the Matrix experience. "On every single day of that shoot I felt like a little kid on big adventure," Kim enthused.[18] "And working for the sisters, they're childlike in their creativity - it's just contagious".[18] Kim said further that the stunt drivers in the freeway motorcycle chase scene were some of the most amazing people he had ever met.[18] "That was real. I would say Carrie and I did about three-quarters of what's seen up there", he revealed.[18] Even though Kim was backed by the professional motorcross racer David Barrett in a jump that was a double on the Ducati. In the June 2001 interview stunt player Debbie Evans said it was "pretty ambitious, because those bikes aren't made to do that sort of thing, but we pulled it off".[19]

The Keymaker also appears in the short lampoon MTV: Reloaded, produced for the 2003 MTV Movie Awards.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "The Matrix Mythology and Characters Homepage". Retrieved 2007-12-15. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Terry Hong. "The Key To Randall Duk Kim". Retrieved 2008-12-17.  [dead link]
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Brian Hiatt. ""The Matrix"s Keymaker speaks out".,,444153__453600,00.html. Retrieved 2007-12-16. 
  4. "MxOS Exclusive Interview: Randall Duk Kim". Retrieved 2007-12-17.  [dead link]
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Díaz-Diocaretz, Myriam; Stefan Herbrechter (2006). The Matrix in Theory. Rodopi. p. 172. ISBN 9042016396. 
  6. Tor Thorsen. "The Matrix Reloaded (2003)". Retrieved 2007-12-16.  [dead link]
  7. Wachowski brothers. "The Matrix Reloaded screenplay (October 27, 2001)" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-12-17. The Oracle: Yes, he disappeared some time ago. We did not know what happened to him until now.
  8. "The Matrix Online Archive". Retrieved 2007-12-16. 
  9. Wachowski brothers. "The Matrix Reloaded screenplay (October 27, 2001)" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-12-17. Agent Johnson: The exile is the primary target; Agent Thompson: Find the exile.
  10. Gillis, Stacy (2005). The Matrix Trilogy: Cyberpunk Reloaded. Wallflower Press. p. 24. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Exile programs". Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  12. Wachowski brothers. "The Matrix Reloaded screenplay (October 27, 2001)" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-12-17. Morpheus: We are looking for the Keymaker. Merovingian: Oh yes, it is true. The Keymaker, of course. But this is not a reason, this is not a 'why'. The Keymaker himself, his very nature, is means, it is not an end, and so, to look for him is to be looking for a means to do... what?
  13. "The Matrix: Path of Neo - Turned Out - Game Guide". Retrieved 2007-12-16. 
  14. Chhalliyil, Pradheep. Journey to the Source: Decoding Matrix Trilogy. p. 129. 
  15. "Understanding the Matrix Reloaded". Retrieved 2007-12-16. 
  16. "Unlocking the Matrix".,9171,1101030512-449438,00.html. Retrieved 2007-12-15. 
  17. Lawrence, Matt (2004). Like a Splinter in Your Mind: The Philosophy Behind the Matrix Trilogy. p. 202. ISBN 1405125241. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 "Keymaker Actor Unlocks Wonders Of 'Matrix Reloaded'". Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  19. "Interview - Debbie Evans". Retrieved 2008-12-21. 

External links

See also

  • Simulated reality
  • Source code

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