What was Thomas Anderson/Neo, selling to Choi, DuJour and the druggies/punks that came knocking at his door?

Was it ever discussed out-of-universe by the Wachowski brothers?

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  • 2
    maybe it was the intersect 2.0 ?? =P
    – Jared
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 2:06
  • 11
    Red Hat -------
    – DQdlM
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 2:17
  • 6
    Better Than Life... Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 2:22
  • 6
    An advance copy of DOOM 3.
    – Jeff
    Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 13:58
  • Or Duke Nukem Forever... Commented Dec 6, 2014 at 2:14

9 Answers 9


Based on Neo's background as a hacker, and the fact that he didn't want the disc to be traced back to him, we're only left to presume that it was some form of potent malware. What the malware's function or intended use was, we can only imagine. It may have been used to steal government information, deface a website with a political message, take down some evil big corp's main servers, delete incriminating data from law enforcement servers, or any number of other possibilities.

  • 7
    I always thought it was information he had obtained rather than any program. Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 6:19
  • 24
    @KirstyMcNair Neo's line "If you get caught using that..." implies something more functional than informative.
    – Iszi
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 6:40
  • 5
    @Iszi - One could equally say that about a list of stolen credit card numbers... Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 13:20
  • 4
    @JamesMcLeod Ah, but then one would have expected the pronoun to be "those".
    – Iszi
    Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 13:50
  • 1
    @Iszi it could have been a file on someone to be used for blackmail or something like that. Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 9:04

While the final movie leaves the question unanswered, it was answered in an early draft of the script.

In the early version, Neo is not selling a program, but his services as a hacker - to get rid of parking tickets.

I find it entirely reasonable to think that the scene was changed from Neo selling his services to Neo selling the software/scripts to do exactly the same.

VOICE (O.S.) Hey, Tommy-boy! You in there?

Recognizing the voice, he relaxes and opens it. ANTHONY, who lives down the hall, is standing outside with a group of friends.

NEO What do you want, Anthony?

ANTHONY I need your help, man. Desperate. They got me, man. The shackles of fascism.

He holds up the red notice that accompanies the Denver boot.

NEO You got the money this time?

He holds up two hundred dollars and Neo opens the door. Anthony's girlfriend, DUJOUR, stops in front of Neo.

DUJOUR You can really get that thing off, right now?

ANTHONY I told you, honey, he may look like just another geek but this here is all we got left standing between Big Brother and the New World Order.


A police officer unlocks a yellow metal boot from the wheel of an enormous oldsmobile.


They watch from the window as the cops, silently, robotically, climb into their van.

ANTHONY Look at 'em. Automatons. Don't think about what they're- doing or why. Computer tells 'em what to do and they do it.

FRIEND #l The banality of evil.

He slaps the money in Neo's hand.

ANTHONY Thanks, neighbor.

  • 11
    Since this got cut from the movie, and the scene that was left in plays out very differently, I believe this answer cannot be considered accurate in canonical terms. Nice info to have, though. Thanks.
    – Iszi
    Commented Nov 27, 2012 at 18:49
  • 5
    I both agree and disagree. Much of the tone of the scene is still the same while the exact contents of the disc are now unknown. It is just as likely as unlikely that the disc contains the app/scripts Neo would have used to hack the parking system. Since there seems to be no definitive answer, it seems just as likely a theory as any other - with the bonus that this was, at one point, the actual answer.
    – phantom42
    Commented Nov 27, 2012 at 18:53

Based on the fact that Neo was a hacker, it was most likely a zero-day exploit. A zero-day exploit could be used to create many different types of malware, and can't be detected by virus scanners (as of their first use), and as such are the most dangerous and most feared by security firms.

Many companies offer large rewards for a zero-day exploit (I think Google is offering $1 million for any one found on chrome right now).

  • I don't see any evidence in the film to back up this claim. Furthermore, releasing 0-day exploits isn't a prerequisite for being a hacker.
    – arkon
    Commented Jan 27, 2019 at 4:06
  • Here it is, almost a decade later, and there have been what, 17 zero-day Chrome vulnerabilities in 2021?
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Dec 22, 2021 at 16:18

It was likely information that was illegally solicited, something that could be used to blackmail someone for example.

It seems typical of the kinds of things hackers would be hired to do as they are portrayed in the movie. It is further supported by Neo not wanting to be named if they are caught using whatever is on the disc.

Also of note is the reaction of person buying the disc "You're my savior man". To me this reads that because he got this information he now had leverage.

Lastly, in the holed our book where Neo is keeping his discs we see several discs with different labels, likely different information for different customers.


Neo says:

"If you get caught using that ..."

This suggests that what ever it is, it is effectively a program or at least a piece of software designed to do something.

The statement also suggests that it's something for minor offenses if we take the police route, since wiping a person's criminal history would in fact be a huge breach in the police system, causing a lot of potential attention to the attack. This item has to be more subtle than that.

The route of a virus for example makes more sense, but what the virus is for exactly will never really be known.

It could also be a program which is ripped off.


The disc reads "Simulacrum," a word used to describe a representation that is convincingly the same as whatever it is based off of, such as a copy of a painting or a cyborg that seems human. The difference is the intent; a simulacrum is intended to deceive whereas a copy is intending to replicate.

  • He was also hiding stuff in a (fake) copy of Simulacra and Simulation.
    – Compro01
    Commented Apr 24, 2013 at 15:06
  • 2
    The disc does not read "Simulacrum". It's difficult to make out, but you can see in this video that there is no way that it says that on the disk he pulls out.
    – phantom42
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 17:14
  • 2
    The content of the discs, hidden in the hollow book (made from actual real book Simulacra and Simulation), most likely does not have anything to with the book contents.
    – mykhal
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 17:35

As Chio calls Neo "my own personal Jesus Christ", it would seem that the best fitting answer would be one where the drug addict/criminal would be "forgiven" by the program. So, a program for removing criminal violations or records seems likely. The real question is since programs in the Matrix are self aware, does Neo get to meet any of his own programs?

  • 1
    Can you back any of this up or is it solely your own opinion?
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 31, 2015 at 1:49

It more then likely seems like a program to wipe criminal history or stolen credit card numbers based on the 2000$ price tag and the drug using club going buyers

  • Welcome to SFF.SE. This looks like speculation, which should be reserved for comments instead of answers. If you have a source, however, please add it.
    – Null
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 6:36
  • My source would be personal past expieriances along with what I just watched In the movie an using an educated guess since one can only speculate being as there is no tangible answer P.S. Worst forum moderators ever lol
    – Optomic
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 10:37
  • This is not a forum, it's a Q&A site. The question is looking for a source from the filmmakers. In the absence of a source one cannot presume that Neo was selling stolen credit card numbers or a program to wipe a person's criminal history. It could be anything.
    – Null
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 15:09
  • This seems like unfounded guesswork
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 31, 2015 at 1:50
  • This answer seems just as good as the accepted answer. Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 22:26

I think it was a program to wipe a persons criminal history away digitally.


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