Matrix Movie News

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Saturday, May 25, 2002
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(from SciFi Wire

Keanu Reeves, who reprises the role of Neo in the upcoming sequel films The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, told SCI FI Wire that his newly powerful character faces stiff challenges and continues his journey of discovery in the new films. “The brothers [writer-directors Andy and Larry Wachowski] have put up some great obstacles to test those powers, and the story kind of goes outside of the Matrix and starts to concern itself with the machines in Zion,” Reeves said at a press conference at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney, where the films are currently in production.

Reeves added, “So it’s almost [that] what he can do in the Matrix is not enough. And he’s still on the path of discovery and choice. He’s told by the Oracle that … he has some choices that he’ll have to make that will affect the survival of the human race. And there are some hardships. And all of us are trying to save the world. And the development between Neo and Trinity [Carrie-Anne Moss] is explored, and with Morpheus [Laurence Fishburne] and [Agent] Smith [Hugo Weaving]. And so I think that’s just about it. It’s the development of the hero journey for my character, which is new challenges and choices. And it’s not so much about being born. He wanted to find out where he was. Now he knows. Or he thinks he knows.”

For his part, producer Joel Silver promised to reporters that the visual effects in the two sequels will outdo anything seen in movies so far. “When we made the first movie … we didn’t have an enormous amount of money to work with, and the boys had very strict ideas about a specific visual effect that they wanted to explore, and they ended up using it four times in the picture, and … we called it … bullet time. And it was during the Stone Age. It was a Stone Age effect. … And immediately when the movie opened, we saw repetitions of that. … Television commercials came first. They were the first out. And then we began seeing it in a few movies here and there. And then every movie. And it wasn’t just the visual effects that were being stolen. … It was the way the boys staged, shot, cut, moved the camera. It was pretty much everything they did began to be copied in every other movie.”

Were the Wachowskis flattered? “For a while … I bet they thought it was flattering,” Silver said. “But after a while, they kind of got angry about it. So they decided that, in these two movies, they would create visual effects that could never be copied. So we have done visual effects for the movie that, because of the time that we took to make them and the cost, will never be seen again. So I really think that the bar has been raised so high that, you know, there is no bar. This will end the way movies have been made up to now, because they can go no further. The computer is allowing us to do things that we never dreamed we could do before. … The [first film’s] bullet-time sequences … were the beginning, the embryonic stage of what computers could do. It’s just now at such a level that they can do anything they want. And the great thing about it is that … the guys have enough intellect and understand the process enough so they are able to create an arena that this stuff can exist in that could not exist anywhere else.”

Both films will shoot for another two months or so. The Matrix Reloaded is eyeing a May 2003 release; Revolutions may open in the fall of 2003.