Producer of the popular sci-fi franchise discusses the challenges involved in making the sequel (including the recasting of Aaliyah’s character)
By: ERIC MORO
While promoting 13 GHOSTS – the remake of the 1960 William Castle haunted house pic – producer Joel Silver discussed the status of the highly anticipated THE MATRIX RELOADED, currently in production.
Praising the advances 1999’s THE MATRIX made for the art of sci-fi action storytelling, Silver points out that these types of films can indeed contain intelligence and sophistication, and that its two sequels “are very, very smart.” Additionally, the producer believes that the only obstacles standing before the production (in terms of repeating its prior success) are those generated by directors the Wachowski brothers.
“It’s the boys – they want to outdo themselves,” says Silver. “That’s what [the challenges] are. They feel that there are so many movies now that have literally Xeroxed whole parts of their picture – digital effects, ideas, points of view, images from the movie. So they are desperate to make something that you’ve never seen before and I’m telling you, they are doing that.”
As for the fan campaign demanding that scenes containing singer-turned-actress Aaliyah (who died in an Aug. 25 plane crash) be kept in the movie, the producer explains that none had been committed to film at the time of the actress’ death.
“Most of the work in San Francisco was plate photography because the real movie is being shot in Australia,” explains Silver. “So there were a lot of plates that we shot up there and plates are like backgrounds for other scenes. She wasn’t really in anything. There’s nothing we have – she’s not in the movie because her scenes were all in Australia. It’s sad that she couldn’t play the part. She had a great role; it was a great part. Z is an incredible character.”
Silver goes on to explain that the character does not start shooting until January, giving the production time to find a suitable replacement. THE MATRIX RELOADED is set to wrap principal photography in May.