Unknown Source (US), August 1999
'Matrix' Sequel Info
Spencer Lamm, a producer at the Wachowski Brothers' Redpill Productions, spoke before an audience of Matrix fans at the San Diego Comic Con Friday. It wasn't long into the discussion before the topic of sequels was broached by those in attendence, and Lamm kindly obliged the crowd by sharing a few nuggets of info including the reason why the Wachowski brothers have chosen to film the movies consecutively a la Back to the Future 2 & 3. "The reason they want to do it back-to-back is that they love serial fiction," Lamm explained. "They love the idea of action drawing you on to [where] the stakes get raised. They're also really conscious of a two-hour frame we all plug in to. We know when certain plot points have to happen in a film because of the genre conventions. They played with the genre conventions ... in The Matrix and they now want to take that a little bit further and play with the whole structure of the story. You can't do that in a two hour story but if you [release the sequels] together you can play with the structure and totally screw with the audience." The next two movies are definately sequels and not prequels despite some fan confusion on that matter. Prequels remain a possibility in the future, but nothing firm there is set.
Clarifying his statement that the movies would be released together, Lamm said, "The plan is to release [the second movie] at the beginning of the Summer and [the third movie] at the end of the Summer. It's going to be an Empire Strikes Back-type cliffhanger -- maybe a little bit more amped because the whole thing is going to rest on the fact that when you see them both it will be a lot bigger bang." It's hard to say which Summer exactly it will be when the movies will arrive in theaters. When asked whether the Matrix sequels would be ready for 2001, Lamm said, "At this point it is just going in to pre-production. Just figure that [word like that] will be dribbling out in the next few months."
Will the brothers write and direct again? Despite previous reports, it seems that the negotiations for that are still underway. "They're jockeying to get all that down," Lamm said. Additionally, a recent report from an Australian news source indicating that Keanu Reeves signed on to the Matrix sequels for a sum of money rivaling James Cameron's take on Titanic was "false in its details, but in its broadstrokes it was probably accurate," according to Lamm. However, the impression was given that it is almost certain that both Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss will be back for the next two films. The hope is to use Fox Studios Australia once again for photography, though there's no word whether filming would conflict with Star Wars: Episode Two. George Lucas will be using that popular Sydney production facility for his prequel sequel next year.
As far as plot info went, there was little rock solid detail to be had. However, Lamm discussed what he thought would likely show up in the films. Specifically, odds seem to be in favor of movigoers seeing the much talked about hidden human city in the next films. "I would be shocked if we don't see Zion," Lamm remaked. However, he suggested that we should be highly suspicious of early plot rumors out now, since the Wachowskis are still in negotations for the project with Warner Bros., and because of that, haven't written the sequel scripts yet. One such rumor not to be trusted claims that Neo will face a man with matrix manipulating abilities similar to his (sort an the Anti-Christ figure to Neo's messiah figure). On the villainous end of things, the bad men in black we saw in the first movie were only the tip of the iceberg. Of Hugo Weaving's character, Lamm speculated, "You get the sense that you've killed him, but did you kill him? Meaning [he] is like [computer language] zeroes and ones, essentially. There's [room] left to explore as to other agents [or] the same agents."