Secrecy of 'The Matrix' traps fans in mystery
by Josh Chetwynd and Andy Seiler
Taking a page from George Lucas' playbook, the makers of the Matrix movies aren't taking any chances when it comes to leaks about the plot. Not only are most executives at Warner Bros. not yet allowed to see the screenplay for The Matrix 2, but prospective supporting cast members are being hired without seeing the script -- a practice used with the Star Wars prequels. The supersecret project reunites the original film's Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss and Laurence Fishburne.
The secrecy is justified, says Phillip Nakov, co-founder of countingdown.com, which provides fans with news, scoops and photos for films months before they open.
"The Matrix has an enormous, almost cultlike following," Nakov says. "It's absolutely red-hot. And I think that keeping it secret adds to the level of excitement and anticipation." Nakov says interest in Matrix 2 and 3 tops the other fan-favorite upcoming movies: Dungeons and Dragons, Spider-Man, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Jurassic Park 3 and Lord of the Rings. (The next Star Wars, he says, is in a class by itself.)
While the top stars return, filmmakers Andy and Larry Wachowski are quietly on the prowl to fill a number of smaller roles. Among them: a black woman, 25 to 35, for the role of a ship captain who had a relationship with Fishburne's wise resistance leader, Morpheus; a black man, 30 to 40, who can "hold his own" on screen with Morpheus; and an 18- or 19-year-old who looks up to Reeves' Neo character.
Shooting is expected to begin in January. Matrix 3 will be shot right after 2 is completed.