The Age (Aus), March 29, 2001
Secrecy surrounds Matrix sequels
The makers of Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster The Matrix are to return to Sydney to produce two sequels.
Warner Bros Pictures announced today that the makers of the Academy Award-winning film had chosen to return to Fox Studios for the sequels.
NSW Premier Bob Carr said the announcement ended months of industry speculation over where the sequels would be shot.
"Speculation has been rife for at least 12 months about where these films would be made," he said.
"We were competing against Canada, the UK and the United States ... and Warner Bros have come back for more."
The Matrix was the first big international production made at the former Sydney Showground site and featured many scenes shot in and around central Sydney.
The movie has grossed about $A1 billion - the highest worldwide box office takings for any Warner Bros release.
Mr Carr said the two films would create about 1,050 direct jobs and another 1,000 indirect jobs. There would also be about 7,000 days of work for film extras.
He conceded the low Australian dollar would have helped sway the film-makers' decision.
Preliminary filming of the Matrix sequels began this week in Los Angeles.
Filming in Sydney will begin in October and run for nine months.
Warner Bros worldwide production president Lorenzo di Bonaventura said The Matrix crew had had a "terrific" experience in Sydney during work on the first film.
"We look forward to returning to the state-of-the-art facilities and incredible locations in Sydney to shoot the sequels," he said in a statement.