IGN (US), June 14, 2001
Matrix Reloaded Location Scoop
by Brian Linder
IGN FilmForce has obtained new information regarding a specific location that's currently being scouted for The Matrix Reloaded.
The film's production company, Eon Enterprises, is in search of a French Chateaux to serve as a location in the film. Their current first choice is the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina, but they're still shopping around a bit.
Here are some characteristics the production team requires of the location: The house must be very large and impressive with old-world craftsmanship; the manor must sit isolated on a mountaintop or hill; vegetation and trees should not shroud the house. The ideal house would be a French Chateaux on the edge of a mountain, overlooking a valley, without any trees blocking the view.
The filming will involve a visual effects unit filming the exterior front, rear, and side facades of the house.
Here's a glimpse at the production's first choice, the Biltmore Estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina...
I've been to Biltmore myself and I can vouch for its impressive visuals. The house is massive and completely stunning, inside and out.
The 250-room manor took six years for George Vanderbilt to build (1889-1895). Its 390-foot facade has more than 11 million bricks. The house has a massive stone spiral staircase that rises four floors, with 102 steps. Through its center hangs an iron chandelier suspended from a single point, containing 72 electric light bulbs. It's enough to send the likes of Bob Vila and Martha Stewart into convulsions.
If Eon finalizes on Biltmore, they'll add The Matrix Reloaded to the long list of films have been shot at at the estate. The mansion has appeared in films like 1956's The Swan with Grace Kelly, and Alec Guiness, and more recently; Being There, The Last of the Mohicans, My Fellow Americans, and Patch Adams. The manor even served as Mason Verger's home in Hannibal.
Hannibal schmannibal...the one film I remember most that was shot at Biltmore is 1980's The Private Eyes, starring Don Knotts and Tim Conway. This was one of those "Summer Movies" they played every year when I was a kid. I can't count the number of times my parents carted my friends and I off to the theater for a couple hours of cheap babysitting. That's great cinema right there folks!
-Brian Linder would love to see Don Knotts and Tim Conway in bullet-time.