IGN (US), August 9, 2001
The Matrix Won't Reload Until 2003
by Paul Davidson
Fans eagerly awaiting the next Matrix film are in for a disappointment - they're going to have to wait an extra year. Producer Joel Silver has told Sci-Fi Wire that the release of the first sequel, The Matrix Reloaded, probably won't occur now until 2003. It had originally been hoped that the film could be released around Christmas 2002, possibly going head-to-head with New Line's second LOTR installment, The Two Towers.
Silver said "you'll see" when asked if this rescheduling would push back the Matrix 3 release as well. He was also quick to make assurances that the delay is simply meant to benefit the quality of both films. "It's a staggering project," said Silver. "There's so much dealing with it, it's unbelievable, and they just need time to finish both movies, because we're shooting them as one big movie. It's not back-to-back. It's one movie, so they'll finish shooting it, and then they'll take the time to finish the movies."
Silver's comments fit in with what Laurence Fishburne told IGN FilmForce's own Steve Head at the Montreal premiere of Osmosis Jones. Fishburne said that he's booked for Matrix sequel shooting "through 2002. Yeah, we won't be finished before the middle of 2002." For the entirety of Fishburne's comments, check out our video interview. Considering the number of special effects that will have to be completed after they're done filming, - even if they do get done mid-2002 - 2003 sounds like a much more reasonable time-frame for release of the film.
In other news, Ain't It Cool News reports that not only are Matrix melee scenes being choreographed Oriental-style, Neo and Company may be wielding some Oriental steel as well. Some comments dropped at Oriental Weapons.com state that bona fide katanas (Musashi Miyamoto Daisho katanas to be exact, try saying that five times quickly) have been used as props on the Matrix set. I for one would love to see Neo or one of his buddies deflecting bullets with a sword like some Hong Kong kung fu action hero.