IGN (US), August 27, 2001
Matrix Reloaded Star Dies in Plane Crash
Death of singer Aaliyah adds more turmoil to an already troubled shooting schedule.
At 6:50 PM Saturday, August 25th, a small plane carrying R&B singer and actress Aaliyah crashed while attempting to take off from a an airport in the Bahamas. The singer, star of the Jet Li film Romeo Must Die, the upcoming Queen of the Damned & Matrix Reloaded, was killed when the plane burst into flames after crashing 200 feet from the runway. There were no survivors. According to early reports, Aaliyah had been in the Bahamas shooting a music video. It has been speculated that the weight of the equipment they were bringing back to the US may have contributed to the crash of the chartered Cessna. Another report pointed to the possiblity of engine failure. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
The tragic death of one of its stars has possibly thrown the future of the 2 Matrix sequels into doubt. Aaliyah was to have played a major character in both films, according to sources involved with the films. There has not been any word from the Wachowskis or Warner Brothers concerning the fate of The Matrix Reloaded or its sequel but the singer's part was reportedly 80% complete. A press release on Monday from the studio did not address the issue but did send condolences to the families of all aboard the ill-fated flight.
22-year-old Aaliyah had a promising film career underway at the time of her death. After appearing with Jet Li in Romeo Must Die, the actress won the title role in the film adaptation of Anne Rice's Queen of the Damned. That film, originally scheduled for release this year, had been pushed back to mid-2002. The singer had been working on Matrix Reloaded, the sequel to the hit The Matrix. She was also attached to star in Universal's Move!, based on the life of choreographer and dance teacher Kim Gidart, who put together a dance troupe made up entirely of offenders from L.A. County's Juvenile Hall. Another project in development for the actress was the Whitney Houston-produced remake of the 1973 film Sparkle, titled Dreamgirls. Sadly, none of these will now come to pass.