How low can you go
Matrix helicopter stunt revealed
A HELICOPTER will fly at low level through Sydney's CBD next month in one of the most spectacular aerial movie scenes ever filmed.
The stunt for the $200 million sequel to the 1999 blockbuster The Matrix will take at least two days to film.
The helicopter will fly below rooftop level from the eastern end of Bridge St towards George St in what insiders say is the climactic scene of The Matrix Reloaded.
The scene will be shot over at least one, and possibly two, weekends in July.
Stars Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne, who have been fixtures in Sydney's social scene for almost a year, are not expected to be involved in the shoot, which is reminiscent of the jaw-dropping helicopter sequences in the first Matrix.
Details of the stunt are being closely guarded, with directors Larry and Andy Wachowski fearing other studios could steal their ideas.
Producer Joel Silver last month said filming was about to enter a critical stage.
"The most complicated sequence of the movie will not start shooting for two or three weeks," he said.
"That is a 14-minute sequence that is the most complicated sequence ever put on film."
The Wachowskis will meet officials from the Premier's Department on Tuesday to discuss safety details.
Most of the streets surrounding the stunt will be closed to the public.
"We want to keep encouraging international film-making in Sydney, but we have to balance that with ensuring the safety of the public," a spokesman for Premier Bob Carr said.
It is not the first time the area around Bridge St has been used for helicopter stunts – Tom Cruise (or, at least, his stunt double) rappelled from a helicopter on to Governor Macquarie Tower for one scene in Mission: Impossible II.
The Matrix Reloaded shot several scenes around the tower in May, as well as at other locations around Sydney including St James Station and White Bay power station.
The film will be released in May next year, with a second sequel, The Matrix Revolutions, released seven months later, in December.
The first film was a huge "sleeper" hit. Made in Australia for about $100 million, it grossed almost $1 billion worldwide after video and DVD sales.