Dramas break out over sci-fi thriller
Buzz is continuing to build around the two "Matrix" sequels, which star Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss and Jada Pinkett Smith. So is talk of back-office bickering between Warner Bros. and filmmaking brothers Andy and Larry Wachowski.
Studio President Alan Horn is said to have clashed with the writing-directing duo over their stubborn devotion to hardcore fans of their sci-fi fantasy films.
Let's start with the ratings. Warner Bros. execs are hoping for a PG-13, but graphic fight sequences caused the MPAA to slap the first sequel, "The Matrix Reloaded," with an R.
"Alan Horn blames the brothers for not budging on the head-kicking scenes," a source tells us. "He also thinks they didn't lobby the MPAA hard enough."
Then there's the release dates. "Reloaded" comes out May 15. The studio wants No. 3, "The Matrix Revolutions" to hit theaters in November or December. The Wachowskis want it released in July, we hear.
"The brothers wanted to give the fans a one-two punch," says our insider. "They figured it would be a year dominated by 'The Matrix' - followed by a triple DVD anthology released at Christmas."
The Wachowskis also are said to be fighting to get a "Revolutions" trailer screened at the end of "Reloaded."
"They want it to follow the credits, which run about nine minutes," says the insider. "The Warners execs say nobody's going to wait nine minutes to see it."
To get their way, the Wachowskis are said to be resorting to a work slowdown.
"The brothers are taking their time putting in all the special effects," says our spy. "They're trying to make the Warner Bros. people sweat" the "Revolutions" deadline.
A Warner spokeswoman insists all this tension is fiction.
"They're working overtime to get it done on time," says the rep.