The Gate (Ca), August 28, 2003
The Matrix vs. The Matrix: An Oscar Showdown?
When it comes to filmmaking - nothing has made the Oscar race stranger than the recent trend of filming a series of movies back-to-back. One example would be The Lord of the Rings series, but an even bigger challenge comes when you look at four films that will all likely be released in 2003. The Matrix: Reloaded, The Matrix: Revolutions, Kill Bill Vol. 1, and Kill Bill Vol. 2. What exactly should the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences do with multiple films that could conceivably be called one film, split in to two parts?
Well, according to the Academy, it doesn't matter how many films you shoot at once, when they're released, or how you market them - if the films are split into two parts, and obviously released separately, then they're separate films that will have to be submitted separately to the Academy.
Of course, if you're a company trying to make an impact at the Oscars (which have been moved earlier in the year, starting in 2004, to February 29th) - the concept might not be as easy as all that. Warner Bros., the company behind the Matrix films, obviously doesn't want to have to pit the second and third parts of the film against each other - mainly because that could mean one of the films won't even get a nomination. That's because the Matrix films stand the best chance in the technical categories, which often are heavily fought over and don't always even get the maximum nominations of five films.
So, what should Warner do about this conundrum - especially when the heavy-weight for the year is bound to be the final chapter of The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King?
Word is that the answer lies in simply not submitting both Matrix films for Oscar consideration and only putting The Matrix: Revolutions in the running. According to the Toronto Star, Warner has gone so far as to ask the Academy if it's even possible, and the answer is a simple yes. Just because the second film isn't submitted doesn't mean that the third can't compete.
From a fan perspective, this might also be a wise move as the second film was hardly as well received as the first, and if the word on the web is any indication, it's because the second film is really just a lead-in to the big finale in The Matrix: Revolutions.
We'll just have to wait and see though as that film won't be in theatres until November 5th.
Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 1 is scheduled for release on October 10th, but no word has been given yet on whether or not Vol. 2 will be released in 2003 or 2004.
Expect to see The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in theatres on December 17th.