The pre-Matrix sequel hype started really heating up in 2002. Among other things, this resulted in many awesome speculations on what would happen in the two films, including supposed insider information that turned out to be very, very wrong. (I still want to know what happened to that film with the 100 Neo clones.)
One of my favourite things in this section are the set reports and sequel trivia that regular people would submit to websites to aid their efforts to construct a picture of what the movies would be like. I love the enthusiasm that so many fans displayed: their palpable excitement really comes through, and shows just how much they were anticipating the Matrix sequels. (Possibly for the worst – standards were set far too high, and the final films could not quite deliver for many of these people.)
I have also gained a far greater appreciation for the sequels since learning about the effort that so many people put into their development. There was a lot of love and commitment involved.
In many ways, I think that the hype leading up to the Matrix sequels was as much a part of the Matrix phenomenon as the actual trilogy and related productions. There was the flurry of excitement that followed every new picture or plot tidbit, the wild speculations of what would happen next, the long hours spent camping out at spots where the sequels were rumoured to be filming...
This is fandom.