The first of two upcoming Matrix sequels — slated for a Christmas 2002 release — has been given an official name: The Matrix: Reloaded. Both pics are being shot simultaneously, which makes sense considering executive producer Joel Silver describes them as "essentially one movie shown in two halves."
Certainly, Silver — whose credits include four Lethal Weapon films, two Die Hards and two Predators — knows his way around a sequel. But the two-time Razzie award winner insists that the second and third Matrix chapters won't be your standard issue follow-ups.
"[Writer-directors Larry and Andy Wachowski] wrote The Matrix as a long story," explains Silver, whose latest project, the John Travolta crime thriller Swordfish, opens June 8. "They wanted to tell a superhero story, so they created this world where one could be a superhero and it would be believable, because you're in your head and you have the power to free your mind... The sequels are the story that they wanted to tell."
In fact, so impressed was Silver with the Wachowski's vision for the trilogy, that it may mean moviegoers will never see a Lethal Weapon 5. "I've really come to the conclusion that unless you can continue the story — not just make a sequel for the sake of making a sequel — I'm not into it," he confesses, adding that "I really felt The Matrix was something very, very special."