15 Mind-Blowing Facts About The Matrix Revolutions

Warner Bros. Ent
Warner Bros. Ent

With a sleek style and a sharp twist on the “humanity vs. machines” plot, 1999’s The Matrix cemented itself as one of the most important sci-fi movies of the decade. The story laid down by the Wachowskis was perfect for an ongoing franchise, and it soon expanded into video games, anime, and comics. Then, in 2003, the original film was followed by two sequels: The Matrix Reloaded and the storyline’s grand finale, The Matrix Revolutions.

In the end, the trilogy went on to gross well over $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office and helped inspire a new generation of sci-fi movies in the process. Find out more about the creation of the franchise’s swan song as we look at 15 facts about The Matrix Revolutions on its 15th anniversary.

1. THE MATRIX RELOADED AND THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS WERE SHOT BACK-TO-BACK.

In order to save on massive production costs, Warner Bros. didn’t take a break between the filming of the second and third Matrix movies. Not counting pre- and post-production time, 270 days were spent shooting the two films.

2. THE NAME OF THE MOVIE WASN’T DECIDED UNTIL AFTER SHOOTING.

The temporary production name of the movie was Burly Man.

3. AS A MARKETING STRATEGY, THE MOVIE WAS RELEASED WORLDWIDE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME.

It came out simultaneously in more than 50 countries, premiering at 6 a.m. in Los Angeles, 9 a.m. in New York City, 2 p.m. in London, 5 p.m. in Moscow, 11 p.m. in Tokyo, and so on.

4. THE FILM WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE WITHOUT A LOT OF MOVIE MAGIC.

In addition to cutting-edge CGI technology, the production included the use of some impressive miniatures, such as the dock door of Zion, which was a 1/10th-scale model. Still, the scale of the door was astonishing as this "miniature" was 30 feet high and 40 feet wide.

5. THE PRODUCTION TOOK ITS RESEARCH TO NEW HEIGHTS.

In order to reference what fighting in zero gravity would look like for the movie’s final fight, the filmmakers actually shot screen tests with stuntmen on reduced gravity airplanes. No actual zero-G footage was used in the final film.

6. NEW TECHNOLOGY WAS CREATED FOR THE FIGHT SCENES.

A custom telescoping rig called the “Tuning Fork” was created to enable one or two stuntmen to twirl multiple times in mid-air while fighting one another.

7. AN UNTIMELY DEATH ALTERED THE SCRIPT.

Keanu Reeves and Mary Alice in The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
Jasin Boland , Warner Bros. Entertainment

Gloria Foster, the actress who played the Oracle in the first and second movies, passed away while shooting the third film. She was replaced by actress Mary Alice and the change was added to the plot of the movie.

8. R&B SINGER AALIYAH WAS ORIGINALLY SUPPOSED TO PLAY ZEE.

In another tragic turn of events, the character Zee was recast after Aaliyah, who shot small portions of the role for the second movie, died in a plane crash in 2001. Nona Gaye, daughter of singer Marvin Gaye, ultimately played Zee.

9. CAPTAIN MIFUNE’S NAME IS A NOD TO TOSHIRO MIFUNE.

Toshiro Mifune’s samurai movies (Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, etc.) were major inspirations for the Wachowskis while making the Matrix trilogy, so to honor him, the character Mifune was created.

10. THE ARMORED PERSONNEL UNIT DESIGNS WERE MODELED AFTER GORILLAS.

Though most of these mechanized walkers were CGI, one 14-foot-tall practical APU was built for the movie. It was so big, a crane had to bring it through the back of the set where it was then fully assembled.

11. THE DESIGN OF THE MACHINE CITY WAS INSPIRED BY CORAL REEFS.

The thousands of machine inhabitants were meant to look like crustaceans.

12. THE WACHOWSKIS TURNED TO FAMILY IN DESIGNING THE DEUS EX MACHINA.

Keanu Reeves in The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
Warner Bros. Entertainment

The “God Machine” face was modeled after the Wachowskis’s own infant nephew. The child was filmed performing a number of facial expressions, and the sentinel swarms were then animated to recreate them for the character Deus Ex Machina. The character was voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.

13. ALL THE SHIP INTERIORS WERE SHOT ON A SINGLE SET.

Only the cables and hardware were changed to differentiate the ships.

14. A NEW SOUND EFFECTS LIBRARY WAS CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THE MOVIE.

The fighting sound effects were taken from recording sessions featuring two jiu-jitsu pros sparring with each other.

15. SOME OF THE EXTRAS IN THE FINAL FIGHT SCENE WERE REAL DUMMIES.

The close-up shots of the Agent Smiths looking on during the climactic fight are a mixture of 100 dummies and 50 extras wearing suits and specially molded masks all made to look like actor Hugo Weaving.

8 Sequels That Received Oscar Nominations for Best Picture

Jasin Boland, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Jasin Boland, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

It’s rare when a movie sequel manages to stand up to the original entry in a film series. Even rarer? When a sequel is so good that it nabs an Oscars nomination for Best Picture. Here are eight movies that did just that.

1. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

When Mad Max: Fury Road was released in theaters in 2015, no one thought that it would be a critical darling—or an awards contender . But when the Academy Award nominations were announced in 2016, the latest entry in George Miller’s Mad Max franchise earned a whopping 10 nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. Fury Road is the fourth installment in the series and was the first to hit theaters in 30 years (since the release of 1985’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome). It’s also the first movie in the franchise to receive any recognition from the Academy.

2. Toy Story 3 (2010)

A still from 'Toy Story 3' (2010)
Disney/Pixar

In 2011, Toy Story 3 was nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Animated Feature. Though The King’s Speech ended up taking the night’s top prize, Toy Story 3 (which was named Best Animated Feature) made history that night, as it was the third ever animated movie to score a Best Picture nod; 1991’s Beauty and the Beast and 2009’s Up are the other two films to earn the same accolade.

3. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

Although the first two installments in The Lord of the Rings trilogy—2001’s The Fellowship of the Ring and 2002’s The Two Towers—were each nominated for Best Picture, it was the final movie that ended up winning the Academy Award in 2004. In fact, The Return of the King won 11 Oscars that year, sweeping every category in which it was nominated, and tying Ben-Hur and Titanic for the most awards received in one night.

4. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

In 2003, The Two Towers won two of the six Oscars for which it was nominated, for Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects. Rob Marshall’s musical Chicago beat it out for Best Picture.  

5. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter in 'The Silence of the Lambs' (1991)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

In 1992, The Silence of the Lambs made a clean sweep of the “Big Five” categories: Best Picture, Best Director for Jonathan Demme, Best Actor for Sir Anthony Hopkins, Best Actress for Jodie Foster, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Ted Tally. Although The Silence of the Lambs isn’t a direct sequel to Michael Mann’s 1986 film Manhunter, it’s based on the sequel novel to author Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon, on which Manhunter was based. It also features the character Hannibal Lecter in a major role, who was played by Brian Cox in Manhunter—before Hopkins made the role his own. Got that?

6. The Godfather: Part III (1990)

Though it’s often considered the far inferior film in The Godfather trilogy, The Godfather: Part III received seven Academy Award nominations in 1991, including Best Picture and Best Director for Francis Ford Coppola. Ultimately, it lost to Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves, making it the only installment in The Godfather Saga not to win a Best Picture Oscar.

7. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

Al Pacino in 'The Godfather: Part II' (1974)
Paramount Pictures

In 1975, The Godfather: Part II became the first sequel in Oscar history to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. It won the coveted award two years after the original film was named Best Picture. The sequel was nominated for a total of 11 Oscars, with three separate nominations in the Best Supporting Actor category alone: one for Michael Vincenzo Gazzo (who played Frankie Pentangeli) and Lee Strasberg (as Hyman Roth), and one for Robert De Niro, who took home the statuette for playing the younger version of Vito Corleone.

8. The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)

Though it lost Best Picture to Billy Wilder’s The Lost Weekend at the 1946 Oscars, The Bells of St. Mary’s is the first movie sequel to be nominated for the Academy’s biggest prize. The film is a sequel to Leo McCarey’s previous film, 1944’s Going My Way, which won the Oscar for Best Picture a year earlier. While Going My Way and The Bells of St. Mary’s feature different stories and casts, Bing Crosby stars in both movies as Father Chuck O'Malley.

An earlier version of this article ran in 2016.

James Cameron Directed Entourage's Aquaman, But He Could Never Direct the Real One

Tommaso Boddi, Getty Images for AMC
Tommaso Boddi, Getty Images for AMC

Oscar-winning director James Cameron is no stranger to CGI. With movies like Avatar under his belt, you’d expect Cameron to find a particular sort of enjoyment in special effects-heavy movies like James Wan's Aquaman. But Cameron—who directed the fictional version of Aquaman featuring fictional movie star Vinnie Chase in the very real HBO series Entourage—has a little trouble with suspension of disbelief.

In a recent interview with Yahoo!, Cameron said that while he did enjoy Aquaman, he would never have been able to direct the movie itself because of its lack of realism.

"I think it’s great fun,” Cameron said. “I never could have made that film, because it requires this kind of total dreamlike disconnection from any sense of physics or reality. People just kind of zoom around underwater, because they propel themselves mentally, I guess, I don’t know. But it’s cool! You buy it on its own terms.”

"I’ve spent thousands of hours underwater," the Titanic director went on to say. "While I can enjoy that film, I don’t resonate with it because it doesn’t look real.”

While Aquaman was shot on a soundstage, Cameron will be employing state-of-the-art technology that will allow him to actually be underwater while shooting underwater scenes for his upcoming Avatar sequels.

[h/t Yahoo!]

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