Thanks to kaz for this news from Sydney:
Matrix industry worth $200m to economy
By Garry Maddox
August 23 2002
Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss have gone home, Keanu Reeves won't be far behind and Hugo Weaving is making a mini-series in Melbourne.
After more than 200 filming days, the two sequels to The Matrix are finally finishing their Sydney shoot.
While Fox Studios has hosted some major productions since it opened - including Mission: Impossible 2 and the last Star Wars episode - The Matrix: Reloaded and The Matrix: Revolutions have been a virtual industry.
The Premier, Bob Carr, said yesterday that the "giant undertaking" involved 800 full-time and 2500 part-time jobs over 18 months. There was work for 60 actors and 10,000 days' work for extras. "The Matrix producers say the contribution to the NSW economy exceeds $200 million."
Amid secrecy, directors Larry and Andy Wachowski started work on the sequels with a 70-day shoot for two major scenes in San Francisco. Early next month, they start a further 12-week shoot back in San Francisco.
Reloaded is to open in US cinemas next May with Revolutions following in November.
Earlier this year, producer Joel Silver said the final weeks of the Sydney shoot involved "a 14-minute sequence that is the most complicated sequence ever put on film". This period included three shoots from a helicopter on consecutive Sundays to give a "canyon-like perspective" of the city around dusk.
Silver also said the sequels aimed to be about something meaningful rather than just escapist action. "It's so weird to say this but it's a treatise on our times and where we're going and how to not go there. It's about global warming and the Catholic Church. It's about all that stuff that's going on in our lives that we can't really grab on to." The sequels were not separate movies. "It is one enormous movie that's being cut in half and being shown in two halves."
Reeves, who returns as the hacker-turned-hero Neo, gave a glimpse of the plot at a press conference. "The story goes outside The Matrix and starts to concern itself with machines in Zion. [Neo] is told by the Oracle that he has - it's not a destiny - choices that he will have to make that will affect the survival of the human race."
As well as Weaving, the Australian actors in the sequels include Robyn Nevin, Steve Bastoni and Lachy Hulme.
WHEEEEEE! He's coming home!!!
I don't know why but I just feel better when he's not half a world away.
| from inside the mind of krix at August 22, 2002 04:01 PM
Here's another link from kaz, too (I think it's basically the same news, focusing more on the positive effect to Aus. economy)