The Matrix: About The Production

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The comic-book and graphic-novel culture has long examined the dramatic possibilities of alternate realities - places where the laws of physics, biology or time are made to be broken. Larry and Andy Wachowski grew up exploring ideas that challenge the current perceptions of reality, and they began their writing careers developing those ideas. "The Matrix" grew out of the unconventional literature that they read and wrote, as well as their long-time interest in and knowledge of classic mythology and legend. Say the brothers, "We believe passionately in the importance of mythology and the way it informs culture."

Their ideas were further refined through their exploration of the developing world of the Internet. For writers and filmmakers who have come of age after the emergence of personal computers, the online universe is both an exciting and fertile new avenue of creative expression, and a ubiquitous and somewhat sinister element of contemporary life. The Wachowskis explored both sides of the technological revolution when they created The Matrix. Say the Wachowskis, "We began with the premise that every single thing we believe in today and every single physical item is actually a total fabrication created by an electronic universe." The brothers developed this disturbing thought into an intricate story that blends action, stylish imagery and a complex consideration of what actually constitutes reality.

The Wachowskis continue, "Throughout history there have been people who have sought deeper meaning from life and have come to astonishing revelations. In this story we wanted to show what happens to a small group of people who ask questions that have very shocking answers. We wanted their discoveries to be the beginning of the story, not the end; what interested us is what those people would do once their awareness was expanded by what they had learned."

Although the Wachowski brothers first gained widespread attention and critical accolades when they wrote and directed the dark romantic heist thriller, "Bound," they had already written "The Matrix" before they began working on "Bound." They sent their completed script to producer Joel Silver, who has explored alternative futures in such hit movies as "Predator" and "Demolition Man." He was immediately fascinated and acquired the property.

Explains Silver, "'The Matrix' is a very complex story; it takes place in the future but it is told in the present. Larry and Andy have spent years fine-tuning the script so the audience can accept and understand this story. Very rarely do you find filmmakers who know so exactly what they want and are as decisive as these two guys."

The filmmakers' plan for the movie was to combine their provocative dramatic premise with images, effects and action that would truly astound audiences, and fight scenes using Asian cinematic techniques of wire fighting that would break new ground with their intensity and style. Further, the Wachowskis sought out cutting-edge camera techniques to enable them to render entire sequences in ways that action films have never been seen before.

But before they could bring their vision to life, they needed to choose and prepare their cast.

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