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Feature: The Matrix Revolutions
As the world eagerly awaits the final instalment of The Matrix Trilogy, legendary producer Joel Silver talks to us...
During the 1980S Joel Silver not only established himself as one of the most high-profile forces in movies, but arguably one of the two men single-handedly responsible for reviving and redefining the action film genre. With such blockbusters as the Lethal Weapon and Die Hard movies under his belt, the veteran producer has created a track record that – while not devoid of flops – is dominated by the kind of movies that not only make megabucks, but have also become ingrained in the popular culture.
In many ways, Silver is a throwback to the classic Hollywood producer – larger than life, explosively energetic, and willing to take chances that would make most studio executives blanch. The chance he took with the Wachowski Brothers, of course, extended beyond the movie screen when The Matrix became a phenomenon on its release in 1999.
Flash forward to 2003. With the second chapter of The Matrix saga hitting DVD, all eyes are turned towards the third and final instalment of the movie series – The Matrix Revolutions. It’s no surprise that speaking at the launch party for The Matrix Reloaded DVD, Silver keeps a tight lip about the next film. But when asked about The Matrix as a whole compared with some of the other movie series he’s been involved in, the producer points out what sets this trilogy apart. “This is the first time I’ve been involved in a movie where the story was planned to extend past the first film. I’ve been involved with a lot of movies where the picture came out, was successful, and the studio wanted to make a sequel. And we’d say, ‘But the story ended with the first movie’ and they’d say, ‘Then come up with another story’. Of course, some of those sequels have been box office successes, but not necessarily successful movies because we had to just come up with whatever would make it work.” And although the main story of 1 ends with 1, the concept’s spread into other media enables Silver to promise that there is more beyond the end without cheating or insulting the intelligence of his audience. “This was a real opportunity in the other direction, because these film-makers are big fans of serial fiction so the story they’re telling continues. And it really does continue – the end of the story doesn’t come until the end of Revolutions and it’s an incredible end to the entire saga. In spite of that, there’s still plenty left over for fans of The Matrix – in the video game and The Animatrix. There’s also going to be a multi-player game coming out from Ubisoft, designed to be played through the Internet, and that has some other things too, enough that you could play it for another year, even though the actual story ends with the third movie.”
by Jim Brooks
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