20 years of "The Matrix": the history of success of the film that changed cinema
Cinema / / December 19, 2019
The premiere of the legendary film took place March 24, 1999. And it seems today that "The Matrix" was doomed to success, and the producers and the actors stood in line just to take part in the work on the painting. However, in the mid-nineties it looked different: an ambitious and expensive project from the beginning, the obscure writers had every chance to fail.
And sisters Lilly and Lana Wachowski (at that time still Larry and Andy's brothers, later, both authors have replaced the floor) I have long to prove to the producers and the studio that they can shoot blockbusters that will please viewer.
Early career Wachowski
Wachowski childhood addicted to comics and anime. Failing college, they even worked for a while at a construction site, but then settled in Marvel. They came up with the script comics to lots and Ectokid Hellraiser Clive Barker.
A parallel dreamed of someday create your own design. Gradually on the basis of their favorite stories from the comics and cartoons and conceived the idea of the scenario of a world where people live in a global computer program.
And it appeared in the minds of future directors of "The Matrix" - the story of favorites, which is headed by the war against the machines of people who have created a simulation of everyday life. However, according to the original idea people are not just power the computer power and served as part of a huge neural network. Later on this abandoned. But the complexity of the ideas at that time was not the only problem the authors.
It was not easy to break into Hollywood. Wachowski duo initially tried to attract producers with their scripts. Some attempts failed, but soon they were able to sell a story about cannibals, and the idea of the film adaptation of the comic book "Plastic Man". Both of these projects had not hit the screens, so you can only imagine how talented Wachowski wrote at the time.
Their first work, which was published, was the film "Blood Money" with Sylvester Stallone and Antonio Banderas. But director Richard Donner, who undertook to remove it (initially interested in painting Mel Gibson), hired a new screenwriter to rewrite a significant part of the script. According to rumors, the Wachowski even want to have their names removed from the credits of the picture, as the story turned out to be flawed.
Perhaps this is what prompted the talented duo shoot his major project on their own - any other director could drastically change the plot. But to begin with was to find a studio and financing, as thriller in an atmosphere of cyberpunk clearly it was very expensive.
Even during the work on the "assassins" Wachowski showed Lorenzo di Bonaventura from Warner Bros. and founder of Silver Pictures Joel Silver script of "The Matrix." The idea of painting interested producers, but they are afraid to just give a lot of money in the hands of beginners.
To begin, the authors were asked to create a cheaper film to prove their talent and ability to take interesting and beautiful. As a result, in 1996, the duo wrote and neonuarnuyu film "Contact" with a budget of just $ 4.5 million.
In wide release film is not allowed, restricting only festival screenings. However, his goal he has achieved. Painting "Communication" won the grand prize on a fantastic festival Fantasporto, LGBT festival GLAAD, as well as by the US National Board of Review. Moreover, multiple winning and noted themselves Wachowski.
Development of "The Matrix"
Problems with the budget
Proving the producers, that they deserve the support of the project, the duo has received funding and set to work. But here, everything went very smoothly. According to estimates Wachowski, production took more than $ 80 million - a considerable sum for the nineties.
For comparison, the "Star Wars. Episode I: The Phantom Menace ", released in the same year with" The Matrix ", worth 115 million. But the space saga has had a huge fan base, the scene in space, the famous director and a host of stars in the cast.
In order to somehow reduce the cost of production, the Wachowski suggested moving shooting from the USA to Australia, where the space rental cost several times cheaper. As a result, the overall budget of the project amounted to slightly more than $ 60 million, but only 10 have allocated for the start of the poster. All of them went to the shooting of the first eight minutes of the picture. However, the results so impressed the studio, the producers immediately issued the rest.
In order to attract the audience, to the role of elected Neo wanted to take any bright star. Considered candidates Ewan McGregor, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio and many others. But all of them for various reasons, refused. For example, DiCaprio was afraid that too many special effects kill the whole actor's game, and Nicolas Cage did not want to go on shooting in Australia.
After that negotiated with Will Smith. But he also did not agree, exchanging the offer to play in the "Matrix" for the lead role in the movie "Wild Wild West." In February 2019 Smith spoke about the reasons for such action on its YouTube-channel.
The actor did not want to star in the pilot project from the beginning directors. And the creator of the "Wild, Wild West" Barry Sonnenfeld at that time were already behind "The Addams Family," "get Shorty"And" Men in Black ". And at that time it was difficult to predict that "The Matrix" will become a worldwide phenomenon, and a new film Sonnenfeld barely pay for expenses.
That's the real pitch of "The Matrix", which sounded to me: "Dude, imagine you deroshsya, and then jump. Imagine that you can stop in the middle of a jump. And then the audience can look at you from all sides, until you jump. We will make the camera that will show the whole jump from all angles. "
And I went to the "Wild Wild West."
But according to Smith, if Neo turned to black, then the role of Morpheus would surely have white (studio really look closely to Velu Kilmer). And it would "break" the Matrix "."
One of the interesting candidates for the role of Neo remained only Johnny Depp and Keanu Reeves. And the producers have chosen Reeves, who had recently redeveloped from the stars of the youth cinema in a serious actor. Especially since he has already managed to play very close in spirit to the movie "Johnny Mnemonic".
So he at that time behind was more interesting roles than Depp. However, one drawback: Reeves in the movie never said more than five sentences in a row. And "The Matrix" was conceived meant not only the abundance of fights, but long dialogues. However, we have decided that this shortcoming is easily recovered and the actor have enough talent for dramatic roles.
Also, according to rumors, Morpheus could play Gary Oldman and Samuel L. Jackson. The role of Agent Smith offered Jean Reno, but he, like Nicolas Cage did not want to go to Australia and chose to star in "Godzilla". And by the way, is ironic that one of the first prominent roles Carrie-Anne Moss, who played Trinity, was the series "The Matrix" in 1993, however, quite a different subject. The actress is considered a sign and went to the casting.
Now we can only dream, as it could have been the fate of the film, and specific actors, if the producers decided otherwise. Or you can search for the fans' videos that help you visualize different options.
But the final composition is known to all. Keanu Reeves played Neo, Laurence Fishburne - Morpheus Carrie-Anne Moss - Trinity, and Hugo Weaving - Agent Smith.
Changes in the script, and the study of new technologies
As mentioned above, the idea of "The Matrix" Wachowski came up during the years before the start of the real work on the film. About five years, they wrote the script and come up with more than a dozen options. And yet, after a meeting with the producers of the authors had to finish off the story: they believed that the script simply no one will understand. To realize the idea of Joel Silver, the duo had to explain that it would be "like"Ghost in armor", Only live".
Now the film's plot is known to almost everyone. Office worker and a hacker Thomas Anderson learns that the world around - a matrix simulation created by machines. Morpheus and Trinity helped him get into the real world, where people have long been only batteries to power computers. But according to the old legend, there exists a Chosen One who will destroy the Matrix and free humanity.
Wachowski had to abandon the idea of a global neural network, which is created by people connected to the Matrix - they did just a source of power (based on the original story by Neil Gaiman wrote the story "Goliath").
The rest of the writers and producers have found a compromise, scattered throughout the film hints at sources of inspiration. So, at the beginning of the Neo hides the disc in the book "Simulacra and Simulation" by Jean Baudrillard.
The ideas of the philosopher Baudrillard talks about the very concept of reality, and served as a kind of foundation of "The Matrix". Ironically, the writer in 2004 declared The Matrix Decoded: Le Nouvel Observateur Interview With Jean Baudrillard in an interview that the filmmakers still misunderstood.
However, at the time the picture is "Simulacra and Simulation" were given as required reading all the actors, to better understand the meaning of the script.
Preparation and fight
But one only theoretical training is not limited. Having been in the hands of a large budget and great actors, Wachowski decided to do everything at the highest level. For staging fights decided to hire the famous director Yuen Woo-Ping, who has removed "Drunken Master" with Jackie Chan and "Two warriors" with Jet Li.
Maitre demanded to give him full control over the training of actors, the Wachowski agreed. As a result, all the key cast almost half a year studying martial arts. Keanu Reeves earned even in training by cervical dislocation, and therefore work on the action with his participation was moved to the end of filming.
Then Carrie-Anne Moss is still in the early stages of work on the painting injured leg, but was afraid that she would find a replacement, and long concealed this fact. Yes, and the other actors had problems: Laurence Fishburne injured his hand in a fight with Hugo Weaving, and while filming the final fight Neo and Agent Smith stunt two injured.
Location, technology and savvy
Despite the fact that the shooting moved to Australia, the effect of the painting is still happening in the United States. Therefore, the authors tried to not include any frame recognizable landmark from Sydney, where the main job held.
And in order to save the budget, to invent unusual and ingenious solutions. For example, in the scene with the girl in red to show the imperfection of the simulation, on the background of a pair of flashing people with the same individuals. But this is not computer graphics. Just for the film found a few pairs of twins.
Introducing Neo and Trinity filmed at Sydney's BDSM club The Hell Fire, and most of the extras - patrons of this establishment in his own clothes. This allowed not to spend money on the dresser.
Throughout the Sydney there was not a single location, similar to the American ghetto. And dark alleys had to be built in the studio. But here, we found how to save: Use decorations from other Australian films.
For example, the staircase and the roof, which appear at the beginning of the picture, stayed with the filming of "Dark City" in 1998. What is interesting, the authors of "The Matrix" is sometimes accused of plot copying this film, even though their development was almost parallel.
All of these savings were needed in order to invest maximum effort and resources in the development of technologies and complex shooting action. In order to create the most unusual visual range, which so frightened Will Smith, Wachowski and master Special Effects John Gaeta (already received the "Oscar" for the film "What Dreams May Come") had to invent a new principle filming.
We are talking about well-known technology, known as bullet time, when time seemed to stop and the actor stops and the camera at the same time moving around. At first just wanted to use mannequins and move the camera at high speed (even offered miniature jet engines). But after a couple of failed attempts Wachowski realized that we needed a completely different approach.
time slice technology at that time was already known. At least the artist Tim MacMillan showed it in his work already in 1993. Yet it is in the "Matrix" it entered into the overall plot and action, moving to a new level of quality.
The essence of the bullet time is as follows: background, where it will take place the action, remove conventional cameras and digitized. Then comes the turn actorsWhich are fixed on special ropes.
They are continuously removed from all sides of 120 cameras. This allows you to show the frozen man from all viewpoints. Using the following pictures, you can gradually "move" character, while moving the virtual camera.
Despite the fact that much of the work takes place on the computer, it is a very time consuming process. The frame rate in such scenes as high as 12 000 per second - as opposed to the traditional 24.
But the unusual visual manifested not only in the action scenes. Wachowski would like to emphasize the difference between the virtual and the real world. To do this, all the action taking place in the Matrix, filmed through a green filter, avoiding purely blue. And all shooting real post-apocalyptic world, on the contrary, it is shown in bluish tones. Pure green color appears here only in the form of a code on the screen.
In the Matrix, all the characters are stylish leather suits and goggles, which clearly contrasts with the simple gray dress in reality. And in order to more strongly emphasize the difference, in the filming of the scene where Neo out of the Matrix, Keanu Reeves, shaved hair and eyebrows, and has lost 7 kilos.
Even the ship "Nebuchadnezzar" shows the most sloppy, with protruding wires and mechanisms, emphasizing that in the real world is more important than functionality entourage.
Moreover, if disassemble each component of filming and visual series "The Matrix", we can say that the Wachowski have not invented anything new. Staging fights comes from Asian militants, bullet time - from advertising ideas - from fiction. They simply have combined all this, adding relevance and advanced technologies. But it is precisely this combination gave an explosive result conquered all viewers.
Sources of inspiration and deeper meaning
After the release of "The Matrix", many are skeptical-minded people have stated that the Wachowski merely repeated the ideas of the classics. Some have even argued about stealing scenes.
In fact, the authors have taken the concept of the illusory nature of the world, about which he wrote even Plato in the seventh book of the "state". Science fiction is also a recycled idea and adapted to fiction.
Similar stories can be found, for example, Philip K. Dick ( "Ubik") or William Gibson ( "Neuromancer"). Later, they got up to the movie. You can recall the "Truman Show" and "Open Your Eyes" (from which then took off, "Vanilla Sky").
About intelligent characters computer simulations told film "Nirvana". On the control, going from the TV - "Videodrome" Cronenberg. The tablet, which allows to get out of the fictional world in real, - "Total Recall" with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Moreover, as early as 1976 in the legendary TV series "Doctor Who"Showed a supercomputer, in which the" live "all the dead masters of the time. Needless to say that the computer was called "The Matrix."
So, in fact, the idea for years just in the air, and the Wachowski did not deny this. Not for nothing in the film directly show the book "Simulacra and Simulation" and then mention the White Rabbit from "Alice in Wonderland" (the same illusory world, only in a dream). And further reference will meet several times to different sources.
Of "Ghost in the Shell" came the famous characters, "current" on the screen. By the way, as it turned outThat Trippy Green Code in 'The Matrix' Is Just a Bunch of Sushi RecipesArtist of "The Matrix" is simply scanned them from a Japanese cookbook, and then shuffled in random order.
At the beginning of the movie Neo lives in a room with the number 101, which clearly refers to the dystopia "1984" Orwell. In the room with this number of people were tortured and forced to give up the belief. A scene from Oracle, which brings together talented children, apparently taken from the anime "Akira".
There is even a whole collection of matching ideas and scenes, as well as sites The Matrix WikiStudying the sending of "The Matrix". Yet apart from the fact that the Wachowski were able to submit it in the form of a Hollywood blockbuster, has in their film and one more difference.
Most of the paintings devoted to the theme artificial worldFixated only on the main character. Around him, illusions, and only he is trying to escape reality. "The Matrix" also showed that the simulation got everything.
The idea that a virtual reality, where we shoot at the giant robots, the real, and our world is a boring office - invented simulation. Agree, nothing tempting this idea is inconceivable.
Of course, this is what attracted many spectators. "The Matrix" and its dynamic visuals into the world, like computer games, but at the same time It raises questions on the philosophical themes that were previously difficult the lot of fiction and copyright movie.
The success and continuation
At the end of March 1999 in California, the premiere of the film, a week later he came in wide distribution and immediately made a bombshell. Shestidesyatimillionnye costs of production paid off literally for two weekends. After another two weeks, profits doubled and the film was released in the plus.
Total picture has collected 463.5 million dollars, and after the release of the film on DVD has sold more than three million in the US alone. And all this against the background of praise from critics and academics who vied were talking about the revolution and the new word in the film.
"The Matrix" was nominated for "Oscar" in four technical categories, and all she has won, leaving its main competitor "Star Wars. Episode I »without winning. MTV and "Saturn" noted the major awards actors and the Wachowski instantly became the best directors of the year.
The idea of a trilogy
Of course, the rules of Hollywood such success meant that the film necessarily We need to continue. Around the idea of sequels disputes go so far. According to some sources, the Wachowski originally immediately made plans for three films and therefore left the ending open. According to other information, the whole idea of the trilogy they fit in the first part - the story was supposed to end the "degeneration" of Neo, the Chosen One has become.
Be that as it may, the development started immediately by two sequels: "Reset" and "revolution." Moreover, the authors wanted to release them with a difference of just a few weeks, as it is, in fact, there was one story, divided into two parts. But, of course, the producers could not prevent it by avoiding the box office interference. Therefore, despite the fact that the pictures filmed almost simultaneously, in 2003 rolled them out with a difference of six months.
History continued to chat event "The Matrix" Neo gained superpowers and become a real Messiah (as evidenced by even his new suit, like a priest's robe). Agent Smith broke free from the control of the Matrix and now seeks to destroy it. And at the same time in the real world to the human city Zion planning to attack army vehicles.
Production budgets sequels have grown more than twice. After the success of the Wachowski got our hands literally any technology and tools. Alone machines provided by General Motors, smashed about 300 pieces. For filming chase scene built a separate three-lane highway.
The third part of the same survey only 14-minute battle between humans and machines have allocated 40 million dollars, which was at that time the most expensive The fight scenes in the movie.
But, unfortunately, the scope of action and philosophy heavily damaged painting. With all the technological, the first part still seemed more profound film, where every action the characters determines the further development of the plot.
Sequels also brought the usual sci-fi thriller. In addition to meeting with the Architect scene of Neo, who tells him about the Matrix unit and predestined fate Favorites, a large part of the plot of the second and third parts - a fight with villains heroes.
And just it looks final. He disappeared from the whole ambiguity of the idea of the illusory nature of the world. Global War of people and vehicles has led to a fight between good and evil characters. Battle Scene Neo and Smith in the rain impressive. She filmed a half months, pouring of the special arrangements for a ton of water per day.
But the very idea - is the most simplified allegory of the struggle between good and evil. Although in the final if the authors came back to the original idea, the first-in-picture mixing restarted Matrix blue and green color as a symbol of agreement between the two worlds.
However, this did not prevent the second and third part of the "Matrix" become hits rolled. They just collected a huge amount of the first weekends, and show the world with more than paid for the enormous costs of production and special effects.
Yet even to this day, many fans believe that "The Matrix" was end quite differently.
Theories about the "final secret" and the true meaning of "The Matrix"
After the release of the final part of the Internet and even the office smoking room flooded discuss the true value of the picture. We are offering all kinds of interpretations - from the philosophical to the humorous.
The matrix in the matrix
Conversations do not cease to this day, and eventually even appeared myth Matrix: unknown final the "final secret" movie. Ostensibly Wachowski originally wanted to complete the picture is more pessimistic, but the producers made their final change, adding to a happy ending. There are even stories that the authors themselves have told the fans about it on some kind of a meeting.
Of course, there is no evidence for this. There is only an interesting theory fans' Matrix in a Matrix theoryThat in fact, no Neo or Morpheus never left the Matrix. And the whole city of Zion and the "real world" is just another step of a virtual simulation, created to give the illusion of dissent choice. The web can even find the detailed description of a "real" scene of the second and third films. By the way, for some reason, it is only in Russian.
If you perceive it not as "real" scenario, but as an explanation of hidden meaning, really, even in the current films, you can see hints of such a denouement.
Neo strangely shows in the real world supernormalSimilar to those that were with him in the Matrix. Agent Smith somehow moved to the real human body and "lives" in it even without being connected to the program.
And in the end, already blinded Neo begins to "see" the real world just as he saw the code of the Matrix, but this time in orange tones. Perhaps Wachowski really wanted to say that all the characters are still in their pods.
But there are others in addition to the most popular theory.
Neo - not elected
This was it, in fact, speaks directly Pythia when they first met. In the second film The architect explains that the "elite" - originally conceived the basic program, which is to check the vulnerability matrix and to restart it.
Much more interesting, whom may be the real Chosen One. According to the description of Architect this hero is born in the Matrix, he is able to change it and destroy if necessary. But beneath all these parameters are much better suited Agent Smith, who "lives" in the Matrix even with the first part.
He changes the program for themselves, trying to break out of it and ready to destroy the Matrix. And we can assume that just because his car had to deal with Neo and end the war with humanity. So even though Smith's agent and serves all three main antagonist of the film, in fact it was he worthy to be called the Chosen One.
Neo - machine
Most of the questions evoked superpowers Neo in the real world. He was able to remotely detonate the car aggressive, "see" without eyes. According to one theoryIn The Matrix, is Neo a machine?It is due to the fact that from a certain moment Neo himself is partially turned into a machine.
Agent Smith says he was able to escape from the Matrix after a collision with Neo in the final of the first film. It turns out that the elected left in it a part of their human code. And just as Neo could become partially programThat allowed him to communicate with people attacking the machines.
The same, incidentally, explain and unchanging expression Keanu Reeves in the second and third films.
There is also a version of the The counter «Matrixception» theory. The Machines are hardwired to shutdown upon attacking NeoThat Neo does not actually blow up the car. Just the central computer at that time already realized that Neo he needed to defeat Smith, and gave the attackers ordered to self-destruct.
Machinery - not evil
Throughout the film the audience shows people the battle against the machines. However, the beginning of the war speak very vaguely.
We do not know who struck the first blow, us or them. But we know that the sky burned people.
If you think about it The machines are caretakers for the human race, created by us, The machine has created mankind, and it also destroyed the planet, trying to deal with their own creations. In this case, after the capture of the mechanisms of the Earth does not turn people into mindless power supplies, and provided for them of the matrix (according to some versions, it also developed people). In a virtual machine system, not only retained the consciousness of their creators, but also tried to show them a world that looks much better than what happened in reality.
In this case, Morpheus and the inhabitants of Zion are trying to deprive humanity of the last illusions and get into reality, where everyone has to eat synthesized protein. And here it is difficult to say who is more cruel. Perhaps the machine only care about people, creating for them the only possible for the existence of the world.
Although other assumptions Humans Did not Scorch the SkyThe sky could still destroy the car when they found an alternative source of energy. This allowed them to drive humanity into the ground and finally to enslave the survivors.
Matrix is not the whole world, but only a small simulation
According to the stories of the characters, in the XXI century it was a destructive and bloody war between machines and humans. It is likely that most of the latter was killed, and how many people have grown up later in the capsules - is unknown.
maybe The Matrix is a small, closed systemTo simulate the machines did not need to recreate a vast world. A whole array - one city. It is sometimes hinted heroes themselves, saying, "Mountains" or "highway" without explanation, as if there were only one such object in their world.
Just for laughs
There are dozens more philosophical and crazy theories about the hidden meaning of "The Matrix." And sometimes it is difficult to even understand their authors seriously believe it or joke on readers.
For example, there is an assumption This incredible fan theory has managed to connect Star Wars and The MatrixThat the action of the entire franchise "Star Wars" takes place in the Matrix, because at a certain point in space saga appears Matt Doran, who played in "The Matrix" Programmer Mouse.
It was he who created the famous girl in red - it played a model Fiona Johnson. And this same actress appears with Doran in "Star Wars" in the same way invitingly looking at the hero.
Or the assumption that Wild fan theory claims 'John Wick 2' is a sequel to 'The Matrix' "John Wick - 2" is actually a sequel to "The Matrix." Here everything is clear: remember and unflappable Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne in the role of his mentor. But at the same time surprised superpowers Wick. And as if in confirmation of this, the new trailer of the third part, "John Wick" character literally cites "Matrix".
And finally, the most simple and fun interpretation: if you look at the first part of the trilogy in the opposite direction, you can see how the addict gets off the pill and finds a normal office job.
Influence and legacy
Few films so strongly reflected in the mass cinema. And in the case of "The Matrix" this applies to all aspects of the picture. attire and fights copied in dozens of films - remember even "Ultraviolet" with Milla Jovovich and "Equilibrium" with Christian Bale. And those who tried to imitate the appearance and behavior of the characters in real life, do not count.
Slow shooting, and bullet time soon appeared in many action movies and video games. And yet a couple of years filled every possible parodies and cartoons. As a result, critic James Rolfe has put "a parody of" The Matrix "," to the fifth place in the top ten most hackneyed cinematic clichés.
The plot of the trilogy of films has spawned a new wave of people and machines, artificial intelligence and virtual reality. It is safe to say that without him there would be no "Island" by Michael Bay, "Surrogates" with Bruce Willis"Tron: Legacy" and many more pictures.
The history of the most "Matrix" to continue and develop in other forms. So, there was a collection of cartoons "The Animatrix". Wachowski invited various animators to create stories that take place in the world of film.
Also came out three computer games and comic books, which allow just to learn more about the secondary characters "Matrix" and some of the events of the plot.
And in 2017 came the first rumors that the studio plans to release a new film. No precise information has not been reported but screenwriter Zak Penn future project claims 'Matrix' Reboot Still in the Early Stages; Screenwriter Zak Penn Provides UpdateThat he will neither restart nor a continuation of the original.
Regardless of whether they plan to do with the franchise further, its influence on the movie she already had. Wachowski have demonstrated that it is possible to combine good ideas with traditional fighter. They forced the audience to empathize with Neo and his comrades, and to think about what is reality. "The Matrix" has long since become an important reservoir of culture, dividing cinema into "before" and "after." Trilogy sold on quotes and cliches, and its long echoes are flashed in the new film.
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