While the world celebrated the news of the confirmation of Matrix 4 , with Lana Wachowski as director, and the return of Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss as actors, one of the creative minds of the first three installments decided to pass up the opportunity.
Bill Pope , director of photography for The Matrix , repeated in Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions , but all the good things about the first one seem to have been conspicuous by their absence in the second and third films.
He explained it in an interview on the podcast of Roger Deakins , well-known British director of photography. “The Matrix aftermath made my head explode, but also my soul.”
Everything that was good from the first movie was bad in the next two. We were not free, everyone set their sights on the production team and each of their actions. There was a lot of pressure. I did not like the result, I felt that we should have taken another direction. There was a lot of friction and a lot of personal issues, and to be honest, it showed in the end result. It was not my best moment, it was not the best moment of the whole team.
The Wachowski had read this Stanley Kubrick book that explained that actors don’t do natural performances until you completely exhaust them, so… let’s do ninety takes! I want to dig up Kubrick and kill him.
Bill Pope explains in the interview that the directors adopted a “record many more takes of the same scene” mindset during the production of Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions that turned into torture.
According to him, he had to review up to ninety shots of the same thing, “many times and many things.” He assures that he shared his belief that the process did not contribute anything and that the recording of Reloaded and Revolutions as if it were a single movie made it a process that left everyone much more exhausted.
There is something that does not fit in making such a long shoot. 276 days of recordings makes you explode your head, but also your soul. If you think of The Hobbit where they shot three movies in a row that are numbing. You don’t feel it in the books because you read at your own pace, but the movies were too long. There is a limit to what you can assimilate in one sitting.
Still, he has a deep respect for both films. She recently transferred to 4K for her personal files and ended up writing to the directors, Reeves and Moss, ensuring that the work is good and that they should be proud of what they have accomplished.
Pope will not be in Matrix 4 , perhaps because he does not want to repeat old battles that left more wounds than desired. Perhaps because he simply has other projects he has already embarked on. He will participate as director of photography in one of the new films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe : Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings .
Who will take your place? John Toll , who has also worked with the Wachowski on two of their film productions: Jupiter Ascending and Cloud Atlas .
Matrix 4 will premiere on April 1, 2022.
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