‘The Matrix Resurrections’ director shot the action in 20-minute takes

morpheus matrix resurrections

Younger audiences most likely won’t be aware of the seismic impact that The Matrix had on the industry as a whole at the turn of the millennium, not just the action genre. The Wachowskis changed the game with their jaw-dropping cyberpunk classic, and you could barely turn around for years without bumping into a thinly-veiled imitation.

Suddenly, slow motion and bullet time were being mercilessly replicated or parodied, everybody wore a black leather trench coat and sunglasses, while intricate wire-assisted fight choreography and gun fu became the industry standard. With that in mind, The Matrix Resurrections stunt team would have needed to pull out all of the stops to slap a fresh coat of paint on a formula they came damn close to perfecting back in 1999.

In an interview with Collider, star and franchise newcomer Jessica Henwick revealed that in order to try and change the game once again, director Lana Wachowski would shoot the action for 20 minutes without cutting, in an effort to create sequences the likes of which audiences have never seen.

“She’s very creative and she has a very, very strong vision. She doesn’t work like any of the directors I’ve worked with. She loves running takes, so we’ll often go 20 minutes without a single cut. And she doesn’t do the normal thing, which is, “Okay, let’s set up for shooting A side, and we’ll shoot the wide, the medium, the closeup, and then we can all move the lights, so that we can shoot B side.”

Everyone had to be aware that it was 360, at all times. She would stand next to the operator and she would be shooting. Keanu is speaking and she’s shooting. She’s handling the camera, zooming in on him, and then she would just turn, and suddenly the camera will be on you, even though you’re on the other side of the line. That’s how she shoots. It’s very much how she feels, in the moment. It’s very instinctive for her. It’s fascinating to watch. I’ve never worked with a director who is going so much on a gut feeling.”

We were all left feeling burned by Reloaded and Revolutions, but hopes are nonetheless high that absence has indeed made the heart grow fonder, and The Matrix Resurrections will be able to deliver on its undoubted promise of reinventing the wheel.