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Development

In 1994, the Wachowskis presented the script for the film Assassins to Warner Brothers. After Lorenzo di Bonaventura, the president of production of the company at the time, read the script, he decided to buy rights to it and included two more pictures, Bound and The Matrix, in the contract. The first movie the Wachowskis directed, Bound, then became a critical success.


Using this momentum, the brothers later asked to direct The Matrix. Producer Joel Silver soon joined the project. Although the project had key supporters like Silver and Di Bonaventura to influence the company,


The Matrix was still a huge investment for Warner Bros, which had to invest $60 million to create a movie with deep philosophical ideas and difficult special effects. The Wachowskis therefore hired underground comic book artists Geof Darrow and Steve Skroce to draw a 600-page, shot-by-shot storyboard for the entire film.


The storyboard eventually earned the studio's approval, and it was decided to film in Australia to make the most of the budget. Soon, The Matrix became a co-production of Warner Bros. and the Australian company Village Roadshow Pictures.


Pre-production

The actors of the film were required to be able to understand and explain The Matrix. Simulacra and Simulation was required reading for most of the principal cast and crew.


Reeves stated that the Wachowski brothers had him read Simulacra and Simulation, Out of Control, and Evolutionary Psychology even before they opened up the script, and eventually he was able to explain all the philosophical nuances involved. Moss commented that she had difficulty with this process.


The directors had also been admirers of Hong Kong action cinema for a long time, so they decided to hire the Chinese martial arts choreographer and film director Yuen Woo-ping to work on fight scenes. To prepare for the wire fu, the actors had to train hard for several months.


The Wachowskis first scheduled four months for training. Yuen was optimistic but then began to worry when he realized how unfit the actors were. Yuen let their body style develop and then worked with each actor's strength. He built on Reeves' diligence, Fishburne's resilience, Weaving's precision, and Moss's feminine grace.


Yuen designed Moss' moves to suit her deftness and lightness. Prior to the pre-production, Reeves suffered a two-level fusion of his cervical spine which had begun to cause paralysis in his legs, requiring him to undergo neck surgery. He was still recovering by the time of pre-production, but he insisted on training, so Yuen let him practice punches and lighter moves.


Reeves trained hard and even requested training on days off. However, the surgery still made him unable to kick for two out of four months of training. As a result, Reeves did not kick much in the film. Weaving had to undergo a hip surgery after he sustained an injury during the training process.




This synopsis presentation is a combination of the script and the IMDB synopsis.



Resources:
Wikipedia.org, imdb.com, imsdb.com




Detailed Synopsis and Screenshots


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At a rave bar Neo stands alone and aloof as the group he's with continue partying. Smoke hangs like a veil, blurring the few lights there are. Dressed predominantly in black, people are everywhere, gathered in cliques around pieces of furniture like jungle cats around a tree. Shadow-like figures grind against each other to the pneumatic beat of Industrial Music.


Neo stands against a wall, feeling completely out of place. He notices a woman staring at him. The woman is Trinity. She walks straight up to him. Trinity introduces herself. Neo recognizes her name; she was a famous hacker and had cracked the IRS database. The music is so loud they must stand very close, talking directly into each other's ear.


Her body is against his; her lips very close to his ear. There is a hypnotic quality to her voice and Neo feels the words like a drug, seeping into him. She tells him that he is in great danger, that they are watching him and that she knows that he is searching for answers, particularly to the most important question of all: what is the Matrix?


The pulsing music of the bar gives way to the repetitious blare of Neo's alarm clock, slowly dragging Neo to consciousness. He strains to read the clock face, it's 9:18 and he's late for work. The downtown office of Metacortex, a leading software development company housed in an ominous skyscraper.


The main offices are along each wall, the windows overlooking downtown. His boss, the ultimate company man, lectures Neo for having a problem with authority, for thinking he's special. Neo listens to his boss, but his attention is on two window cleaners on a scaffolding outside, dragging their rubber squeegees down across the surface of the glass.


At his bleak cubicle, the entire floor looks like a human honeycomb, with a labyrinth of cubicles structured around a core of elevators. Neo turns and finds a Federal Express man at his cubicle, a delivery for "Thomas Anderson." Neo signs the electronic pad and the Fedex guy hands him the softpak. He opens the bag.


Inside is a cellular phone. It seems the instant it is in his hand, it rings. Unnerved, he flips it open. On the other end is Morpheus, who informs Neo that they've both run out of time and that "they" are coming for him. Morpheus tells him to slowly look up, toward the elevator. Neo starts to stand. His head slowly peeks up over the partition.


At the elevator, he sees Agents Smith, Jones, and Brown. An employee turns and points out Neo's cubicle. Neo ducks. The agents are moving quickly towards the cubicle. Neo lunges across the hall, diving into the other cubicle just as the agents turn into his row. Neo crams himself into a dark corner, clutching the phone tightly to him.


The agents enter Neo's empty cubicle. Morpheus' voice is a whisper in Neo's ear. Sweat trickles down his forehead. Neo rolls out of the cubicle, staying crouched, he sneaks away, down the row, shooting across the opening to the first office on the left. The room is empty. He opens the window. The window howls into the room. Leaning out the window, he sees that the scaffold is several offices away.


Morpheus instructs him to get on a scaffolding and take it to the roof. Neo looks down; the building's glass wall vertigos into a concrete chasm.Morpheus tells him choice is the scaffold or custody, he hangs up. Neo looks at the door, then back at the scaffold. He climbs up onto the window ledge. Hanging onto the frame, he steps onto the small ledge. The scaffold seems even farther away.


The wind suddenly blasts up the face of the building, knocking Neo off balance. Recoiling, he clings harder to the frame. He climbs back into the office just as the door open, allowing himself to be taken by the Agents. The agents lead a handcuffed Neo out of the revolving doors, forcing his head down as they push him into the dark sedan. Trinity watches in the rear view mirror of her motorcycle.


A wide angle view of a white interrogation room, where Neo is sitting at a table alone. We move into the monitor, entering the room as if the monitor were a window. At the same moment, the door opens and the agents enter. Smith sits down across from Neo. A thick manila envelope slaps down on the table between them. Neo glances at the name on the file: "Anderson, Thomas A." Smith opens the file.


Paper rattle marks the silence as he flips several pages. Neo cannot tell if he is looking at the file or at him. The pages continue to turn. They've had their eye on him for some time. He lives a dual existence: one life as Thomas A. Anderson, a software engineer for a Metacortex, the other life as Neo, a computer hacker "guilty of virtually every computer crime we have a law for." Neo feels himself sinking into a pit of shit.


He closes the file. Smith removes his sunglasses; his eyes are an unnatural ice-blue. He leans closer. Neo tries to match his stare. Agent Smith asks him to help them capture Morpheus, a dangerous terrorist, in exchange for amnesty. Neo nods to himself and gives them the finger and asks for his phone call. Agent Smith puts his glasses back on and smiles. Mr. Smith asks what good is a phone call if he's unable to speak.


The question unnerves Neo and strangely, he begins to feel the muscles in his jaw tighten. The standing agents snicker, watching Neo's confusion grow into panic. Neo feels his lips grow soft and sticky as they slowly seal shut, melding into each other until all trace of his mouth is gone.


Wild with fear, he lunges for the door but the agents restrain him holding him in the chair. Smith nods and the other two rip open his shirt. From a case taken out of his suit coat, Smith removes a long, fiber-optic wire tap. Neo struggles helplessly as Smith dangles the wire over his exposed abdomen.


Horrified, he watches as the electronic device animates, become an organic creature that resembles a hybrid of an insect and a fluke worm. Thin, whisker-like tendrils reach out and probe into Neo's navel. He bucks wildly as Smith drops the creature which looks for a moment like an uncut umbilical cord -- Before it begins to burrow its, tail thrashing as it worms its way inside.


Screaming, Neo bolts upright in bed. He realizes that he is home. Was it a dream? His mouth is normal. His stomach looks fine. He starts to take a deep, everything-is-okay breath, when -- The phone rings. It almost stops his heart. It continues ringing, building pressure in the room, forcing him up out of bed, sucking him in with an almost gravitational force.


He answers it, saying nothing. Morpheus is on the other line. He tells Neo that the line is tapped but they've underestimated his importance. Neo feels sick. Morpheus tells Neo to meet him at the Adams St. bridge and hangs up. Neo closes his eyes, unsure of what he has done.



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