The Matrix Reloaded was originally scheduled for release in December 2002 before being pushed back to May 2003. Few people were ever allowed to know why…
The WACHOWSKI BROTHERS are standing around with a copy of the Reloaded script and are arguing over architectural plans with a PRODUCTION DESIGNER and a SPECIAL EFFECTS GURU. KEANU REEVES, dressed in a suit, walks straight up and addresses the two Brothers.
KEANU: ‘There may be a problem’.
LARRY: (beat) Did you just quote our own dialogue at us?
KEANU: Yeah, I’m practising my lines by dropping them into appropriate situations.
LARRY: That’s not your line.
ANDY: Bigger problem, not only is that not your line, that’s not your line – from the first film!
LARRY: Why are you quoting from the first film?!
KEANU: Damn! (to himself) I knew those lines seemed too easy to learn…
ANDY: You’ve re-learnt the lines to the film we’ve already made?!
KEANU: Look, let’s focus on the problem I found.
LARRY: What problem?
Keanu produces his own copy of the Reloaded script, flips thru it and points at a page.
KEANU: See this, um, this (hesitates) …that word, right there.
Larry & Andy squint at the word, then look at each other quizzically.
ANDY: What’s the problem?
KEANU: Well, Carrie has to say that word, and, we’re Canadian, and…um…
KEANU: (swivels round in desperation and shouts) Carrie! Get over here
CARRIE-ANNE MOSS, dressed in black leather, strides over and stands beside Keanu and the Brothers. The production designer and special effects guru melt away.
Larry & Andy roll their eyes at this familiar greeting.
KEANU: (points at his script) This word.
CARRIE: (peering at the script) ‘Roondaboot’, Roondaboot? What?
ANDY: (to Larry) Did she just speak French to him?
LARRY: (to Andy) No idea.
CARRIE: What about that word?
KEANU: Well, nothing to you and me, but (gestures to the Brothers) to them, um…
KEANU: Look, I’ll read in for Laurence and you do your part.
They huddle in to read from Keanu’s copy of the script and stand in poses to indicate that they are now in their characters.
CARRIE: The roondaboot?
CARRIE: You always told me to stay off the roondaboot.
KEANU: Yes, that’s true.
CARRIE: You said going on the roondaboot was suicide.
KEANU: Then let us hope that I was wrong.
The brothers look stunned, Carrie looks uncomfortable and looks at Keanu.
KEANU: (looking away, mumbles defensively) We’re Canadian…
ANDY: (to Keanu) Why didn’t you tell us about this before now?
KEANU: I hadn’t read this part of the script! It’s 20 pages of hyper-detailed descriptions of wall to wall action…and I’m not in it. You’ve got me jerking around some castle somewhere…
LARRY: (to Carrie) And what about you?
CARRIE: Oh, I haven’t read either of the scripts.
The Brothers try to process this – one actor learning the wrong script, the other not learning any script. Andy is the first to compose himself.
ANDY: Uh, why?
CARRIE: Laurence thought it would be more in the moment for us to just learn the pages each day as we went. He hasn’t read the scripts either…
KEANU: It’s not like it’s that a big deal guys, I mean c’mon, it’s just one word in a few lines – change the dialogue.
LARRY: Oh, it’s just one word in a few lines is it?!
KEANU: (puzzled) Yeah, it’s not like it’s crucial to anything. Right?
The Brothers look at each other then glare at Carrie who looks towards Keanu who looks at the Brothers like they know something he and Carrie don’t…
The camera cranes up from his face and pushes over the tops of some trailers behind him, before soaring over a ridge to reveal techs laying camera tracks along the edges of road-network constructed for real in the desert, the centrepiece of which is a roundabout so preposterously enormous that it makes the Arc de Triomphe one look like one of those roundabouts you drive over while looking for the roundabout before realising that that painted bump in the road was the roundabout.
ANDY: (O/S) Larry, do you want to flip a coin to decide who gets to tell the studio?