THE MATRIX Cinematographer Blames Stanley Kubrick Book For The Two "Mind-Numbing" Sequels

The Matrix is widely considered a sci-fi matserpiece, but the sequels most definitely are not. Now, cinematographer Bill Pope has reflected on a crushing experience he blames on Stanley Kubrick...

Stanley Kubrick died in 1999 (the same year that The Matrix was released), but the legendary filmmaker has now been blamed for the poorly received sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. Cinematographer Bill Pope has shed some light on what went wrong with those movies, describing his time working on them as "mind-numbing." 

Talking on the Team Deakins podcast (via Yahoo), he revealed: "Everything that was good about the first experience was not good about the last two." 

"We weren’t free anymore. People were looking at you. There was a lot of pressure. In my heart, I didn’t like them. I felt we should be going in another direction. There was a lot of friction and a lot of personal problems, and it showed up on screen to be honest with you. It was not my most elevated moment, nor was it anyone else’s."

"The Wachowskis had read this damn book by Stanley Kubrick that said, 'Actors don’t do natural performances until you wear them out,'" Pope recalled. "So let’s go to take 90! I want to dig Stanley Kubrick up and kill him. There is something about making a shoot that long, 276 shoot days, that is mind numbing and soul numbing and it numbs the movie."

As you might expect after his very honest assessment of those original Matrix sequels, Pope will not be returning for the fourth instalment. That was recently pushed to 2022 due to COVID-19, and you have to hope the cinematographer is having a slightly more pleasant time working on Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings after what sounds like a hellish couple of years.

Did you guys enjoy The Matrix sequels back in 2003?

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