Lana Wachowski isn’t relying on second units when it comes to filming the action sequences in “The Matrix 4.” It’s become increasingly common for major Hollywood productions to use second units to assist with the filming of large scale action scenes (such a move is common on Marvel movies, for instance). According to “John Wick” directors and former “Matrix” stunt workers Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, Lana Wachowski is handling all “Matrix 4” action scenes herself through her principal camera unit.
“What makes [Lana] so great is she directs her own action,” Stahelski told Collider. “We’ve had second unit directors on some of the [‘Matrix’ films] just because of the logistics involved. But of late, and especially on ‘Matrix 4,’ she’s directing her own action. The second units for them are mostly establishing shots, the B-sides of the some of the compositions for some locations. But Lana, she does her own action. She weaves it into the main unit stuff, which is why their stuff looks so good.”
Stahelski and Leitch worked on the original “Matrix” trilogy, the former doubling for Keanu Reeves during his action scenes. Both men have become top action directors in Hollywood, Stahelski with the “John Wick” sequels and Leitch with “Atomic Blonde” and “Hobbs and Shaw,” and they told Collider that their involvement with “The Matrix 4″ was limited to a supervising role. As Stahelski said, “It’s more about the creative concept of some of the choreography and backing them up with stuff.” By “them” Stahelski is referring to the “Matrix 4” stunt team, members of which he worked closely with on the original trilogy.
“They were very cool,” Stahelski continued. “They asked us to help out with the choreography and some of the physical training for the guys. I’m helping out a little bit for a sequence, I think Dave’s helping out for a sequence. Lana’s come back with a lot of love to have a pseudo-family reunion, so that’s been a lot of fun. It’s been good to see a lot of the crew members again. We just finished doing a sequence in San Francisco before the pandemic started.”
Stahelski described “The Matrix 4” as “incredibly fun,” adding, “I think if you’re a fan of the original trilogy you’re gonna love this. It’s coming back with a vengeance.”
“The Matrix 4” finds Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their famous roles as Neo and Trinity. The plot of the sequel is being kept under wraps, although Jada Pinkett Smith is returning to the franchise and new cast additions include Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jessica Henwick, Neil Patrick Harris, Jonathan Groff, Toby Onwumere, Max Riemelt, and Eréndira Ibarra. Rumor has it the plot concerns time travel and Abdul-Mateen is starring as a young Morpheus. Warner Bros. is set to release “The Matrix 4” in theaters nationwide May 21, 2021.