Did ‘Matrix 4’ Break Covid Laws? Studio Says Celebration Was for Film Shoot, Not Set Party

German tabloids report an alleged "Matrix 4" wrap party disguised itself as a film shoot to bypass health safety laws.
THE MATRIX RELOADED, Keanu Reeves, 2003, (c) Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection
"The Matrix Reloaded"
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Production on “The Matrix 4” in Berlin is coming to an end with a bit of controversy over reports that claim the cast and crew allegedly threw a wrap party under the disguise of a film shoot in order to bypass the country’s coronavirus health safety rules. According to a report from The Guardian and German outlet Bild, approximately 200 people attended “The Matrix” party on the evening of November 11 at the legendary Babelsberg film studios, located in Potsdam about a half hour from central Berlin. Keanu Reeves was reportedly in attendance.

Health safety guidelines in Berlin and the state of Brandenburg allow parties to be thrown but at a 50-person capacity. Furthermore, any party has “to be registered in advance along with the submission of a ‘hygiene concept’ that has to be approved by authorities.” Government approved film shoots like “Matrix 4” can reportedly bypass these laws.

The city of Potsdam is responsible for granting permissions for parties under the new health safety rules, but a city spokesperson told The Guardian that “no event was announced to us. There were ongoing discussions between the health authority and the studios on the topic of infection protection during filming.”

Per The Guardian and Bild, guests were invited to attend the party as film extras. But Babelsberg studio spokeswoman Bianca Markarewicz said according to “Matrix” producers the film team was shooting a “celebration scene, which was filmed in the summer, and this was in connection with that.”

Babelsberg added, “The hygiene regulations were complied with. The production team consciously put this shoot with its many participants, right at the end of the filming.”

However, a 39-year-old party guest told Bild “there was no clapperboard and no one was filming” during the event, raising questions over whether or not “The Matrix 4” was filming a party as part of production or throwing a party that broke safety laws.

The party guest added, “The mood was exuberant [at the party]. Everyone was given a corona PCR test in advance. Everyone needed to come wearing a mask but many people didn’t wear them as the party wore on. No directorial instructions were given, there was no clapperboard and no one was filming.”

According to The Guardian, German health authorities are planning to speak to Babelsberg film studios about the matter. When tapped for further comment, Warner Bros. directed IndieWire to the statement from Babelsberg that said the party was “a celebration scene” being shot. “The Matrix 4” is currently set for theatrical release on December 22, 2021.

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