It is all unconfirmed, so it could simply be the result of delusional ramblings, but the NY Daily News is reporting some last-minute back-office troubles with the Matrix sequels.
Let's start with the ratings. Warner Bros. execs are hoping for a PG-13, but graphic fight sequences caused the MPAA to slap the first sequel, "The Matrix Reloaded," with an R.
"Alan Horn blames the brothers for not budging on the head-kicking scenes," a source tells us. "He also thinks they didn't lobby the MPAA hard enough."
Then there's the release dates. "Reloaded" comes out May 15. The studio wants No. 3, "The Matrix Revolutions" to hit theaters in November or December. The Wachowskis want it released in July, we hear.
"The brothers wanted to give the fans a one-two punch," says our insider. "They figured it would be a year dominated by 'The Matrix' - followed by a triple DVD anthology released at Christmas."
The Wachowskis also are said to be fighting to get a "Revolutions" trailer screened at the end of "Reloaded."
"They want it to follow the credits, which run about nine minutes," says the insider. "The Warners execs say nobody's going to wait nine minutes to see it."
To get their way, the Wachowskis are said to be resorting to a work slowdown.
"The brothers are taking their time putting in all the special effects," says our spy. "They're trying to make the Warner Bros. people sweat" the "Revolutions" deadline.
Of course, Warner is saying this is all garbage, and that the movie is on-track.
Personally, I've found it fascinating that the first Matrix film managed to be so good given the trouble they had getting it done. It is a somewhat simplisitc belief of mine that things that go smoothly tend to have better results than the things you have to work for. The Matrix contradicted that - the exception that proves the rule? The follow-on movies have been an even bigger struggle, with injuries and unexpected deaths and replaced actors and on and on. And yet I find myself watching the trailer for The Matrix: Reloaded daily, wishing it was May 15 already.
PG-13 is not going to happen. July is not going to happen. The trailer for Revolutions? That I can believe. New Line did it with Return of the King, adding the trailer to the end of the credits after The Two Towers had been in theaters for a while, to draw repeat business. Maybe Warner will do something similar.