Production of The Matrix 4 began in 2020 but had to be put on indefinite hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, production was able to resume and is now reportedly finished ahead of the film’s release later this year. Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Niobe will be returning alongside newcomers Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra, Jessica Henwick, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Jonathan Groff, who will all appear in undisclosed roles. To the disappointment of many, Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus, a mainstay of the original trilogy, will not be returning for Matrix 4. While much is still unknown about the sequel’s plot, some shocking production details were recently unearthed.
According to SFGATE, Adobe Pictures paid the San Francisco Police Department a whopping $420,000 for their services. The long-awaited next film in The Matrix franchise began production in San Francisco in February of 2020. While the project was officially known as “Project Ice Cream,” it became clear it was actually Matrix 4 after public sightings of Keanu Reeves, his stunt double flying on a zip line, and the crew filming stunts in low-flying helicopters. When the production of a blockbuster film of this scale takes place in a populated city, the police department has to step in to ensure bystanders don’t get in the way.
To help put this number into perspective, Matrix 4 paid more to shoot in San Francisco than two other recent blockbusters combined. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Venom: Let There Be Carnage paid $162,000 and $192,000 respectively. This is likely due to the fact that Matrix shot in town for longer than these two previous productions. While it was originally thought to be a 4-day shoot, it ended up taking 21.
In recent years, San Francisco has been an attractive alternative to Hollywood due to the city’s tax incentives. While audiences will first see the Golden City represented in Shang-Chi and Venom later this year, The Matrix 4 will likely showcase some sensational San Francisco set pieces when the film releases on Dec. 16, 2021.
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