It's only been a few months since we learned that The Matrix 4 was actually a real movie that was going to actually happen, and was actually going to star Keanu Reeves, and now the movie is actually filming in San Francisco. For a movie about a digital world we can expect a lot of digital effects, but recently we saw that the movie isn't skimping on practical effects either. However, making things real is apparently causing real damage in the city by the bay.
Over the weekend The Matrix 4 did some overnight shooting in the heart of San Francisco and we saw a lot of video filmed by citizens that showed off low flying helicopters and actual explosions. If you were in any way worried that The Matrix 4 wasn't going all out for its action scenes, you can rest easy, as it seems the explosions on Market Street caused a couple thousand dollars of actual damage.
According to NBCBayArea, the heat from the explosions was enough to melt the covers of a couple building lamps as well as the plastic cover of an advertising street sign. Workers who replaced the damage equipment have said it was about $2,000 worth of work.
Production is scheduled to continue in the city through next weekend, it's unclear what the possible remaining collateral damage could be.
Many movies take place in and around the San Francisco bay area, this weekend's The Invisible Man, is one recent example, but few of them actually film all that much, if at all, in the city. We certainly don't see this sort of action very often. The good news is that the damage was minimal, for a movie that almost certainly has a budget in the $200 million range, paying for two grand in street damage isn't exactly going to blow up the production. To a certain extent damage like this is probably expected and planned for. It's not like nobody knew the explosions were going to produce some extreme heat.
Damage aside, it's great to see that The Matrix 4 is doing so much of the action practically. Digital effects are capable of so much more now than they were when the Matrix trilogy was produced, and for a movie that, we assume, will take place mostly in a digital world, using those effects would make a lot of sense. Still, the world of the Matrix is supposed to look like the real world, and so it seems the best way to accomplish that is still to use that real world.
Beyond a scene with low flying helicopters and stuff blowing up, we don't really know what we're getting with The Matrix 4. Everybody involved in the project seems to be excited by it, but exactly how the new movie will fit into the existing trilogy is still a great big question.
The Matrix 4 is slated to hit theaters in May of 2021, the same day as another Keanu Reeves franchise, John Wick drops its fourth installment.