Why Stanley Kubrick Is To Blame For The Matrix Sequels

The crazed antics of the legendary Kubrick made those Matrix follow-ups a nightmare experience.


The legendary Stanley Kubrick? Responsible for the oft-lambasted Matrix sequels? Seemingly so.

Cinematographer Bill Pope has revealed that the making of The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions was a painful experience. As Pope explained to the Team Deakins podcast, those shot back-to-back sequels were a nightmare due to the Wachowskis opting to take an extremely testing Kubrick-esque approach to proceedings.

“Everything that was good about the first experience was not good about the last two,” Pope said, “We weren’t free anymore. People were looking at you. There was a lot of pressure.”


Elaborating on the fist-biting pains of making those two movies, Pope added, “In my heart, I didn’t like them. I felt like we should be going in another direction. There was a lot of friction and a lot of personal problems, and it showed up on-screen. It was not my most elevated moment, nor was it anyone else’s. The Wachowskis had read this damn book by Stanley Kubrick that said, ‘Actors don’t do natural performances until you wear them out.’ So let’s go take 90! I want to dig Stanley Kubrick up and kill him.”

Despite his undoubted brilliance, Kubrick was famed for how insanely hard he pushed his cast and crew – with Shelley Duvall’s emotional breakdown on The Shining just one famous example of Kubrick’s methods.


As for Bill Pope, it’s no surprise that he won’t be returning for Lana Wachowski’s The Matrix 4 – which is currently booked in for April 1, 2022.

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