The Matrix Was Once a Threat to Quentin Tarantino's Iconic Movie
No one was more disappointed with The Matrix Reloaded than Quentin Tarantino.
In his early days, Tarantino, a self-proclaimed cinephile, had a keen eye for potential competition. While he's always been passionate about the art of filmmaking, he couldn't help but notice the rising popularity of The Matrix.
The film's mainstream attention and expanding brand made Tarantino see it as a potential rival to his Kill Bill. However, it wasn't just any Matrix film that had Tarantino on edge.
It was the sequel, The Matrix Reloaded. Both films came out in 2003, even though The Matrix Reloaded hit theaters in May, and Kill Bill was set to release in October.
In a chat with Vulture, Tarantino admitted that he saw The Matrix Reloaded as a competition. However, after watching the sequel, his worries quickly dissipated. He humorously recalled walking out of the theater, feeling that he didn’t really need to worry.
While Tarantino had immense respect for the original Matrix, his feelings took a turn with the release of its sequels. In a 2009 interview with Sky Movie, he revealed that The Matrix once held the #2 spot on his list of favorite films, right after Battle Royale.
However, the subsequent sequels, in his opinion, tarnished the original's mythology. Despite this, Tarantino still acknowledges the original Matrix as a top-tier film, though its rank has since dropped in his list.
Interestingly, Keanu Reeves, the star of The Matrix, played an unexpected role in Tarantino's apprehensions. During an early screening of Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Tarantino found himself sharing the room with Reeves. The mere presence of the actor reminded Tarantino of the Matrix films and the rising trend of CGI in movies.
In an interview with Empire, Tarantino revealed how this realization made him reflect on the authenticity of his films, emphasizing real stunts over computer-generated effects. He even went on to express his disdain for the over-reliance on CGI in the industry.
“This CGI bullsh*t is the death knell of cinema,” Tarantino added by also making a prediction that “... in ten year's time it [cinema] will officially be killed.”
Today, 20 years after this interview, it’s hard to agree with Tarantino. Even though a lot of movies do tend to go a bit overboard with CGI, it doesn't stop them from raking in millions for the studios.