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Innovative storytelling

WARNER BROS. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and producer Joel Silver will unveil "The Matrix Reloaded", the second chapter in the Wachowski Brothers' revolutionary film trilogy, at the Cannes Film Festival on May 15, day and date coinciding with the release of the film.

The Cannes event marks the international premiere of "The Matrix Reloaded", which will be screened out of competition at the Festival. The cast and filmmakers will be in attendance.

"The Matrix Reloaded" reunites Silver with writer-directors Larry and Andy Wachowski and the stars of "The Matrix", and introduces new cast members Jada Pinkett Smith, Monica Belluci, Lambert Wilson, Harold Perrineau, Nona Gaye, Harry Lennix and Neil and Adrian Rayment.

"The Matrix" won four Academy Awards and broke Studio box office records by accumulating over $475 million in worldwide theatrical receipts.

In "The Matrix Reloaded", freedom fighters Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) continue to lead the revolt against the Machine Army, unleashing their arsenal of extraordinary skills and weaponry against the systematic forces of repression and exploitation. In their quest to save the human race from extinction, they gain greater insight into the construct of "The Matrix" and Neo's pivotal role in the fate of mankind.

As part of their unprecedented storytelling concept, the Wachowski Brothers are using multiple mediums to tell the epic story of "The Matrix" trilogy, taking fans beyond the boundaries of the movie screen and into the hyper-surreal world of the Matrix. They developed "The Animatrix", a collection of nine animated short films that explore the vast realm of the Matrix, its history and the characters who inhabit it. Four of "The Animatrix" shorts are being shown free for fans at prior to the release of "The Matrix Reloaded: The Second Renaissance Part 1" ( available since February 2003), "Program" (shown since March), "Detective Story" (available since April) and "The Second Renaissance Part 2" (to be unveiled this month ).

The Wachowskis wrote four of the Animatrix short films, including the pivotal episode in the Matrix storytelling scheme, "Final Flight of the Osiris". As chapter 1.5 in the Matrix trilogy, "Final Flight" takes fans on an electrifying ride through the events that occur following "The Matrix", ignites the plot of the video game, "Enter the Matrix", and serves as an explosive prelude to "The Matrix Reloaded."

Powered by one hour of additional film footage written and shot by the filmmakers, "Enter the Matrix" furthers the chain of action set off by "Final Flight" and intersects with the plot of "... Reloaded", revealing aspects of the story not depicted in the film. In turn, "The Matrix Reloaded" is set in motion by inter-connected events depicted in "Final Flight" and the video game. This bold innovation in storytelling will conclude with "The Matrix Revolutions," the final astonishing chapter in the Matrix trilogy.

"The Matrix Reloaded" will be released worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures. Warner Home Video and Village Roadshow Pictures will release "The Animatrix" worldwide on DVD and videocassette on June 3. "Enter the Matrix" will be released worldwide beginning May 15.

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