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WB sets stage for ‘Matrix’ pix

Docu, anime tales used to hype sequel

PALM BEACH, Fla. — With the debut of “Matrix Reloaded” not expected until May 2003, Warner Bros. is trying to keep interest in the franchise stoked by introducing a 2-1/2-hour documentary on the movie and its sequels this fall and hiring anime directors to produce anime episodes of the stories.

Warner Home Video executives told retailers at a presentation here that “The Matrix Revisited” will debut on DVD and VHS Nov. 20 and include interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and sneak peeks at “Matrix Reloaded” and a third “Matrix” movie that is in pre-production.

The studio said it has sold more than 10 million copies of the movie on VHS and DVD since its release in 1999.

Meanwhile, “Matrix” directors Andy and Larry Wachowski have asked anime directors to provide episodes inspired by the Keanu Reeves film that grossed about $171 million in U.S. theaters. “Matrix Anime” is being planned for a late 2002 or early 2003 video release.

(Mike Barnes is managing editor of Variety sister publication Video Business. )

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