Neo and company can escape the horrible realities of the real world in The Matrix, but that doesn’t mean their real-life actors can dodge a pandemic back on Earth. According to The Guardian, the cast and crew of The Matrix 4 have come under scrutiny after throwing a wrap party disguised as a film shoot to bypass coronavirus health safety rules.
On November 11th, approximately 200 people, including Keanu Reeves, attended The Matrix 4 party at Babelsberg film studios, just outside of Berlin, Germany. Guests were invited to attend the event as “film extras.”
Bianca Markarewicz, a spokeswoman for Babelsberg studio, said producers told her that the film team was shooting new footage for a “celebration scene,” which they filmed earlier in the summer. “The hygiene regulations were complied with,” said Markarewicz. “The production team consciously put this shoot with its many participants, right at the end of the filming.”
However, a 39-year-old attendee said the party appeared to be a production celebration, not a movie scene. “No directorial instructions were given, there was no clapperboard, and no one was filming,” they told German newspaper Bild. “The mood was exuberant [at the party]. Everyone was given a corona PCR test in advance. Everyone needed to come wearing a mask, but many people didn’t wear them as the party wore on.”
Technically, it’s not the fact that The Matrix 4 team decided to host a party that’s a problem; it’s the size of it that’s not allowed. Health safety guidelines in Berlin and Brandenburg currently allow events with a 50-person capacity to be held. Should the attendance exceed that, the party has “to be registered in advance along with the submission of a ‘hygiene concept’ that has to be approved by authorities.” Government film shoots, such as the one approved for The Matrix 4, can bypass these laws.
“No event was announced to us,” a city spokesperson explained to The Guardian. “There were ongoing discussions between the health authority and the studios on the topic of infection protection during filming.”
As it stands now, The Matrix 4 is set to hit theaters on December 22nd, 2021. Should we all still be wearing masks then, consider buying one that will free yourself from fear and set you apart from the crowd.