The fourth Matrix movie, The Matrix Resurrections, is opening in theaters. The series has been one of the most distinct and revolutionary in film history. We decided to take a look back at some of our favorite vehicles from the Matrix series, from Lincolns to Ducatis.
3. The 1965 Lincoln Continental in ‘The Matrix’
One of the most shocking things about 1999’s The Matrix was the film’s aesthetic. The visionary Wachowski siblings paired heady Sci-Fi concepts and Kung-Fu with a neo-noir film style. They carefully selected wardrobe, sets, lighting, and movie cars to pull this off. The result was like nothing previously seen on the big screen.
When Thomas “Neo” Anderson (Keanu Reeves) finally encounters the good guys, they cut a striking image. The freedom fighters are wearing leather trenchcoats and sunglasses (on a rainy night); they pick him up in a 1965 Lincoln Continental.
The fourth-generation Lincoln Continental is often reserved for movie villains. It is an iconic car for film gangsters and other anti-heroes. In 1999’s The Matrix, it sets the perfect tone. the car actually made an encore appearance in 2003’s The Matrix Revolutions.
The filmmakers painted the movie car a custom, dark green color. The Wachowskis applied a green tint to this scene; on-screen the car actually appeared black. Warner Bros. now proudly displays this movie car at its studio.
2. The 2001 Cadillac EXT in ‘The Matrix Reloaded’
The first Matrix sequel, The Matrix Reloaded, pulled out all the stops. One of the film’s largest action set pieces was a huge highway chase scene. The filmmakers actually used an abandoned section of the California highway and General Motors donated countless cars including about a dozen Cadillacs.
During this scene, the bad guys leap across car hoods, commandeer tractor-trailers, and pursue the heroes in a 2001 Cadillac EXT. There’s only one problem: Cadillac did not build this memorable Escalade with a truck bed until the 2002 model year.
General Motors’ management knew the movie would be a golden opportunity to unveil the upcoming model. But the Wachowski decided to shoot Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions back-to-back, with the car chase filmed early. Cadillac had to hustle to get a fleet of pre-production EXTs together for the stunt crew.
The automaker’s solution was to scrounge around for pre-production body panels and transform several Chevrolet Avalanches into Cadillac EXTs. They prepared enough vehicles to pull off the chase. The result is a unique vehicle staring in an unforgettable scene.
1. Trinity’s 1999 Ducati 996/998 in ‘The Matrix Reloaded’
Carrie-Ann Moss’s Trinity is pivotal to The Matrix Reloaded chase scene. At one point, she climbs atop a transport truck, steals a superbike, jumps it off the truck, and rides away. She even pulls a one-eighty and rides against traffic, narrowly avoiding oncoming bumpers. Because of these unforgettable stunts, Trinity’s Ducati 996 is our favorite Matrix vehicle.
This Italian superbike seems easy to identify: its 996 badge is easily recognizable on its tank. But Keanu Reeves confused Matrix fans during a GQ interview. He showed off his motorcycle collection, including a bike he said was from the film. Reeves’ motorcycle is a custom Matrix edition, dark green 2004 Ducati 998–not a 996. What gives?
While Trinity stops her motorcycle to pull a one-eighty, its badge is clearly visible: She is riding a machine with a Ducati 996 badge. Perhaps, Ducati and the stunt team agreed that other scenes required a bike with more power. If so, they could have upgraded to the faster 998 during filming. Then, tied in with the release, the company launched a Matrix edition of the 998. Whatever the secret, the result is a great-looking sequence featuring a memorable motorcycle.