Title: The Art of the Matrix
Screenplay: Andy and
Illustrations: Geof Darrow,
Steve Skroce, Tani Kunitake,
Collin Grant, Warren Manser
Editor: Spencer Lamm
Related: The Matrix
Released about a year after the sleeper hit The Matrix rocked the cinemas back in 1999 and sent fans scrambling onto various online forums to indulge themselves in seemingly infinite noodle-baking sessions, The Art of the Matrix does not exactly qualify as a 'making-of' book. Hardcover, heavy and thick, it is filled with glossy pages that will have you cursing yourself should you find your own oily fingerprints smeared on them.
It is not so difficult to figure out why it has the word 'art' in its title, ranging from the meticulously detailed and descriptive conceptual drawings from respected artists of the trade, to the common stick figures and sketches produced by the Wachowski brothers themselves. The quality of the art and drawings are extremely well done, and the comments from artists such as Steve Skroce (Spider-Man, Wolverine), Geof Darrow (Hard Boiled), Tani Kunitake (12 Monkeys) and Warren Manser (Spider-Man, Daredevil) will definitely leave you mesmerized. It is, in a way, quite informative to read what they have to say about their artworks, and how each idea came about. Then when they got bored they ended up drawing a little mouse on one of the sentinels...
There were also some scene-by-scene storyboards which did not quite make it into the movie due to safety and budgetary concerns. Also included in the book is the complete shooting script by writers/directors Andy and Larry Wachowski, with some parts that either differed or were left out from the movie, having ended up on the cutting-room floor. You cannot help but wonder how the movie would have turned out, if the deleted scenes did make it into the end product. On the last few pages of the book were selected pictures and posters for the movie. The only bad thing about it is that you have to resist the temptation to tear them off the book and stick them on your wall.
Strictly for those who are big fans of the movie, to add to their ever-expanding Matrix collection. Comic book lovers will probably not go wrong with this one, too. Counting on an upcoming The Art of the Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions? I do not see why not.