Earning in excess of $735,000,000 at the worldwide box-office, this is the most commercially successful R-rated movie in history. (However in some countries it was given a less restrictive PG-13 equivalent rating.) In North America it surpassed the nineteen-year record holder Beverly Hills Cop (1984) as the highest grossing R-rated release, though it would be surpassed itself by The Passion of the Christ (2004) less than a year later.
When the Merovingian swears in French, he says, "Nom de Dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperie de connard d'enculé de ta mère." This is just a string of curses strung together, and means "Goddamn Whore Filthy Shithouse Jerk Bugger of your mother."
When Smith pulls up in an Audi at the beginning of the film, his license plate is IS 5416. In the King James Bible, Isaiah 54:16 says, Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.
The role of Seraph was originally written specifically for Jet Li. Reportedly, Jet Li asked for the same amount of money as Keanu Reeves was getting to do the film. The role was then changed to a female and offered to Michelle Yeoh, who turned it down due to scheduling conflicts.
The Ship referred to as the Hammer is labeled (and actually named) Mjolnir, a difficult name to pronounce. This explains why nobody calls it by its real name. Mjolnir is the name for the famous Hammer of Thor, the Nordic God of Thunder.
There were several injuries on the set: Carrie-Anne Moss broke her leg training for a wire stunt, Laurence Fishburne fractured an arm in another training incident and Hugo Weaving put out a disc in his neck while being pulled back on a wire.
It was reported that Keanu Reeves volunteered to give up a claim to a share of ticket sales amounting to around $38 million when producers feared that the film would never recoup the cost of the special effects.
Trinity uses a genuine hack to get into the Matrix. She uses Nmap version 2.54BETA25 (an actual port scanning tool) to find a vulnerable SSH server, and then proceeds to exploit it using the SSH1 CRC32 exploit from 2001.
The Keymaker, while explaining how Neo will reach the Architect, says they will have to knock out 27 blocks of power and they will have exactly 314 seconds before the power begins to reroute. In the Bible, the 27th book of the New Testament (Revelation) chapter 3, verse 14 speaks of being a witness to the source of creation (which in the Matrix is the Architect).
The key of the beginning theme you hear at the beginning of every Matrix movie (rousing strings and horn blasts) ascends by one semitone with each movie. The Matrix starts in the key of E, Matrix Reloaded in F and Matrix Revolutions in the key of F-sharp.
Laurence Fishburne suggested that his character remove his sunglasses for the fight with the agent on board the tractor-trailer, to remind the audience of Morpheus' fight with an agent in The Matrix (1999) (during which he wears no sunglasses), and to better express his character's vulnerability.
When Neo confronts the Architect, the Architect tells him " [the perfect Matrix's] doom is apparent to me now as a consequence of the imperfection inherent in every human being..." Images flashing on the monitor screens during these two lines include Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Adolf Hitler, a nuclear bomb's explosion, Saddam Hussein, George W. Bush and United States Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
The red chair Morpheus is sitting in when he is expounding his plan to access the source is the same red chair he was sitting in when he offered Neo the red and blue pills in The Matrix (1999) and when he explained to Neo what the Matrix was.
When Neo and Smith first meet face to face, a lighting panel is clearly visible reflected in Smith's glasses. This is the only instance of this in the film, pretty remarkable when so many characters in all three films wear sunglasses.
Total Film magazine says this film contains "the worst line ever delivered in a mainstream Hollywood film." The line of dialogue is: "Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to the programming of The Matrix."
When Neo is fighting the Smith clones (The Burly Brawl), some unconventional sound effects were used. When Neo is kicked and flies through and knocks over the group of Smiths, dominoes toppling over was used. At the end of the fight when Neo throws Smith by the leg into his clones, the sound of a bowling ball knocking over pins was used.
The idea of all programs being born from The Source, an entity of pure light, and returning there after their purpose is fulfilled is a philosophy borrowed from the Hindu belief in Brahma, who in Hindu mythology, is a god composed of pure life energy. This god created all things, and it is man's destiny to return to Brahmand after his/her destiny is fulfilled.
Though you must have the DVD subtitle option to ON to discern the dialogue, Neo's alter egos displayed on the screens in the Architect's chamber make the following outbursts: You can't control me! I'm going to smash you to bits! I'm going to fucking kill you! You can't make me do anything you Old White Prick!
In all of the Matrix films, Smith is seen "popping" his neck. In The Matrix, he does this before fighting Neo in the subway. In Reloaded, he does it after Neo absconds the Burly Brawl. And in Revolutions, he does so after the "Machine Entity" begins to delete him.
There are twelve hoverships in Zion's fleet, of which ten are shown or mentioned in the films and video game, Enter the Matrix (2003), and whose names and captains are as follows: Osiris - Thadeus; Logos - Niobe; Nebuchadnezzar (Neb) - Morpheus; Mjolnir (Hammer) - Roland; Caduceus - Ballard; Gnosis - Ice; Vigilant - Soren; Icarus - Ajax; Brahma - Kali; Novalis - Tirant. Concept artwork reveals the names of the remaining two ships: the Ganesha and the Vishnu.
Because the twins' Cadillac Escalade EXT was not in production at the time of the movie's filming, General Motors had to graft together fiberglass Cadillac parts with prototype Chevrolet Avalanche pickup trucks, to create the black truck seen in the freeway chase. The Lincoln Continental from The Matrix (1999) makes a brief cameo appearance toward the beginning of the film. The underground garage where the characters select a car is populated with all Cadillacs, including a classic 1950s El Dorado and prototype of the 2004 XLR.
When Neo and Smith meet for the first time in the film, there is a piece of white graffiti on the fence behind them. The graffiti is written in runes and spells out 'thew' (thorn, eoh, wynn). 'Thew' is Old-English and means servant or slave. This ties into the theme of the film.
According to Oakland city officials who worked with the filmmakers on the downtown Oakland shots, all red and blue colors had to be removed, so sidewalk curbs were painted over. Also, there could be no greenery or other plant life, so filming was done over the winter before tree leaves sprouted in the spring.
For the burly brawl scene, certain sections of the fights used a digital versions of Neo and Smith. The VFX team used Sony HDR-900 High Definition cameras to scan their images as to generate digital sequences and Smith clones. For live action, sequences were shot in 18 second intervals as to change camera angles and because Neo has more than 250 moves to perform
The freeway in Akron, Ohio was initially the first choice for the location to shoot the freeway chase scene but the crew decided not to shoot there as it will take one hour to back up all cars as to prepare for the start of a take.
During the freeway chase, the police radio dispatcher calls "1-Adam-12, please respond." (at around 1 mins) This was the call sign of the police cruiser in the 1968 television police drama series Adam-12 (1968).
Historical reference: the Merovingians were the first dynasty of kings in France, from 486 to 751 It is also the name of a type of Gnostic Church (many elements of Gnosticism appear in the Matrix films).
The Matrix Reloaded (2003) promotional material was in such high demand, that distributors were extremely worried about it being stolen. To combat this, standees and banners were sent out with the code names of "Caddyshack 2" and "The Replacements". Several cinemas thought they had not received the materials due to these names, and as such, did not display them until the last minute.
The character known to us as 'The Kid' is actually of the name 'Michael Karl Popper' as revealed in the Animatrix series. Karl Popper was a famous 20th century philosopher who notably did work on the nature of free will and the relation of mind and choice to the physical realms.
The script for the movie (while in production) was code-named The Burly Man. The Burly Man is the title of the script Barton Fink is working on in the film Barton Fink (1991). While shooting the freeway sequence, the directors watched rushes etc. in a vehicle referred to by the crew as the Burly Van.
Merovingian's garage contains 18 Cadillacs from different time periods. These were sourced through the Cadillac Association of New South Wales. As Australia is a right hand drive country, fake steering wheels were inserted into most of the cars while the original steering wheel was covered up.
At the freeway chase, a signboard has the exit to a place called Paterson Pass (which is a road between Livermore and Tracy California, east of the Alameda freeway production site - the exit is off of Interstate 5). This was a reference to the production designer, Owen Paterson.
The freeway exit sign (the one listing Whipple Ave, Woodside Rd, Marsh Rd) passed during the freeway chase is the same sign that you would pass on the real-world highway 101 if you had just left the headquarters of Oracle Corporation and were heading southbound on 101.
The tractor-trailer used in the freeway chase scene has Big Endian Eggs written on its side. This is a reference to Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels: The Lilliputians, being very small, had correspondingly small political problems. The Big-Endian and Little-Endian parties debated over whether soft-boiled eggs should be opened at the big end or the little end, (Big-endian has also been adopted as computer terminology.)
In the fight with the three agents at the beginning of the film, Neo kicks one of the agents into the lamppost made by Darrow Industries, a reference to the Matrix films' conceptual designer, Geofrey Darrow.
In the car chase scene, right before they enter the freeway, the word "steak" can be seen on a building in the background. "Steak" was the password given out at the end of the credits of the first movie.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
When Morpheus' ship the Nebuchadnezzer is destroyed, the line he states "I had a dream, but now the dream is gone from me" is alluded to in the Book of Daniel, where King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream of the Golden image that Daniel interprets for him.