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Last Updated: Friday, 4 April, 2003, 08:47 GMT 09:47 UK
Matrix sequel set for Cannes
Keanu Reeves in The Matrix Reloaded
The sequel uses a lot of special effects

The Matrix Reloaded is to receive its world première at this year's Cannes Film Festival - the world's leading movie showcase.

The sequel to the The Matrix will be shown out of competition on 15 May, ahead of its worldwide release on 23 May.

The eagerly-awaited second movie sees Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss reprise their roles, with Jada Pinkett Smith as a newcomer to the cast.

The first and second Matrix films form two parts of a trilogy, with the final film to be released at the end of 2003.

The original high-action feature in 1999, loaded with special effects, was an award-winning global box office hit.

The Cannes Film Festival is considered a highly-prestigious event by most members of the movie industry.

As such, The Matrix: Reloaded will be very much in the spotlight, as will its stars, who are expected to attend the film's gala unveiling.

Spanish actress Penelope Cruz
Penelope Cruz's new film will open the festival

The sequel has a big reputation to live up to after the first film won four Academy Awards and made more than $460m (£294m) worldwide.

Organisers of the Cannes Film Festival are yet to release the full line-up of movies showing in and out of competition.

Spanish actress Penelope Cruz will star in the festival's opening movie, French-language feature Fanfan La Tulipe.

The film will also be shown out of competition at Cannes, where the top prize is the prestigious Palme d'Or.

Last year's winner was Oscar-winner Roman Polanski's The Pianist.

French movie director Patrice Chereau will head this year's festival jury.

He is best known for the historical drama La Reine Margot, which won the Cannes Jury Prize in 1994.

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