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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 May, 2003, 13:37 GMT 14:37 UK
World première for Matrix sequel
Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving
Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving star in the film
The stars of the highly-anticipated Matrix sequel turned out for the film's première in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.

Keanu Reeves, who plays freedom fighter Neo, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, and the heavily pregnant Carrie-Anne Moss, all paraded before fans and the cameras.

Other stars in the film who also made it to the event included Jada Pinkett Smith and Italian actress Monica Bellucci.

The Matrix Reloaded, the follow-up to the 2000 hit The Matrix, is possibly the most eagerly-awaited film of 2003.

It is the first of two sequels, with the third film due to be unveiled in November.

Groundbreaking effects

Reeves, Fishburne and Moss play a trio of freedom fighters who travel into a digital world to battle machines that have enslaved the Earth, with Weaving playing a computer-controlled agent intent on their demise.

Pinkett Smith's husband Will Smith, Demi Moore, Lucy Liu and Sandra Bullock also made to the red carpet event.

The original film has become a massively influential piece of cinema, due to its groundbreaking effects of slowed down bullets and gravity-defying fight scenes.

The Matrix Reloaded
The Matrix sequels were made in Australia and the US over two years

Reeves said taking on the role as Neo had "given me so much".

"As an actor, as a performer, in my life, the challenges that it had, the people that I got to work with - it was beautiful."

His co-star Moss, who plays the rebel Trinity, said: "I just really love playing this character and being part of this team."

The film is being widely tipped to take more money than The Matrix, which has made more than $300m (£193m) so far.

The actors have spent the last two years working on the two sequels in Australia.

They have also worked on ambitious stunt sequences in Los Angeles, which included a car chase sequence on an specially-built two miles of freeway that cost millions of dollars to construct.

The film is released world-wide on 23 May.

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