Frequently Asked Questions: Tank's Death

M2: How did Tank die - didn't he survive Cypher's betrayal?

Toward the end of the first movie, Tank tells Trinity that he'll be fine, but in the second movie, Link is Morpheus's new operator since Tank apparently died (which we confirm when Link and Zee talk). Unfortunately, the real explanation has nothing to do with the storyline: Tank's real life actor, Marcus Chong, was offered $250,000 to do the second and third movies, but he demanded $500,000. Apparently, he "flipped out" and had ridiculous demands of the directors, calling them while they slept, asking for more lines and more money. I even read that Joel Silvers had Marcus reported to the FBI and his picture posted at the security booth of Warner Bros. (not sure if that is true).

Personally, I prefer Harold Perrineau's (Link's) acting to Marcus Chong's anyway, so just as with Gloria Foster's death, the Wachowskis again managed to make a virtue of necessity. As far as plotline is concerned, we can speculate that Tank died from his wounds despite his reassuring self-diagnosis, but beyond that we don't know.

Speaking of bad relations, in a chat session the Wachowskis did with their fans, they said about Joe Pantoliano (the actor who plays Cypher in M1):

WachowskiBros: There is a court order against Joe Pantoliano for coming within a hundred feet of us.

I'm not sure why!

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