05/16/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT
"The Matrix Reloaded," which opened Thursday in America, also bowed that same day at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was enthusiastically received, reports France's AFP news service.
Before winging to the South of France for the premiere, however, the sci-fi thriller's star, Keanu Reeves, 38, told Reuters in Los Angeles that he's not afraid of being typecast as the super-powered hero Neo.
"I don't think, as an actor, that is going to be a concern, in terms of being pigeonholed. 'Well, just go be that Neo guy, '" he said, doing his best to sound like a casting director.
Not that moviegoers will be able to see anything else this weekend. "Reloaded" is being shown on more than 8,500 movie screens, or roughly one-quarter of those in America.
Comparing himself to Harrison Ford, who played the title role in the "Indiana Jones" series (the first "Matrix," in 1999, was pretty popular, too, generating $456 million worldwide), Reeves said: "Harrison Ford is that character. He's such a central figure in that piece. Neo is much more a part of a whole."
As for what audiences should find appealing about "Matrix Reloaded," he says: "It has ideas you can take with you, but it is a film you can also be entertained by."