R&B singer Aaliyah will head to Australia in March to begin shooting the first of two sequels to the high-tech thriller "The Matrix," according to the Hollywood Reporter. She will play a

R&B singer Aaliyah will head to Australia in March to begin shooting the first of two sequels to the high-tech thriller "The Matrix," according to the Hollywood Reporter. She will play a character named Zee in the films.

Like the original, both sequels will be directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski and star Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, and Hugo Weaving. Filming on the third "Matrix" project will begin as soon as production on the second is completed. Part two is tentatively scheduled to hit theaters in the summer of 2002.

Aaliyah made her film debut in last year's "Romeo Must Die." Her song "Try Again," from the film's soundtrack, is nominated for a best female R&B vocal performance Grammy. In June, the track became the first to ever to reach No. 1 on The Billboard Hot 100 without a commercial release. Aaliyah's new, as-yet-untitled album is set for an April 24 release on Blackground/Virgin. Among the tracks are first single "Loose Rap," "Never No More," and "Steady Ground."

The artist will also appear in Anne Rice's "Queen Of The Damned," playing the character Akasha The Queen. The film, based on Rice's book, is due in theaters in October. Aaliyah recently spoke to Billboard's Melinda Newman regarding the balancing act between her film and music careers.

"I'd literally go from the movie studio to the recording studio. I'm like two different people," she said. "Once they say, 'Cut -- it's a wrap for the day,' I leave the costumes on the set. I have two different facets to my career. I have to know how to turn it on and off.""