The Matrix (1999) was of the modern era’s defining fantasy movies, a showcase for how far visual effects and technology were progressing combined with an interesting premise about our nature of reality in a digital age. It’s hugely successful mix of visuals, action, story and ambition made sure that Laurence and Andrew Wachowski were able to create a full trilogy of films (including The Matrix: Reloaded and The Matrix: Revolutions in 2003) and also gave them an A-List calling-card for Hollywood projects. That being said, the two sequels were met with mixed reactions. Certainly the visual effects continued to soar, but they became more known for those elements and their set-pieces than having a truly coherent story.
After the third movie and a few animated projects around the same time, most presumed that the Matrix itself was now a closed circuit – that there was nothing really left to say on a narrative level and other films picked up the VFX baton and ran with it. The Wachowkis went on to work on projects such as the acclaimed V for Vendetta and then Speed Racer, Cloud Atlas and Jupiter Ascending which received mixed reviews. Seeking different projects, the siblings (now Lana and Lilly) continued to be creative with Lana working on the Netflix series Sense8.
So it might be something of a surprise – especially given the end of the original trilogy and various characters’ fates – to see today’s confirmation from Warner Bros. of a fourth Matrix movie in the works with Lana back to steer the process – and also with Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne Moss reprising their roles as Neo and Trinity. The script is currently being penned by Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell with an intent to start filming at the start of 2020.
“We could not be more excited to be re-entering ‘The Matrix’ with Lana,” said Warner Bros. Picture Group chairman Toby Emmerich. “Lana is a true visionary — a singular and original creative filmmaker — and we are thrilled that she is writing, directing and producing this new chapter in The Matrix universe.”
The recent success of Keanu Reeves in a series of John Wick movies may well have helped the project along and there had been rumours for some time that there was a desire to revisit the premise in some way – though at this point very little is known about the story itself. Opinion is so far divided on the news and a lot will rest on the finished result.