Reports this week that The Matrix – filmmakers Lana and Lilly Wachowski’s touchstone 1999 sci-fi action/thriller starring Keanu Reeves as The One himself, Neo – is getting a reboot, have prompted much in the way of discussion. While some fans of the Wachowskis’ original feature have vocalized their interest in seeing The Matrix rebooted for the 21st century, other fans have argued that The Matrix shouldn’t be revised at all. However, throughout the debate so far, there has been a question that has yet to be fully addressed: exactly how is this new Matrix installment going to reboot and/or relaunch the larger franchise, in the first place?
The report that set this entire discussion off – one asserting that Warner Bros. Pictures is considering a Matrix reboot starring Michael B. Jordan (of Creed fame) – specifically referred to the project as being a “reboot”, though it did not elaborate upon that. Screenwriter Zak Penn (The Incredible Hulk, The Avengers), who is the sole writer working on said Matrix revival right now, has now shed a bit more light on that very subject.
Penn has posted a series of tweets to his verified Twitter account, suggesting that The Matrix film he is developing is more of a continuation or expansion of the Matrix franchise, rather than a strict reboot/remake of the Wachowskis’ original 1999 film. We have strung together his most relevant tweets verbatim in paragraph form, below:
All I can say at this point is no one could or should REBOOT the Matrix. People who know Animatrix and the comics understand. Can’t comment yet except to say that the words “reboot” and “remake” were from an article. Let’s stop responding to inaccurate news… How about just re-release the matrix? Don’t reboot it, you can’t do better. Do I want to see more stories set in the universe of the matrix? Yes. Because it’s a brilliant idea that generates great stories. Look at what people are doing with Xmen universe. Between Logan and Legion and Deadpool, does anyone want them to stop? Not me.
The X-Men franchise is arguably going strong than ever now, what with Tim Miller’s raunchy action/comedy Deadpool, James Mangold’s grisly drama Logan and Noah Hawley’s trippy TV show Legion having all earned much in the way of critical acclaim. Perhaps just as importantly, each of these projects have put a refreshingly different twist on the general X-Men property too, so Penn drawing comparisons to that franchise and what is being planned for The Matrix, is encouraging in that respect.
Penn’s X-Men comparison, in combination with his other tweets, also suggests that his Matrix project isn’t going to discontinue the continuity of previous installments in the franchise (including, the short films that make up The Animatrix) but turn it into a shared universe, as the recent X-Men movies and TV shows alike have done. This also gels with reports that WB is considering assembling a Matrix writers group, in order to figure out the best approach to expanding the franchise from here.
Things are clearly fluid on The Matrix front right now, which accounts for Penn being hesitant to elaborate too much on exactly what said current plan is for this franchise. Still, the screenwriter’s words should provide comfort for those fans who aren’t keen on the idea of a film that simply recasts characters such as Neo, Morpheus and Trinity (made iconic by Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss, respectively), from the Wachowski sisters’ original landmark movie.
Source: Zak Penn