In a time where studios have found great success in reviving pre-existing properties for a new audience, it was only a matter of time before The Matrix became next in line. Just yesterday, it was reported Warner Bros. was developing a reboot of the iconic sci-fi franchise, with Creed star Michael B. Jordan eyed to star. Fans of the groundbreaking original from the Wachowskis didn’t take too kindly to this announcement, but seeing that the Matrix trilogy grossed $1.8 billion collectively, the business motivations for such a move are understandable.
Currently, WB has Zak Penn (The Avengers) working on a script treatment, but the studio has larger plans than just a single film. As is the case with most tentpole series, they’re hoping to launch another shared universe for the big screen – complete with multiple sequels and spinoffs. If that’s the case, then some more creative minds are going to have to come together, and now WB is putting the pieces in place for a Matrix brain trust.
According to Deadline, there’s a strong possibility WB assembles a writers room to figure out the best course of action moving forward. This practice has become prevalent in Hollywood over the years, as evidenced by the Lucasfilm story group (which oversees all aspects of the Star Wars canon) and Paramount’s Transformers team that’s working hard on projects for the robots in disguise (such as the Bumblebee standalone). It’s worth pointing out this is all in the “exploratory phase” and is not official just yet.
It isn’t surprising that this is an option WB is considering. With so many blockbuster films hitting theaters, it’s pertinent to find ways to stand out from the crowd and go big. Even Marvel is starting to move away from strictly “solo” superhero movies by giving each one some sort of crossover element (Hulk and Thor in Ragnarok). There’s still a place for these so-called smaller works, but launching a larger franchise in the Matrix universe sounds better on-paper than simply doing a remake of the first movie. If fans were promised a further examination of the series mythos in different films, some might become intrigued. After all, The Matrix Reloaded revealed Neo was not the first “One,” so there’s potential for prequels that depict the earliest days of the Matrix. Plus, with technology more advanced than ever, there could be some interesting opportunities for commentary there.
At the same time, one does have to wonder if WB would be better off leaving this alone and instead focus on their burgeoning DCEU and MonsterVerse franchises. While the Matrix sequels proved to be divisive, the first film is hailed as one of the greatest sci-fi works of all-time thanks to its original story and mind-bending visual effects. It’s difficult to see how a reboot could measure up to something so influential on the film medium, even with a talented actor like Jordan in the lead. Of course, there have been some reboots that pleasantly surprised audiences, so perhaps The Matrix can one day join those ranks.
We’ll keep you updated on The Matrix reboot as more information becomes available.