Here's everything we know about the in-development reboot of The Matrix. Originally released in 1999, it has now been 20 years since the Wachowskis introduced the world to what has become one of the most influential sci-fi action movies in this time span - and maybe ever. The first film followed a computer hacker named Neo (Keanu Reeves) who is shown that most of the human population are prisoners of a simulation.
The movie re-established Reeves as one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, introduced ground-breaking action techniques, and furthered the smart sci-fi genre. Grossing $463.5 million globally, The Matrix immediately became a franchise audiences wanted to see more of. Warner Bros. and the Wachowskis hatched a plan to film two sequels back-to-back and made the rare move to release them both in theaters in the same year. In early 2003, The Matrix Reloaded became an even bigger hit financially, grossing $742.1M worldwide, amid favorable reviews. However, The Matrix Revolutions proved to be a disappointing ending to the trilogy later that year, as harsh critical reviews and a divisive audience response made it the lowest grossing entry.
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Despite the rough ending to the franchise, The Matrix is ripe for more stories. Warner Bros. is reportedly looking to get the franchise back off the ground, and here's what we know about the possible new film so far.
Michael B Jordan Was Reported To Star In The Matrix Reboot
Back when word first surfaced of WB's interest in making more Matrix movies, it was reported that they were looking at Michael B. Jordan to potentially star. Him being their top target made sense at the time (nearly two years ago now) as he was still fresh off of the success of Creed. In the years since, Jordan's profile and star power has only continued to increase. His performance as Killmonger in Black Panther earned him plenty of attention, while he continued to shoulder the load of the Rocky franchise with Creed II.
Jordan's ability as a dramatic actor makes him a perfect choice to take over The Matrix, with his star power also a bonus. However, there have been no updates in the two years since the original reporting that Jordan is anything more than a dream casting choice for WB, and he's since become attached to a handful of projects that will keep him busy for years to come. It is unclear if The Matrix will be one of these, but hopefully it will be eventually.
Keanu Reeves Is Interested In A Matrix 4 Return (But Hasn't Heard Anything)
When it comes to The Matrix though, Reeves is almost as synonymous with the movie as anything else, which has left fans wanting to see him make a return. He has three appearances as Neo under his belt, and similar long-awaited sequel/reboots have typically brought back former stars - just look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens or Halloween. For what it is worth, Reeves is open to making a return in this possible next installment - but only if the Wachowskis are still involved.
The former star may be willing to put on the black trench coat once more if the circumstances were right, but that doesn't mean he knows what is going to happen. He has confirmed as much in the past by saying, "I don't know anything about it." If Reeves is going to make a return as Neo, he's not in the know about it right now - or at least is not at liberty to confirm such a return.
The Matrix 4 May Be About Young Morpheus
Without knowing what capacity (if any) Reeves or the Wachowskis will be involved, the reboot may turn the focus on a young Morpheus. Laurence Fishburne previously portrayed the Zion operative, but his backstory was relatively unexplored in the original trilogy. Following the reports that Jordan was being eyed for the lead role, it was shared that the role WB wanted him for was young Morpheus. A young Morpheus origin movie is just one of many ideas that the studio is reportedly considering, and with the film's development going quiet, it is unclear if Jordan will be involved, if he would play a young Morpheus if he was, or if neither of these aspects to the film will be true.
The Matrix 4 Isn't a Reboot, A Remake Or A Continuation
There is more unknown aspects to the next Matrix movie though, as the status of the fourth film in the franchise is a bit confusing. Zak Penn (Ready Player One) is the one who has been hired to write the script and he has not made deciphering what the movie will be an easy task. He previously mentioned on Twitter that the film is not a reboot, remake, or continuation of the original Matrix trilogy. Penn mentioned that there is no need to reboot the series at all, but has confirmed that he is working on something set within this universe.
The one point that Penn has tried to make clear above all else is that this movie, if it does happen, will not be a straight retelling of what the Wachowskis already explored. Penn has specifically told eager fans to look towards the anime film The Animatrix and comics set within the universe to gain an understanding of what he is trying to accomplish. His new spin on the franchise may go the anthology route, based on The Animatrix comparisons, in an effort to avoid the reboot, remake, or continuation tags.
The Matrix 4 Could Start A New Shared Universe
We do know that whatever Penn is working on could help WB launch a brand new shared universe based around The Matrix. Penn has likened the different directions the franchise could go to the X-Men franchise, which has found some of its most successful endeavors by switching up genres. After dealing primarily with the same tone, characters, and story for the first three films, this could be a welcomed change for the future of the simulated franchise.
Furthermore, there were previous reports that WB was interested in assembling a writer's room for The Matrix that would be used to generate several different potential movies. Writer's rooms have become common practice in Hollywood for potential franchises and cinematic universes. There has yet to be any updates that a group of writers have been hired though, so it is unclear how far into this process WB has got.