The Matrix 4: Everything We Know About The Next Installment Of The Classic Franchise
Few movies from the past two decades have had the impact of The Matrix. The movie, which was written and directed by Lana and Lilly Wachowski and starred Keanu Reeves, was released in June 1999 and was an instant commercial and critical hit. It was brilliantly written and directed mix of intelligent, philosophical sci-fi drama and inventive, thrilling action that broke new ground in terms of visual effects and, five years after Speed, crowned Reeves as the decade's greatest (and most unlikely) action star.
Anticipation was high for the two sequels, Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions, which were shot back-to-back and both released in 2003. Unfortunately, they were big disappointments, with muddled plotting and very little of the thrilling verve and imagination of the original. There is good stuff in both films, but most fans agreed that they simply didn't live up to the promise of the first movie. Years later, The Matrix is still revered as a modern classic, while the sequels feel like ill-conceived relics from another era.
Of course, sequels and reboots are nothing new in Hollywood, but this did feel like a movie series that was done and dusted--and for all it's many flaws, Matrix Revolutions did have a pretty conclusive ending. Nevertheless, rumors about The Matrix 4 emerged in May this year, and although these were initially denied, by August, Warner had officially confirmed that the movie was happening. Some of the cast has already been announced, and we can expect more news to emerge over the coming months. So here's everything we know so far about The Matrix 4...
Is there a title or release date?
The Matrix 4 does not yet have a confirmed release date or title. However, Variety recently reported that the movie is expected to start production at the start of 2020, so a 2021 release seems likely.
Who's coming back?
It would be difficult to imagine a new Matrix movie with Keanu Reeves, and he will return to the role as Neo. He'll be joined by co-star Carrie-Ann Moss, who played Trinity in the previous films. Reeves' star profile is currently higher than it has been for years, with the on-going success of John Wick movies and the next year's highly anticipated Bill & Ted Face the Music on the way. Moss was most recently seen in Marvel Netflix show Jessica Jones, the second (and final) season of which was released back in June. There's no news yet on if Laurence Fishburne will return as Morpheus, but in August, Variety's Justin Kroll suggested that we might instead get a younger version of the character.
Two new actors has been announced so far for The Matrix 4. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who played Black Manta in last year's DC smash Aquaman, will take on a "lead role" in the movie. Abdul-Mateen II also appeared in the most recent season of Black Mirror and is part of the cast of the new Watchmen series, which premieres this week. If Morpheus is set to appear as a younger man, he would be a great choice to replace Laurence Fishburne. How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris has also been announced as part of the cast, but again, we have no details on who he will play.
Series co-creator Lana Wachowski will return to direct The Matrix 4, although she will doing so without sister Lilly. This will be Lana's first solo movie directing credit--not only did the pair helm the other three Matrix movies together, they also directed films such as Bound, Speed Racer, and Jupiter Ascending. One other key name from the older films that might also return is John Wick director Chad Stahelski, who worked as stunt coordinator on the previous movies. It was Stahelski who first leaked that Matrix 4 was in the works, and he has stated that he would love to be involved if the movie happens.
Who's writing the script?
The Matrix 4 will be written by Lana Wachowski, Aleksandar Hemon, and David Mitchell. Wachowski co-wrote the previous movies with Lilly, but this is the first time outside writers have been involved. Interestingly, both Hemon and Mitchell are best known as novelists rather than screenwriters. However, Hemon did previously work with the Wachowskis on their sci-fi TV show Sense8, while Mitchell's acclaimed 2004 novel Cloud Atlas was turned into a 2013 movie, co-directed by the Wachowskis.
What's the story?
Unsurprisingly, we know virtually nothing about the plot of The Matrix 4, beyond the fact that Neo and Trinity will be back, and Morpheus might feature as a younger man. Obviously the movie will have to deal with the fact both neither Neo or Trinity survive the end of Matrix Revolutions, but the end of that movie does leave the door slightly open for Neo's return, when the Oracle says she suspects she'll see him again "someday." We'll find out soon enough.