Will The New ‘Matrix 4’ Movie Strike Gold This Time Around?
Twenty years ago, the Wachowskis started a franchise that would later become a celebrated sci-fi trilogy and permanent resident in pop culture. It also put Keanu Reeves on top.
On August 30, The Matrix will return to theaters around the country for a special anniversary event that includes digital remastering and a week-long stay on the marquee. That’s why this week was perfect timing for Warner Bros. to share that the Matrix 4 is on its way.
Capitalizing on the love that Keanu Reeves is receiving, the enchantment with old movie properties, and Lana Wachowski’s availability, the powers-that-be behind The Matrix are making a fourth sequel happen. After the internet did their best Mr. Anderson impression and let out a collective “Whoa,” the thrill of seeing Neo and Trinity again on the big screen began to sink in, but for some, so did cautious skepticism.
Could another sequel lure in audiences at the level of the Halloween and Jurassic Park reboots? Or will it flounder and sink like Fantastic Four?
Why there is optimism surrounding ‘The Matrix 4’
As mentioned above, Keanu Reeves is on board to reprise his role as Neo as well as Carrie-Anne Moss for her part as Trinity. Only one Wachowski has committed to writing, producing, and directing the film, but she mentioned her sister when discussing this new installment, The Hollywood Reporter notes.
“Many of the ideas Lilly and I explored 20 years ago about our reality are even more relevant now. I’m very happy to have these characters back in my life and grateful for another chance to work with my brilliant friends.”
The prospect of there being an evolved, fresh take in the Matrix world is exciting fans as much as the fact that Reeves is returning. According to Variety, (who first broke the story) the script is ready and production will begin in early 2020.
While there hasn’t been confirmation that Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus is coming back, it’s said that the movie will feature younger versions of the film’s main characters. Interest has been piqued among the trilogy’s fanbase.
Why the ‘Matrix 4’ could be a risky bet
The first Matrix movie is considered a classic. The two sequels were box office successes, but not nearly as revered as the first, and interest waned a bit after The Matrix Reloaded. It should also be acknowledged that The Matrix Revolutions saw Neo and Trinity die at the end, so how would that be handled in a new film?
Fans and critics hope that they don’t get the Dan Conner treatment as seen in the Roseanne reboot, and hope that Matrix 4 has a plot that makes sense. Can it be done? Yes, but audiences will want a satisfying preview of where these iconic characters are headed in this new chapter.
Viewers don’t want predictability, confusing plots and subplots, or outrageous levels of CGI. For every success like Jumanji, there’s a Hellboy waiting to tank. But for what it’s worth, stars of The Matrix believe the franchise is still capable of greatness.
Successful reboots require the right formula
The Matrix was considered an innovative film during its time for its special effects, cinematography, story, and action sequences. It was thought-provoking and viewers couldn’t get enough of its martial arts scenes and “magic.” It’s still a heavily quoted, referenced, and memed film twenty years later.
But this isn’t 1999. Technology has advanced tremendously, and in order to create a revival that’s not terrible or “meh,” it should be just the right mix of tech, great casting, and engaging storytelling. Some reboots overdo the digital effects but neglect the story, and others do a poor to mediocre job with casting, hoping the audience will be so drunk with nostalgia that we won’t notice.
One thing The Matrix has going for itself (besides the involvement of three key people) is that it’s still viewed as being relevant today, especially the philosophy and social commentary woven through the series.
This past June, UPROXX interviewed Carrie-Anne Moss, and when asked about the film’s impact, she was passionate about its relevancy:
“I think it’s never been more relevant. I have to try not to say to people, ‘Oh it’s like The Matrix!’ Every day. I just recently watched them all again. I hadn’t watched them in forever, since they came out, really. And I just think they’re just so deep and meaningful and have such relevance to what we’re dealing with right now with the way that we’re being manipulated by our phones and by technology and by the news outlets and the media that I’m reading and the media that you’re reading. And I’m constantly looking at ‘what are we a slave to?’ ‘Who’s controlling my thoughts and my ideas?’ ‘Am I being used by a system that doesn’t care about me?” And I think The Matrix really stood for that and really opened our eyes to that at a time when we could only think that would happen, and now, we’re actually living it. So, I think about it a lot, and the writing is so powerful and just a really — sometimes I call it a documentary.”
Hollywood revivals are hit or miss, but with a seasoned Wachowski on the job and Moss and Reeves ready for action, the Matrix 4 could find itself standing in the hall of beloved reboots along with Jurassic World.
This could be one of those films that fans might not think they need but wind up loving, sending box office receipts through the roof.