Free your thoughts. It’s not a remake, reboot, or reimagining. It’s a resurrection. After 18 years, The Matrix is again, although not the identical as we left it. Shifting launch dates forged some doubt over whether or not the movie is definitely popping out this 12 months, however the first full-length trailer is lastly right here. And it means that The Matrix Resurrections will stay as much as the unique trilogy’s legacy of entertaining and difficult science fiction.
The brand new trailer leans laborious into nostalgia (good day, “White Rabbit”), however once-familiar characters at the moment are seemingly strangers to themselves and to one another. After all, these thoughts video games wouldn’t pack practically the identical punch with out superb Wachowski-stylized motion, which now appears impressed partly by the Keanu Reeves–starring John Wick movies (mockingly, the work of combat choreographer Chad Stahelski, who doubled as Neo and served as stunt coordinator for the unique trilogy). Even with all there may be to see within the new trailer, so many questions nonetheless stay. Let’s see how deep the rabbit gap goes.
The First Wachowski Solo Act
Lana Wachowski returns to the director’s chair however this time with out her sister, Lilly. This marks the primary time within the filmmakers’ careers that they’re going their separate methods creatively. The Matrix movies have all the time been the singular works of two minds, so what form this resurrection takes with half the earlier equation lacking stays to be seen. The trailer, not less than, doesn’t betray any cause to fret about whether or not Lana can ship on the sequence’s fashionable sensibilities. And she or he’s introduced authors David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas) and Aleksandar Hemon (Nowhere Man) on as co-writers, who will undoubtedly ship a heady and philosophical story that retains audiences speaking.
So why didn’t Lilly return? The filmmaker is presently the showrunner, government producer, author, and director of the Showtime sequence Work in Progress. She not too long ago informed Leisure Weekly that she spent numerous time reconnecting with herself after her transition and the demise of her dad and mom. “There was something about the idea of going backward and being a part of something that I had done before that was expressly unappealing,” she mentioned. Whereas the notion of doing one other Matrix didn’t go well with Lilly, different key gamers within the franchise had no downside plugging again in once more.
It wouldn’t be The Matrix with out Keanu Reeves. The beloved actor returns as Neo, this time rocking his signature John Wick look. Carrie-Anne Moss additionally returns as Trinity, and Jada Pinkett Smith is again as Niobe, although she isn’t within the trailer. A few smaller supporting characters may even return: Daniel Bernhardt reprises his function as Agent Johnson from The Matrix Reloaded, and Lambert Wilson returns because the trafficker of data, the Merovingian, from Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.
Whereas there may be hypothesis that different acquainted faces would possibly seem, they’ve but to be introduced. The obvious omissions from the line-up thus far are Hugo Weaving’s iconic baddie, Agent Smith, and Laurence Fishburne’s equally inimitable Morpheus. In Weaving’s case, scheduling conflicts prevented him from showing, which raises a couple of questions on Neo’s function within the movie with out his reverse. As for Fishburne, the actor, surprisingly, was by no means approached for the brand new film. Fishburne informed Collider this 12 months, “I am not in the next Matrix movie, and you’d have to ask Lana Wachowski why, because I don’t have an answer for that.” As laborious as it’s to think about a Matrix movie with out Fishburne, the reply might lie within the plot of Resurrections. However first …
The Matrix Resurrections is including loads of new faces to the franchise. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Watchmen, Candyman) and Iron Fist’s Jessica Henwick look like the brand new co-leads, working with a pleasant set of latest abilities and heavy artillery. Neil Patrick Harris seems as Thomas Anderson’s psychologist, who simply must be a program. And Jonathan Groff, Toby Onwumere, Max Riemelt, Eréndira Ibarra, Priyanka Chopra, Andrew Caldwell, Brian J. Smith, Ellen Hollman, and Christina Ricci spherical out the remainder of the forged.
What’s the Story?
That query remains to be difficult; the trailer retains a lot of the precise plot hidden. What we do know is that Neo, as soon as once more going by Thomas Anderson, and Trinity look like again within the Matrix program, however they don’t keep in mind one another or any of their previous lives. Anderson’s being prescribed a gentle provide of blue capsules, presumably by his psychiatrist — whose blue-rimmed glasses are a sinister giveaway. Neo stops taking the capsules and begins to note issues usually are not what they appear. The Alice in Wonderland metaphor makes an aggressive comeback right here, not solely by the trailer’s Jefferson Airplane music selection, but in addition within the precise Lewis Carroll e-book, given to Anderson by a girl in glasses (Priyanka Chopra) who often is the newest replace of the Oracle (so memorably performed by Gloria Foster and Mary Alice within the trilogy).
We see loads of motion, however there’s no clear sense of the risk. The acquainted black-suited brokers aren’t operating round; as an alternative, we see a SWAT team-esque militia going through off in opposition to Anderson, Trinity, and a number of other of the movie’s new characters. There are additionally new powers showcased within the movie, because the characters handle to bend the principles of the Matrix. However to what finish? There are fast glimpses of the Sentinel or “Squidy” machines and the Energy Plant the place people are nonetheless getting used as batteries. All of it suggests the truce between people and machines has ended, until …
On the finish of The Matrix Revolutions, The Matrix is rebooted and people are given the chance to go away the Matrix or keep inside its confines. It wouldn’t be too far a stretch to see huge numbers of individuals willingly subjecting themselves to the Matrix, particularly contemplating the desolation of the actual world. The alarm on Anderson’s face within the elevator at seeing everybody glued to their gadgets and devices, apart from him, appears to level a finger on the technology-addled mind of the trendy world. The Matrix is arguably simply the subsequent step, a method to supply humanity with consolation quite than preventing to make the world higher.
What’s the Deal With Morpheus?
We all know Fishburne isn’t returning, however that doesn’t imply Morpheus is solely out of the image. Some speculate that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is enjoying a youthful model of Morpheus, or a reboot, in different phrases. He definitely has his look and cadence. When the thought of a fourth Matrix movie first started percolating in 2017, with out the Wachowskis’ involvement and underneath the purview screenwriter Zak Penn, Michael B. Jordan was reportedly being checked out to play both a youthful model of Morpheus or his descendant. It’s unclear if any of these ideas remained and carried over to Lana’s movie.
There have been rumors that this new Morpheus would take the function Neo had within the authentic movie, with Neo guiding and ushering him to get up in the actual world. However it appears Abdul-Mateen II’s character will as soon as once more function one thing of a mentor to Anderson, who should be taught to develop into Neo as soon as extra.
Additional complicating the matter of Morpheus is the online game The Matrix On-line (2005), which depicted the demise of Morpheus in a transfer that proved controversial amongst followers. Whereas billed because the official continuation of the movie sequence, the sport acquired combined evaluations and went offline in 2009. Would Lana financial institution on a online game that by no means actually hit it massive? The sport’s story beats are nonetheless archived on-line, however that looks as if an enormous ask for a common viewers that doubtless by no means knew the sport existed in any respect.
Lana Wachowski has lengthy advocated for a mixed-media method to the franchise, with comics, The Animatrix, and one other online game, Enter the Matrix (2003), all established as canon underneath the umbrella of “The Continuing Story.” It’s an fascinating experiment, not solely in contrast to what Star Wars has achieved by the earlier Expanded Universe (née Legends), and the present Disney-operated line. However in contrast to Star Wars, The Matrix franchise hasn’t been in keeping with its output of further media. The one installments that really feel sure to nonetheless be thought-about canon are the three Matrix movies and The Animatrix. The remaining stays a thriller.
Is This an Ending … Or a New Starting?
The Matrix trilogy modified the language of cinema. It even modified the language of our social discourse, with “red pill” and “blue pill” now carrying loaded meanings. Does Resurrections stand an opportunity of doing it once more, particularly after so many movies, tv sequence, video video games, books, and comics have borrowed from the language and aesthetic of The Matrix? In all probability not, as a result of this world is now not new. However there’s nonetheless that means to be discovered, particularly given the developments in expertise because the Wachowskis first conceived their concept for the movie. Mankind’s relationship with machines and their very own perception methods will all the time be related.
The trailer additionally means that The Matrix Resurrections often is the begin of a brand new trilogy, quite than a coda to the prevailing one. We will’t know for positive simply but, but it surely does appear that Neo and Trinity’s reawakening will make up a considerable a part of this movie. And with the bevy of latest characters and an unknown risk looming, it feels as if audiences are on the cusp of a a lot greater story. The Matrix Resurrections might or might not finish with Neo as soon as once more taking to the sky, however we’re beginning to consider.