In 1999, The Matrix starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, and Carrie-Anne Moss was released. Directed by the Wachowskis, The Matrix became one of the highest-grossing movies of 1999, leaving behind Fight Club, American Beauty, and The Mummy.
Considered to be one of the greatest science-fiction movies of all time, The Matrix revolutionized the genre with its relatable themes of existence, stylized fight sequences, and the iconic Bullet-Time. An allegory on gender fluidity, The Matrix was praised by critics for its skillful handling of contemporary issues of identity.
As one of the highest-grossing movies of its time, The Matrix was quickly expanded into sequels, comic books, video games, and animated short films. The impact of the movie also prompted numerous theories and discussions related to religious and philosophical parallels shown in the movie.
In 2003, the sequel, The Matrix Reloaded was released and broke the box-office record of James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day. The sequel earned a whopping $739.4 million at the box-office, the highest box-office collection for an R-rated movie till it was broken by Deadpool (2016).
Just six months after the release of the second movie, the third sequel titled The Matrix Revolutions was released. Considered to be the weakest part of the trilogy, The Matrix Revolutions was panned by critics for its lack of depth, unlike its predecessors. As a conclusive movie to the trilogy, it failed to make its impact and was called anticlimactic by most critics.
After 17 years, The Matrix is finally coming back with most of the original cast intact. Previously considered to be a remake, Matrix 4 will continue the story where it left from in the third movie. Keanu Reeves, who played the iconic Neo would be returning for Matrix 4 alongside Carrie-Ann Moss (Trinity), Jada Pinkett-Smith (Niobe), and Lambert Wilson (The Merovingian).
Surprisingly, Laurence Fishburne, who played the role of Morpheus won’t be returning for the upcoming movie. Also, Matrix 4 will be the first part of the franchise that will be solely directed by Lana Wachowski. Collaborating with Aleksander Hemon and David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas), Matrix 4 began production back on February 4, 2020, before shutting down for the ongoing CoVID-19 pandemic.
As one of the most anticipated movies, Matrix 4 unsurprisingly stirred numerous theories and discussions. One of the most prevalent theories was the upcoming movie being a prequel which would have shown Keanu Reeves’ Neo going back in time to recruit Morpheus to aid their battle against the machines. However, being the nice guy Keanu Reeves is, most fan theories have been shut down by the prolific actor.
During the promotion of Bill & Ted Face the Music, franchise star Keanu Reeves confirmed that the upcoming movie is not going to be a prequel. Instead, the movie is going to be a different version, which was raised a lot of eyebrows.
No, no. No going in the past. It’s another version, a call to wake up and it has some great action. All will be revealed.
As the fourth installment, the movie is currently being kept tightly under wraps, no official confirmation has yet arrived regarding the plot. But if Keanu Reeves’ cryptic statement must be deciphered, then Matrix 4 is probably going to exist in a different version of the Matrix.
For Matrix 4, How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris is reportedly the primary antagonist. Joining Neil Patrick Harris are Aquaman and Watchmen star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Quantico lead actress Priyanka Chopra, Game of Thrones actress Jessica Henwick, Mindhunter and Hamilton star Jonathan Groff, Sense8 actors Toby Onwumere, Max Riemelt, Erendira Ibarra, and Brian J. Smith, Ellen Hollman from Spartacus, and Andrew Caldwell from iZombie. The filming for Matrix 4 has resumed since August 16, 2020, in Berlin, Germany.
As a pathbreaking science-fiction movie, The Matrix changed the landscape of the genre with its contemporary issues of identity, existence, and perceived reality. However, the sequels to The Matrix were far less enticing as they relied heavily on stylized action sequences and CGI effects, instead of intriguing philosophical concepts which popularized the first movie. As Matrix 4 is reportedly going in a different direction than its predecessors, we can only hope that it will be able to re-create the magic of the first movie by once again revolutionizing the genre while keeping the nostalgia intact.
Matrix 4 is scheduled to release on 1st April 2022.