It’s been a slow couple of years for blockbuster movies. But with the likes of Black Widow and The Suicide Squad hitting the big screen recently, movie-goers almost feel a sense of normality in the air. There are some exciting films on the horizon, too, with the likes of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, No Time to Die, Top Gun: Maverick, Eternals and Spider-Man: No Way Home all expected to hit the big screen before the end of the year. We say “expected” because there have been so many delays over the last two years that we should take nothing for granted.
But perhaps the most intriguing big-budget release is The Matrix 4. It’s the sequel that nobody asked for, yet everyone is properly thrilled about. What has Lana Wachowski (the other Wachowski sibling, Lilly is not involved) got up her sleeve for a movie franchise that had a fairly conclusive ending in Matrix Revolutions? Here’s what we know so far:
Matrix 4 Release Date
It was actually expected in 2022, but, bucking the trend, Wachowski is sure that it will make the pre-Christmas schedule. The date for release is 22nd December, and it is expected – like many films at the moment – to have a dual release in cinemas and on a streaming platform (HBO Max).
Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are back as Neo and Trinity. Lana Wachowski will be once again in the director’s chair. Jada Pinkett-Smith returns as Niobe, Lambert Wilson as the Merovingian and Daniel Bernhardt as Agent Johnson.
Laurence Fishburne is not reprising Morpheus, although there are some rumors of a younger Morpheus character. Lilly Wachowski has other projects, so she won’t be joining her sister behind the scenes this time. Hugo Weaving (Agent Smith) claimed he was in discussions to come back, even reading some of the script. Ultimately, whatever they had planned for Weaving didn’t work, so the villain of the original trilogy won’t return.
Neil Patrick Harris is the biggest name joining the cast, and a lot of folks are excited about seeing the brilliant Abdul Mateen II join The Matrix franchise – possibly as “Young” Morpheus. As with all the cast, however, Mateen has been loathe to give us any clues.
Why Are They Making It?
Money, probably. But it does feel a little weird given the note of finality in Matrix Revolutions. The movies have plenty of fans, of course, and there have been several Matrix video games and even a popular Matrix online slot released in the 18 years since Revolutions. But it’s not as if fans were hammering the Wachowski’s door clamouring for a new movie.
And The Elephant in the Room?
The elephant in the room is (stop reading here for original trilogy spoilers), of course, that both Neo and Trinity died at the end of the original movies. So, how are they starring in the 4th installment nearly 20 years later? The truth is that we just don’t know. Lana Wachowski and the cast have been very tight-lipped about the script. Indeed, Matrix 4 is only a working title at the moment. Some believe it will be a prequel, hence the rumors of “young” Morpheus.
The screenwriters involved are David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas) and Aleksandar Hemon (The Lazarus Project), alongside Wachowski. Their previous form suggests that viewers are going to be faced with some mind-bending stuff. As mentioned, we have little clue of what direction they are going, but it’s sure going to be fun to find out.