I rewatched The Matrix trilogy just as the world was falling apart in late March. The original was celebrating its 21st anniversary, while all three films had just been added to Netflix. Meanwhile, the fourth film — originally slated to hit theaters next summer — was in the midst of filming some genuinely wild stunts out in San Fransisco.
In my rewatch, I had two main takeaways: A) it’s actually sort of remarkable how well the original holds up. Whether it be action sequences or societal ideologies, The Matrix was ahead of its time to such a degree that it maintains the ability to feel contemporary, even two decades later. Takeaway B) the sequel was much better than I remembered while the finale was much worse.
This makes this upcoming fourth film so important to the overall legacy of the franchise: it will almost certainly be the last to star Keanu Reeves, and if it sticks the landing, it’ll enter the conversation of one of cinema’s truly great action franchises. If it whiffs, The Matrix will be remembered as one-and-a-half good movies out of four.
While the film may have been in the midst of production prior to the global shutdown, Reeves has remained relatively quiet about its progress until this recent interview with Empire Magazine, where he revealed why exactly he decided to return to the role of Neo.
Reeves, who’ll somehow be back as original trilogy protagonist Neo, also heaped praise on the story and screenplay, suggesting that it’s just as timely as the original film. “Lana Wachowski wrote a beautiful script and a wonderful story that resonated with me,” he says. “That’s the only reason to do it. To work with her again is just amazing. It’s been really special, and the story has, I think, some meaningful things to say, and that we can take some nourishment from.” [via Empire Magazine]
The Matrix 4, AND John Wick 4, were both supposed to hit theaters on May 21, 2021. At this time, though, it’s unclear when they’ll be released — The Matrix 4 needs to finish filming for production on John Wick 4 can begin.
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter @eric_ital for movie and soccer takes or contact him firstname.lastname@example.org