Return Of The Matrix

Warner Bros Discovery announced yesterday (April 3, 2024) that there will be a fifth Matrix movie, but no other information about the production has been released. We don’t know anything about the plot, or returning characters, or the actors that play them, but Warner Bros. Motion Pictures President of Production Jesse Ehrman teases that “the story will advance the fantasy world without straying too far from what made the series a success.” For all we know, it could be a completely different storyline with totally new characters.

Drew Goddard has been tapped as the writer and director. This is the first Matrix movie not to be written or directed by either of the Wachowskis.

“Drew came to Warner Bros. with a new idea that we all believe would be an incredible way to continue the Matrix world, by both honoring what Lana and Lilly began over 25 years ago and offering a unique perspective based on his own love of the series and characters,”

“The entire team at Warner Bros. Discovery is thrilled for Drew to be making his new Matrix film, adding his vision to the cinematic canon the Wachowskis spent a quarter of a century building here at the studio.” Jesse Ehrman Warner Bros. Motion Pictures President of Production

Drew Goddard has had a decent career writing, producing, and directing. He has worked on projects like The Martian, Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer the series, The Cabin in the Woods, Daredevil the series, The Good Place, and so on. 

“It is not hyperbole to say The Matrix films changed both cinema and my life,” said Goddard in a statement. “Lana and Lilly’s exquisite artistry inspires me on a daily basis, and I am beyond grateful for the chance to tell stories in their world.”

His mini bio on IMDB states:

Drew Goddard was raised in Los Alamos, New Mexico. He attended Los Alamos High School in Los Alamos, New Mexico and graduated in 1993. He then attended the University of Colorado, and worked as a production assistant in L.A. after graduation. A spec script Drew wrote based on Six Feet Under (2001) came to the attention of both Marti Noxon at Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) and David Greenwalt at Angel (1999). Both wanted him but because Marti found him first, Joss Whedon determined Drew would go to “Buffy.” He became a staff writer for Season 7 (2002-2003), writing five episodes. Once “Buffy” was over, Drew moved over to “Angel” and became the executive story editor for Season 5 (2003-2004), writing four episodes. Drew also found time to write the introduction for a book of essays about Buffy, “Seven Seasons of Buffy,” and to contribute two stories to the “Tales of the Vampires” comic series. In the summer of 2003, Drew received his first screenwriting award, along with co-writer Jane Espenson, when the Hugos honored “Conversations with Dead People” from “Buffy” with an award for Best Dramatic Presentation/Short Form. That episode was also honored with a SyFy Portal Genre Award for Best Episode/Television; another of Drew’s “Buffy” episodes, “Lies My Parents Told Me” (co-written with David Fury), was nominated for the same award. 

The Wachowski sisters “had no intentions” of creating any more Matrix movies after the original trilogy. They spent over a decade preventing production of any sort because they felt that the story had been concluded.

Warner Bros. was going to produce The Matrix Resurrections with or without the Wachowskis’ support. Intuition informs me that Lana Wachowski choosing to write and direct Resurrections was far less organic than the original trilogy. After viewing Resurrections, the quality of storytelling drastically differs from the original Matrix, further validating said intuition. But after reading an interview with James McTeigue, who has worked on every Matrix movie (first assistant director on the original Matrix trilogy and producer of The Matrix Resurrections), my intuition may be incorrect:

When did you actually first hear from Lana that she was interested in doing a new Matrix movie?

MCTEIGUE: She called me up and said she had this idea that came to her fully formed. There was an event in her life that made her feel like she wanted to be connected to the Trinity and Neo characters again. So she rang us up and said, “Hey, this is what I’m thinking. Here’s the story. What do you think? Are you interested? Are you going to come back? Will you come back and do it?” I said yeah. That feels like it was about three years ago now, two and half, three years ago.

Then again, when Warner Bros. says they’re making this movie with or without the creator, it sends a message about where WB places their motivations.

The potential for awesomeness is endless with the Matrix franchise. Unfortunately, nothing has come close to its first outing, The Matrix. The ideas are there for flourishing; putting them together in a fresh and creative way should be encouraged.

For a long time, I’ve considered that they never reached base reality. Neo gets pulled out of The Matrix and into what they think is their base reality. Up until then, Neo had no reason to question the reality he lived in inside The Matrix, so why would he question this one? Then again, why wouldn’t he? At one point, Neo has similar powers in “the real world” as he does in The Matrix. At the end of The Matrix Reloaded, Neo zaps the sentinels coming at all of them, and he isn’t plugged into The Matrix. Then, in The Matrix Revolutions, he’s stuck in The Train Station (which is a bridge from the real world to The Matrix, and it appears to be more Matrixy), but he isn’t plugged in. How? I don’t think they ever answered that question, at least to my liking. Of course, these mysterious things would make sense if they were still plugged in. So you see, there are still avenues within the Matrix franchise to be pursued, and they wouldn’t need any of the previous characters. The same attitude could be reflected on in any franchise, though.

In a world where reboots, prequels, and sequels rule as the majority of the entertainment industry, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. I would hope that they don’t take the usual route of “furthering” the story by producing content that fails to stand on the shoulders of its predeceasing giants, and instead find inspiration in the power of creativity. Hopefully, this isn’t another cash-grab attempt. If The Matrix has proven anything, it’s that creativity is not only revolutionary, but it can also be highly profitable.

Comments (1)

April 4, 2024 at 6:46 am

Weird, my Matrix DVDs say they were made by the Wachowski brothers

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