The new Matrix film, which has been going under the working title of “Project Ice Cream”, has been officially in the works since August 2019, with filming starting in San Francisco and Germany in February 2020.
The project has been shrouded in secrecy. We do not know if it is a sequel, prequel or something completely different; after all, this is The Matrix, and the Wachowskis don’t tend to do things by the book.
What we do know is this: Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss will reprise their roles; Lana Wachowski will direct, but sibling Lilly will not be involved this time. Several other stars, including Jada Pinkett-Smith, will return.
And, that’s just about all we know. However, we have some questions on areas that have us puzzled:
1. Why do the movie at all?
It’s the era of the Hollywood sequel, of course. And just about everything popular in the past is getting rebooted. And yet, there was a definitive conclusion at the end of Matrix Revolutions. The primary characters died, after all. The franchise is recognisable, for sure, and its fandom lives in various forms. We have all seen those “Morpheus” memes, and there is an official Matrix slot that is one of the most popular casino games at mansioncasino.com/za/. But the franchise does not have the kind of expanded canon of the Star Wars or Marvel universe. In short, we are delighted to see what Lana Wachowski comes up with, but it’s not as if people were screaming for a new Matrix movie. Lest we forget, Revolutions has a score of 35% on Rotten Tomatoes.
2. How will the dead be treated?
Apologies for the spoilers; but Trinity and Neo both die in the original films. Okay, there is a little ambiguity about the latter’s death. But this is The Matrix, and dead probably does not mean dead in the traditional sense. It does pose some continuity questions, though. Resurrecting characters from the dead can sometimes cheapen the storylines that went on before. Consider Emperor Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker, for example. His sudden re-emergence felt forced, and retrospectively tarnished the conclusion of Return of the Jedi.
Everyone loves Keanu Reeves, and the Neo character is the driving force of the plot. But the heart and soul of the movies lies within Morpheus’ character. Laurence Fishburne does not look like he will return to reprise the role, and that’s quite the shame. On the other hand, rumours abound that the brilliant Yahya Abdul-Mateen will be playing a younger version of Morpheus, which obviously hints at a prequel in some form. Again though, this is the Matrix, so don’t take anything for granted.
4. Will The Matrix 4 Be a Simpler Tale?
The Matrix, while a sophisticated yarn, had an easy-to-follow plot and narrative. When it came to Reloaded and Revolutions, things just out of hand. The main criticisms of the sequels surrounded the fact that they were just too complicated. The story-telling lost sight of the demarcation line between heroes and villains. Audiences aren’t stupid, and they can follow complex storylines, but ambiguity for the sake of it blighted the last two Matrix films. Let’s hope Lana Wachowski dials it down a bit here.
5. Will There Be More?
As mentioned, there seems to be an insatiable thirst in Hollywood to reboot and expand movie franchises. Fans of the Matrix will be keen to see if Matrix 4 is an opening chapter to a new tale – like The Force Awakens – or a standalone story that perhaps offers better closure than Revolutions. As we know so little about Project Ice Cream, we’ll have to remain ignorant on that for now.