Almost nothing is safe from being rebooted, and the latest news from Warner Bros. Pictures only confirms that.
The Matrix was a gamechanging sci-fi action movie for a number of reasons, from the introduction of slow-motion bullet time action sequences to an original mind-blowing narrative that audiences became obsessed with to the point that two back-to-back sequels were released four years later, six months apart from each other. Now, The Matrix is in the early stages of getting some kind of reboot, revival, relaunch or whatever you want to call it.
Find out more about The Matrix reboot after the jump.
The Hollywood Reporter has news of The Matrix reboot being in the very early stage of development, with X-Men: The Last Stand and Ready Player One director Zak Penn in talks to write the initial treatment for whatever this project will be. However, original franchise creators Lilly and Laura Wachowski (who went by Andy and Larry Wachowski at the time The Matrix was made) are not currently involved in the project, and any potential involvement has yet to be determined.
Though the Wachowskis aren’t yet being brought in to help develop the project yet, it sounds like Warner Bros. would like to leave the door open for them to be involved. Reportedly, franchise producer Joel Silver came to Warner Bros. with the idea of bringing back The Matrix, but the studio is hesitant to have him involved for both his penchant for creating problems with the film’s budget, not to mention having a tense relationship with the Wachowskis. They likely wouldn’t be as hesitant if they didn’t want the Wachowskis to come on board at some point.
Beyond that, there are rumblings of Warner Bros. being interested in Michael B. Jordan starring in the movie, but since the project is in such an early stage of development, anything can happen before it’s actually heading towards production.
What Kind of Project Are We Looking At?
Unlike some franchises that get the reboot treatment, The Matrix essentially has a built-in narrative device for getting rebooted. In the original film series, part of the plot revolves around the fact that there have been several versions of the Matrix, and the entire system gets rebooted once Neo (Keanu Reeves) serves his purpose as The One. Therefore, it would be easy to begin a whole new narrative with new characters set within the same universes.
There’s also always the chance that this could be one of those legacy-quels that brings back some of the characters from the original franchise and incorporates them with new characters. Those kind of follow-ups have been hit or miss, but it would give an opportunity for Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss to reprise their roles. Reeves has even expressed interest in coming back to The Matrix franchise should an opportunity present itself; he could easily have the Morpheus role for a new iteration of The One. But he also says that the Wachowskis would have to write and direct it, so that may not be in the cards.
Neither a remake nor a legacy-quel may be the approach Warner Bros. takes though. The report of The Matrix reboot also indicates that Warner Bros. see the chance to follow in the footsteps of Disney and Lucasfilm’s approach to the Star Wars universe. The trade mentions a movie about a young Morpheus as an example, but that’s not an idea confirmed to be in the works at Warner Bros.
Consider me cautiously optimistic to see what Zak Penn can come up with for The Matrix reboot. Though I will say his previous work doesn’t inspire much confidence, at this point, you just have to hope for the best as Hollywood digs through all the popular franchises of decades past and tries to create new fanbases for them.