Rumours about a Matrix reboot have prevailed for years now. While the reboot seems to be our way of honouring the most iconic films of yester-year, for most fans the idea of seeing Neo reimagined was enough to have them taking to various social media platforms and shouting their outrage into the vacuum of online aggression.
But the film isn't being rebooted. Yep, the legacy of The Matrix lives on with a fourth instalment and now we have the first images and videos from the filming currently taking place in San Francisco. Only as fans were quick to note, we're seeing a very different Neo this time around. Reeves, reprising the iconic role, has a John Wick-esque hairstyle and even sports some cool clothes.
The Matrix 4 filming in San Francisco! - Feb 5 2020
Thanks to @dougdalton IG Storyhttps://t.co/uEEPFc7GWk#thematrix4 #matrix4 #KeanuReeves #SanFrancisco pic.twitter.com/PekHZotq7t— Keanu Planet (@keanuplanet) February 5, 2020
It hasn't been a smooth ride when it comes to the fourth film though, with a history paved with rumours and speculation. The Hollywood Reporter first reported that Warner Bros. was in the early stages of developing a new version of the 1999 cyberpunk classic with a potential interest in Michael B. Jordan to star. Their sources claimed that the Wachowski siblings, who wrote and directed the original and its two sequels, weren’t involved in the reboot but that Avengers screenwriter Zak Penn was working on a script.
Production Designer Hugh Bateup (‘The Shallows’, ‘The Matrix’) has joined the crew of The Wachowski’s new ‘MATRIX’ film. (EXCLUSIVE) https://t.co/QEjX1jOCQ0 pic.twitter.com/D5O9O18GTm— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) June 22, 2019
To add fuel to the fire, during a press run for John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, director Chad Stahelski let slip that a Matrix reboot is in fact happening, and that the Wachowskis are on board.
Stahelski said, “I’m super happy that the Wachowskis are not just doing a Matrix, but they’re expanding what we all loved, and if it’s anywhere near the level of what they’ve already done, it wouldn’t take more than a call to go, ‘Hey, we want you to be a stunt guy’ and I would probably go and get hit by a car.”
This was immediately followed by a statement issued from Stahelski’s representatives, denying knowledge of the Wachowskis’ involvement with such a project. It all made for a very confusing time, one that saw fans unsure of whether they should be elated or fuming.
Reports from Discussing Film back in June suggested that production is set to begin early 2020 in Chicago, with Penn writing and and Michael B. Jordan as it's star. Since then, however, the landscape of the film has shifted dramatically.
Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne motorclice action in the new matrix 4@abc7newsbayarea @MoviesMatrix @keanuplanet @KeanuReevess_ pic.twitter.com/1kVLevmJdM— marcos vedovetto (@vedoveto37) February 16, 2020
It's now believed, according to most of the biggest Hollywood news outlets, that the fourth Matrix will instead feature Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their leading roles from the original trilogy.
Deadline have also reported that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who played Black Manta in Aquaman, will be joining the cast in a leading role. It's been rumoured that Mateen will play a young Morpheus, who was originally portrayed by Laurence Fishburne in the previous films.
It's also been reported that Jada Pinkett Smith will reprise her role as Niobe in the film. Fans will be familiar with the character, who starred in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. Niobe also had a leading role in the PlayStation 2 game, Enter the Matrix.
Neil Patrick-Harris is also believed to be joining the cast, however his role is yet to be confirmed.
The film's crew has also taken on an entirely different look since rumours of pre-production first started swirling earlier this year. Lana Wachowski, who along with her brother was responsible for the original Matrix trilogy, will apparently be directing the film. She'll also be writing the screenplay alongside Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell.
We can only hope now that the reboot lives up to and exceeds all expectations – and believe us, they’re high.
The Matrix 4 was originally slated to drop on May 21, 2021, making for a Keanu-crazy weekend by dropping on the same day as the planned fourth John Wick film. However now, with the cinematic world largely thrown into disarray as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the film's release has been pushed back a full year to April 21, 2022. This is largely due to filming, which was taking place in San Francisco and Berlin as the virus hit, was paused in mid-March and is yet to resume.
We'll be sure to bring you more updates on the film as they surface.