carrie-anne moss and keanu reeves as Trinity and Neo in The Matrix.

The Dream of the ’90s Is Alive With Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss Returning for Matrix 4

Lana Wachowski will write and direct the fourth entry in the iconic sci-fi franchise.
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Warner Bros. has decided to take the red pill (the good one) and go down the rabbit hole for a fourth installment of The Matrix. Series co-creator Lana Wachowski will be writing (with Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell) and directing the film, and stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss will reprise their roles as Neo and Trinity, respectively. Lana Wachowski said of the film, “Many of the ideas Lilly and I explored 20 years ago about our reality are even more relevant now. I’m very happy to have these characters back in my life and grateful for another chance to work with my brilliant friends.”

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of the highly anticipated sequel. Matrix stunt coordinator and John Wick director Chad Stahelski already expressed his excitement for the project.

The announcement already has us asking a lot of questions. Will Lana’s sister and creative partner Lilly Wachowski be involved with the project? Is Laurence Fishburne returning as Morpheus? And didn’t Trinity and Neo both die in The Matrix Revolutions? Of course, in the genre of science fiction, “dead” isn’t always a certainty. We could see Neo and Trinity resurrected, or we could see them as avatars of the Matrix programming, perhaps taking over for Hugo Weaving’s Agent Smith.

We also don’t know where/when this proposed sequel will place, and whether or not Wachowski will retcon her own sequels to tell a whole new story, a la the Halloween or Terminator franchise. I would be willing to bet that she won’t, given that both of those franchises were taken over by new directors.

Still, there are plenty of exciting avenues to explore with a fourth Matrix film. While the original trilogy was a massive box office phenomenon, earning more than $1.6 billion worldwide, many fans were left disappointed by Reloaded and Revolutions. Those sequels were hampered by incomprehensible plots and unsatisfying and anticlimactic endings that failed to deliver on the beloved first film.

But a lot has changed in the ensuing 20 years since The Matrix hit theaters. A common theme now discussed is the trilogy’s function as a metaphor for a transgender coming out story, inspired in no small part by the real-life transition of the Wachowskis.

Lilly spoke on the new interpretation of the films, saying, “There’s a critical eye being cast back on Lana and I’s work through the lens of our transness. This is a cool thing because it’s an excellent reminder that art is never static. And while the ideas of identity and transformation are critical components in our work, the bedrock that all ideas rest upon is love.”

Since their work on the Matrix films, the Wachowskis have used their influence to tell trans stories and work with trans actors, most notably in their Netflix series, Sense8. With a new Matrix sequel on the horizon, there is an excellent chance that the trans subtext of the earlier films will be made text, and that we can see openly trans actors join the cast of a major big budget studio feature. The possibilities are endless, and we’re excited to see what Lana Wachowski and her team come up with. If done right, The Matrix 4 has the potential to be as groundbreaking as the original.

(via Variety, image: Warner Bros)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.