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How The Matrix Resurrections Came To Feature That Fun John Wick Cameo

In Lana Wachowski’s The Matrix Resurrections, Keanu Reeves is given a romantic rival of sorts. Given that Thomas Anderson a.k.a. Neo doesn’t remember the events of the original trilogy, he isn’t aware of his passionate relationship with Carrie-Anne Moss’ Tiffany a.k.a. Trinity, and the new sequel sees her married to somebody else. The man she’s married to is a handsome dude named Chad – and if you’ve been closely following Reeves’ career in recent years, you may have noticed that he’s played by John Wick director Chad Stahelski.

It’s a fun meta cameo in among a number of great meta jokes in The Matrix Resurrections, and when I interviewed Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss earlier this month I asked the two stars how it came to be a part of the production. Reeves provided the background on the clever bit of casting, noting that it was Lana Wachowski’s idea, and that it very much ties back into the filmmaker’s history with the Matrix franchise:

You know, there's a lot of fun in the film, and I think Lana Wachowski... I mean, Chad Stahelski worked with Lana on the trilogy – as he says, he went to film school, Wachowski film school – and I think it was just fun for Lana to put him in the movie as [Carrie-Anne Moss’] husband… Handsome Chad: the man who I've worked with is my rival. (Laughs)

In the last few years, Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stahelski have grown close as collaborators thanks to the John Wick trilogy (which will further expand with the upcoming John Wick: Chapter 4), but their relationship goes back decades. As alluded to in the interview, Stahelski was Reeve’s stunt double in 1999’s The Matrix, and he was the martial arts stunt coordinator on both The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.

Chad Stahelski had a good deal of experience in the stunt world prior to his work on The Matrix, with film credits including The Crow, Escape From L.A., and Alien: Resurrection during the 1990s, but when you consider that the Wachowski movie is an iconic piece of action cinema, it’s understandable why he would view his experience on the set as foundational material in his career.

There are all kinds of great Easter eggs that fans can catch watching The Matrix Resurrections with a close eye (and through multiple viewings), and your opportunity to do just that is here. The film, which co-stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Henwick, Jada Pinket Smith, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas in addition to the aforementioned Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, is now playing in theaters everywhere, and is also available to stream on HBO Max for a limited time.

For a look at what’s ahead film-wise both on the big screen and on streaming services in the coming year, check out our 2022 Movie Release Calendar.

Eric Eisenberg

NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.