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For being such a massive series of films, the reign of The Matrix was rather short lived, with all three movies coming out between the years 1999 and 2003. Of course, in Hollywood no franchise is ever really dead, and now it appears that this one once again has a pulse. Word has now gotten out that The Matrix 4 is officially in development, and the project already has three key names attached.
With Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow prepared to team up, Variety is reporting that Lana Wachowski is now set to both write and direct a fourth installment of the Matrix series, and both Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne Moss will be returning to play Neo and Trinity, respectively. At this time there are no details available regarding the plot of the film (no real surprise there), but what is kind of incredible is the fact that production is looking to start in the early months of 2020.
What also presently remains unclear is how the developing project will handle Morpheus, played by Laurence Fishburne in the original trilogy. The actor does not currently have a deal signed to be involved with the project, and the trade report says that there is a possibility that the narrative will involve a younger version of the character, which would mean recasting. It's worth noting that while The Matrix movies have been hibernating, Fishburne and Keanu Reeves have continued to work together, collaborating on the two most recent chapters of the John Wick franchise (John Wick: Chapter 2 and John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum).
This year, of course, marks the 20th anniversary of the original Matrix, which now is looked back upon as having a mixed legacy. The first film wound up being a surprise phenomenon when it came out in March 1999, going on to make over $460 million at the global box office. It had a massive impact on culture, including not only science-fiction storytelling, but even fashion, and also made massive changes in the way that action movies are filmed.
Where the "mixed" part comes in is because of the first two sequels: The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. The follow-ups were tremendously ambitious, filmed together and then both released in the same calendar year, but neither film was nearly as well regarded as their game-changing predecessor. Both features will insanely successful, making $742.1 million and $427.3 million, respectively, worldwide, but that steep decline in profits from one chapter to the next definitely quieted buzz about the future of the brand.
Now the series has a chance to change its own narrative, though, as a successful and beloved Matrix 4 could do a lot to wash the bad taste of the previous sequels out of our mouths. We'll just have to wait and see how it comes together, and in the meantime you can be sure that you'll be able to find all updates about the project here on CinemaBlend as new information comes to light.