Before making their directorial debuts in 2014 with John Wick, Chad Stahelski and David Leitch had already accumulated plenty of experience working on Hollywood productions, especially in the realm of stunts. This included both men taking part as stunt performers in The Matrix trilogy, and while they’re now carving out their own filmmaking careers, Stahelski and Leitch have revealed that they’ve also been working on the upcoming The Matrix 4.
Just like the original three Matrix movies, The Matrix 4 will be an action-packed affair, but rather than delve into stunts like they did back in the day, or by serving as second unit directors, Chad Stahelski and David Leitch are helping filmmaker Lana Wachwoski on a more conceptual level with Stahelski saying the following:
It’s more about the creative concept of some of the choreography and backing them up with stuff. Other than the Matrixes, most of their stuff…what makes [Lana] so great is she directs her own action. We’ve had second unit directors on some of the Matrixes just because of the logistics involved. But of late, and especially on Matrix 4, she’s directing her own action. The second units for them are mostly establishing shots, the B-sides of the some of the compositions for some locations. But Lana, she does her own action. She weaves it into the main unit stuff, which is why their stuff looks so good.
Oftentimes the main directors of a movie will rely on second unit directors to handle shooting action sequences, and if The Matrix 4 had been made soon after the first three Matrix movies, maybe that formula would have been followed. However, as Chad Stahelski noted, Lana Wachwoski prefers to supervise the filming of action sequences herself, leaving it up to him and David Leitch to provide assistance with conceptualization of said scenes rather sit behind the cameras, like what Stahelski did during the Birds of Prey reshoots.
During the interview with Collider, Chad Stahelski also mentioned that him and David Leitch contributing to The Matrix 4 is special because they’re reuniting with many of the crew members who worked on the original Matrix movies. As Stahelski put it:
They were really cool. They asked us to help out with the choreography and some of the physical training for the guys. I’m helping out a little bit for a sequence, I think Dave’s helping out for a sequence. Lana’s come back with a lot of love to have a pseudo-family reunion, so that’s been a lot of fun. It’s been good to see a lot of the crew members again. We just finished doing a sequence in San Francisco before the pandemic started.
Chad Stahelski and David Leitch clearly work well together considering how John Wick turned out, so The Matrix 4 was surely a fun opportunity for them to put their heads together again on a franchise that was a big deal for both of them. Following the first go-around with Keanu Reeves’ assassin character, Stahelski has been helming the John Wick sequels on his own, while Leitch continued to show off his directing chops with Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2 and Hobbs & Shaw.
Plot details concerning The Matrix 4 are being kept under lock and key, but in addition to Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett Smith and Lambert Wilson all reprising their respective roles from the previous movies, the lineup of new faces includes Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Toby Onwumere, Max Riemelt, Eréndira Ibarra, Andrew Caldwell, Brian J. Smith, and Ellen Hollman. Lana Wachowsi also wrote the script with Sense8 writers Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell.
The Matrix 4 is currently dated for May 21, 2021, the same day that another Keanu Reeves-led movie, John Wick: Chapter 4, is set to come out. However, due to The Matrix 4 having to indefinitely stop filming like so many other productions lately, there’s a good chance that it’ll be pushed back on the Warner Bros calendar.
Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates concerning The Matrix 4, and learn what movies have been delayed over the last couple months with our handy guide.