While there had been rumors of a new Matrix movie in recent years, nobody was expecting to see a film that was actually a direct sequel to the original trilogy. That story seemed to have come to a close, and now that we know it hasn't, that basically throws everything we thought we knew about The Matrix up in the air. The only thing we thought we knew about The Matrix 4, was that it would look and feel like a Matrix movie. Except based on recent comments from Neil Patrick Harris, maybe not?
Neil Patrick Harris is one of the new cast members joining the franchise along with the returning Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss. We don't know anything about the character he's playing. He could be hero, villain, or anything in between. However, Harris did reveal something about The Matrix 4 in a recent interview with SiriusXM. While talking about how much he likes working with writer, director and Matrix co-creator Lana Wachowski, Harris seemingly indicated that the visual style of The Matrix 4, is unlike anything she has done before, which would mean it's unlike the first three Matrix movies. According to Harris...
I think she has a great inclusive energy and her style has shifted visually from what she had done to what she is currently doing.
The Matrix trilogy certainly wasn't lacking in style. Of course, most of that style was in the form of people wearing leather while doing wire-fu, but it was also the first time most people had seen "bullet-time" visual effects. It was a look unlike anything we'd really seen at the time and the style became a big part of the identity of those films. Certainly, to some extent, I expected The Matrix 4 to capture that same look and feel but now it sounds like maybe that won't be the case.
Neil Patrick Harris doesn't go into any further detail about how the visual style has shifted, beyond saying it has changed in an "evolved way" so the film we're going to see likely won't feel like a radical departure, just a step forward. And certainly, time has passed, both for the real world and, one assumes, in The Matrix itself. That Matrix trilogy style probably would feel a bit out of place in a modern movie, and so it makes sense that the style has evolved.
So, while we know we're getting a fourth Matrix movie, as the film is in production as we speak, we know even less about it than we might have thought. While it will probably still feel familiar as far as being a Matrix movie, the hallmarks of the original trilogy may be gone. Of course, that means we likely we will get something that feels as fresh and new as the original Matrix did in 1999, and that's quite exciting.