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One of the most memorable pieces of dialogue in the entire history of The Matrix comes from Lawrence Fishburne’s Morpheus, who warns Neo (Keanu Reeves) that, “Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.” It sounds like that advice still holds up 20 years after it was first dispensed, especially when reading what actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II took from his experience working with Reeves and co-writer/director Lana Wachowski on The Matrix 4. While he didn’t use that exact quote to describe his experience, those words map so well with the reality he described in a recent interview.
The actor, who’s currently making the rounds for the awards hopeful Trial of the Chicago 7, made a pretty exciting statement about the latest Matrix sequel that’s slated to debut by the end of the year. And keep in mind, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is also the same person that previously hyped us up with his reaction to The Matrix 4’s script. So much as he said there were things fans knew, but also didn’t know they wanted in the film’s story, Mateen sold that rabbit hole a little deeper with his recent sentiments to Variety:
No one understands the Matrix except for Keanu Reeves and Lana Wachowski.
Morpheus’s iconic advice is practically covered in two different chunks by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s words pertaining to The Matrix 4. And with something as cryptic as Keanu Reeves and Lana Wachowski being the two only people to understand The Matrix, there’s bound to be a bit of a learning curve when it comes to properly understanding that enigmatic universe. Which means the supposedly intimate and productive atmosphere that Wachowski encouraged on her set really did the trick.
Which brings us to the second part of Morpheus’s advice: showing those in The Matrix the bonkers reality that they’re a part of. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II got to see that adage in practice on the set of The Matrix 4 as well, and it was tied into what he’d learned when he realized Keanu Reeves and Lana Wachowski are the two stewards of this franchise that truly get it. Mateen revealed that second lesson with this sentiment:
You learn to find meaning, and then you go test it out. If no one says anything, then you just trust that you ended up doing the right thing.
Testing the waters is exactly what The Matrix 4 sounds like it’s doing, based on the limited remarks that have been given. With a supposed visual refresh and a compelling story that’s bringing back characters we saw die in the original Matrix trilogy, there’s a lot of questions surrounding where this wild world is going next. Like Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and everyone else on The Matrix 4’s ship of action and philosophy, we’ll just have to see it for ourselves to truly understand what’s going on.
At present, December 22nd is the set release date for The Matrix 4, so you have plenty of time to revisit the original three films, The Animatrix, and decide whether or not you want to sign up for an HBO Max subscription to watch the movie. All very important steps that must be taken when welcoming yourself back to the world of The Matrix, especially if this new revolution is about to leave audiences reloaded with big, head scratching questions.