Fans of The Matrix are undoubtedly going to have an amazing holiday season this year, with the announcement of The Matrix Resurrections set to be released on 24 December 2021. The beloved franchise is returning to the big screen with a fourth film which is set as a sequel to The Matrix Revolutions which came out 18 years ago. As with the success of the earlier films, the 2021 release is expected to be just as much of a hit with both veterans and newcomers to the world of The Matrix.
Although there hasn’t been a release of another film in The Matrix series since 2003, fans have still been able to access other forms of media to keep themselves occupied in the meantime. Whether you’ve been watching The Matrix documentary, reading Ghost In The Shell, where the films picked up some inspiration, or passing the time by playing slot games based on movies, now is the time to brush up on your Matrix knowledge. Revisit the world of Neo, in time for the release of The Matrix Resurrections.
Who’s In It?
The Matrix Resurrections features actors in recurring roles from the original films, as well as new actors whose characters haven’t been disclosed just yet.
We’ll definitely be seeing familiar faces like Keanu Reeves as Neo, Daniel Bernhardt as Agent Johnson, Jada Pinkett Smith as Niobe, alongside others. But we’ll also be seeing some refreshed characters. Morpheus, who was played by Laurence Fishburne previously, will now be played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as a younger Morpheus.
New actors to join the hit franchise include people like Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Jonathan Groff, Christina Ricci, Neil Patrick Harris and others, some whom we see glimpses of in the official trailer.
Resurrections is set twenty years after The Matrix is rebooted. Neo is seen to be living an ordinary life in San Francisco without any recollection of past events. The trailer shows him talking to his therapist who prescribes him some blue pills. These pills possibly explain his confused state and possibly he doesn’t recognise Trinity. We then see Morpheus offering Neo a red pill, which will open his mind to everything that had happened before.
It has been a while since the last movie came out. Whether you are new to the Matrix world and want to be up to speed before Resurrections comes out, or whether you have forgotten what happened in the previous films, we’ve summed up the plot of each film for you to skim through below.
When computer hacker Thomas Anderson, Neo (Keanu Reeves), repeatedly comes across the phrase ‘The Matrix’, he sets out to find its true meaning. He is led to Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), the infamous computer hacker, who happens to be one of the most sought after criminals. He is also the person who can open Neo’s eyes to the truth of the reality that he lives in. With this newfound knowledge, Neo joins the rebellion to fight against self-aware AI machines and free humanity.
In the second instalment of the series after Zion is taken over by the Machine Army, Neo, Trinity and Morpheus decide to return to the Matrix to continue their fight against the machines. The machines are still determined to wipe out the remainder of the human race. Not only have the freedom fighters honed their weaponry, but Neo also begins to become aware of the power he holds, like his ability to visibly see the codes of the people in the Matrix around him. An increase of people waking up from the Matrix means the number of rebels grows as well, and the war between humanity and machines moves to Zion, the only real city remaining.
In the last segment of the trilogy, Neo finds that he is somehow able to use his powers in both the Matrix, as well as in the real world. This leaves him trapped between the two. Whilst Neo finds himself in this predicament, his companions set out to free him. As Zion prepares itself against the machines, victory is not possible without Neo who is prophesied to be the One who will put an end to the war between humans and machines once and for all. However, unknown to Neo or anyone else, machines aren’t the only thing they have to worry about, as there is a third figure who plans to interfere with both worlds.
What Next for the Franchise?
While The Matrix Revolutions was the last in the trilogy, and the Wachowskis at the time had said that there would be no sequel, it wasn’t where the story ended. Instead, the story shifted from films to the game, The Matrix Online, a MMORPG which ran from 2005 until 2009. Players begin as red pill characters who are then left to explore the Mega City taking on missions and investigating cases.
Following that, it seems that the decision to create The Matrix Resurrections came as a source of comfort for Lana Wachowski. After the death of her parents soon after one another, Wachowski found comfort in reviving two of the most iconic characters in the realm of science fiction. It made sense to bring back Neo and Trinity along with others to answer burning questions which fans have even today.
All of this may mean further sequels for the hit franchise in the future. Until then, you can rewatch the trilogy to truly immerse yourself in the Matrix world.