It would seem that no movie franchise is safe from rebooting as The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Warner Bros is developing a new Matrix movie.
The iconic 1999 movie, The Matrix, is considered one of the most original movies in recent history and as such, is due for a franchise reboot in order to milk every cent possible. Zak Penn has been lined up to pen the script, with reported interest in Michael B. Jordan playing a younger Morpheus, although project is just in the developmental stage at the moment.
The Wachowski brothers are wanted as producers and technical advisors as their work as writers and directors of the original trilogy was key to its success. Warner Bros would at least seek their blessing, if they weren’t able or willing to get involved with the new project.
The producer of the first 3 movies, Joel Silver, approached Warner Bros with the idea for a franchise reboot a while back; however he sold his interest in all his movies to the studio in 2012 for about $30 million and does not have any weight in the project. Despite the original pitch, Warner Bros are reluctant to get him involved as he has a pretty sour relationship with the Wachowskis and his reputation for overspending precedes him. Warner Bros are also well aware that Matrix fans are more affectionate towards the Wachowskis than Silver.
The original Matrix movie was an incredible feat of cinematography that created a cult following and won 4 Oscars for its troubles. The sets, props, choreography, costume design and action were so good that Keanu Reeves didn’t even need to act well to look good. I think even I could have pulled that one off. Neo (Reeves) was woken from a fake world (the Matrix) created by artificial intelligence to farm humanity for brain juice. In a very small nutshell, Neo, with the help of other awakened souls such as Morpheus (Laurence Fishbourne) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) must reenter the fake world in an attempt to free all of humanity from AI control.
One Twitter account suggested that that Michael B. Jordan, who has been contacted, is wanted to play as a younger Morpheus, although there is no confirmation of this yet. Various media outlets have cited the interest in Jordan and he is rumored to be interested.
There is no indication that Neo will return, although he has said that he would be open to taking up the role again, providing that the Wachowskis were behind the camera:
“The Wachowskis would have to be involved,” he told Yahoo Movies. “They would have to write it and direct it. And then we’d see what the story is, but yeah, I dunno, that’d be weird, but why not? People die, stories don’t. People in stories don’t.”
The Hollywood Reporter has also mentioned a younger Morpheus as a possible route into the story.
Another fan named Toby said: “Instead of remaking The Matrix they should expand the in-movie universe like Star Wars.”
It is not difficult to see why Warner Bros would be interested, given the sheer volume of cash generated by the first movie. The movie generated well over a billion dollars in revenue and whilst the second and third in the trilogy weren’t as well received, they still collected cash and made Keanu Reeves one of the highest paid actors in the world.
Personally, I would prefer they went back further told the stories in the Animatrix. The Animatrix was an animated set of stories that tried to explain how the war between man and machine started. There was some fascinating potential in those, which might be especially relevant as we enter an age of AI and advanced robotics. Whatever the case, I just hope they don’t trash the legacy of The Matrix.