‘The Matrix’ To Return, But Not As A Reboot Or A Sequel

The Matrix is one of the most successful and lucrative science fiction franchises in cinematic history since the film’s 1999 debut. It only stands to reason that The Matrix would be reinvigorated with younger blood, sooner or later. That time is now, but fans of the original Matrix trilogy need not fear that a reboot or a poorly devised sequel is on the way. Instead, Warner Bros. seems to be taking a cue from Disney’s expansion of the Star Wars universe with plans to expand upon what was seen in The Matrix and its sequels.

The Matrix Lives On, But Not Necessarily As A Reboot

The Matrix, Neo Keanu Reeves
A reboot for ‘The Matrix’ would never work, says Zac Penn. [Image by Warner Bros.]

It wasn’t long after rumors began circulating that Warner Bros. had plans to reintroduce The Matrix in some way that the internet was flooded with suggestions of a reboot or sequel of some sort, but, as Entertainment Weekly reports, those words were never specifically put forth in relation to future Matrix projects. In fact, Zac Penn, the screenwriter in charge of creating the new Matrix film at this early juncture, cautions the media against reinforcing the concept of a reboot without verification.

Penn went on to explain that he feels a reboot couldn’t begin to compete with 1999’s The Matrix, both in story context and in terms of the powerful ensemble cast.

“If I were going to recast Keanu Reeves, I would cast Keanu Reeves. … How about just re-release The Matrix? Don’t reboot it, you can’t do better.”

While Zac is against rebooting the original film, he does feel there’s great potential for expanding The Matrix universe and hopes the planned project will just be the first of many Matrix films.

“Do I want to see more stories set in the universe of The Matrix? Yes. Because it’s a brilliant idea that generates great stories,” Penn says. “Look at what people are doing with X-Men universe. Between Logan and Legion and Deadpool, does anyone want them to stop? Not me.”

Is Warner Bros. Planning A Matrix Prequel?

The Matrix, Morpheus
A new direction for ‘The Matrix’ may mean exploring the early life of Morpheus. [Image by Warner Bros.]

While Zac Penn shared that his plans for writing a Matrix script did not include a reboot or sequel, he didn’t specifically reveal the direction he is planning on taking in creating a new film. An offshoot, like Rogue One in the Star Wars franchise, is one possibility, but, as Movie Web shares, there are strong indications that the proposed project is a prequel to The Matrix.

There are suggestions that Warner Bros. is planning a prequel based on Morpheus, as played by Laurence Fishburne in 1999’s The Matrix and its sequels, The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions, also released in 2003. A young Morpheus film would do more than just serve as a prequel to the first film. It may be a test run for Warner Bros., as they plot out an entire Matrix cinematic universe.

As Zac Penn reminded his Twitter followers, much of that is still speculation at this point with Warner Bros. reluctant to confirm anything at this early stage, but, whatever is planned, the next phase for The Matrix does seem to involve a Young Morpheus. The studio is already setting their sights on Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Chronicle) to fill that pivotal role.

Lilly Wachowski and Lana Wachowski, who started out as The Wachowski Brothers, were responsible for writing and directing The Matrix, as well as its sequels. Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, and Carrie-Anne Moss also stayed with the franchise through those first three films.

While a number of video games followed the 2003 film releases, the franchise faded away shortly thereafter, but a new prequel set to explore the digital world of The Matrix may give the franchise new life in a new era.

[Featured Image by Warner Bros.]