The Matrix Resurrections: Everything you need to know about The Matrix 4

A guide to watching the latest installment in the Matrix film series

The Matrix Ressurections poster

Several years after Neo (Keanu Reeves) seemingly sacrificed himself to free humanity from the grip of the machines, a new digital anomaly disrupts the fragile peace in the world of The Matrix. Enter The Matrix Resurrections, the fourth and the latest installment in the groundbreaking franchise created by the Wachowskis. If you are planning to watch The Matrix 4 for the first time or considering revisiting it for the nth time, below is a quick refresher of all the essential information you need before watching the sequel.

What is The Matrix Resurrections about?

Without giving away major spoilers, The Matrix Resurrections finds Neo, a.k.a, Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves), seemingly living a normal life as a successful video game designer. However, he’s haunted by strange dreams and a nagging suspicion that something isn’t quite right.

In the movie, The Matrix itself has changed and evolved. This new iteration keeps humanity subdued while offering a more pleasant simulated reality. There’s also a new group of rebels, including a reprogrammed Morpheus, who seek out Neo, believing him to be the key to breaking free from the Matrix once again.

Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) also appears in the sequel but without any memory of her past life. The film explores the powerful bond between Neo and Trinity and whether their connection can rewrite the rules of The Matrix.

The core of the story revolves around Neo potentially being the “One” again, and the fight to free humanity from the grip of the machines continues, albeit in a new form. There’s also a strong emphasis on the nature of reality and memory, questioning what’s real and what’s simulated.

Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix Resurrections
Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix Resurrections

Who are the cast of The Matrix Resurrections?

In addition to original stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne Moss reprising their iconic roles of Neo and Trinity, other veteran The Matrix cast members who returned for The Matrix Resurrections were Jada Pinkett Smith as Niobe (captain of the hovercraft Mnemosyne) and Lambert Wilson as The Merovingian (a notorious information trafficker)

Joining the returning characters in the film are new faces played by franchise newcomers including:

  • Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman) as a reprogrammed Morpheus
  • Jessica Henwick (Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force AwakensIron Fist) as Bugs, a member of the rebellion seeking Neo
  • Jonathan Groff (Mindhunter) as Smith, Thomas’ business partner and Neo’s former arch-nemesis and agent of the Matrix
  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) as the Analyst, the creator of the current iteration of the Matrix
  • Priyanka Chopra (Baywatch) Jonas as Sati, an exile program who met Neo shortly before the end of the Machine War

Who is the creative team behind The Matrix Resurrections?

The visionary filmmaker Lana Wachowski, along with her sister Lilly Wachowski, directed the original film and the original Matrix trilogy. But for The Matrix Resurrections, Lana directed solo.

Lana Wachowski collaborated with two other writers for the screenplay of the new Matrix film: Aleksandar Hemon, a novelist, and David Mitchell, known for science fiction novels like Cloud Atlas.

Lana also took on a producing role in the film, which was co-produced by the Village Roadshow Pictures and Venus Castina Productions. Joining Lana as executive producers on the film were Grant Hill, Bruce Berman, and James McTeigue.

Lana Wachowski’s creative team for The Matrix Resurrections includes costume designer Lindsay Pugh, editor Joseph Jett Sally, visual effects supervisor Dan Glass, production designers Hugh Bateup and Peter Walpole. Other collaborators include music composers Johnny Klimek and Tom Tykwer, and directors of photography Daniele Massaccesi and John Toll.

Why was Laurence Fishburne not in The Matrix Resurrections?

Laurence Fishburne, who played the iconic Morpheus in the original Matrix trilogy, was not invited to reprise his role in The Matrix Resurrections. The exact reasons for this decision haven’t been officially confirmed by Lana Wachowski.

Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus in the original Matrix trilogy

Why is Neo weak at the start of The Matrix Resurrections?

Neo’s apparent weakness at the beginning of The Matrix Resurrections is intentional and explained within the movie’s plot. Here’s why:

Decades of Absence: The film takes place roughly 60 years after the events of the original trilogy. Neo seemingly sacrificed himself to liberate humanity from the machines. His body is now held captive by the machines and used for a new purpose.

Reintegration into the Matrix: Neo, or rather a version of him, exists within the Matrix as Thomas Anderson, a video game designer. He’s unaware of his past life and lacks his previous abilities. This reintegration weakens him initially.

Suppression by the Machines: The machines have a vested interest in keeping Neo subdued. They likely restrict his access to his full potential within the Matrix simulation.
However, throughout the film, Neo rediscovers his abilities. He starts with basic feats like telekinesis and martial arts prowess, gradually regaining his strength as the story progresses.

Where was The Matrix Resurrections filmed?

The Matrix Resurrections wasn’t filmed in the usual stomping grounds of the Matrix trilogy, which is Australia. Instead, it ventured to locations in both the United States and Europe:

United States

  • San Francisco, California: This city served as a backdrop for several scenes, including Neo’s apparent home in the film, the Avery at 488 Folsom Street. Other notable San Francisco locations include Chinatown, the Financial District, and areas around Powell Street.
  • Chicago, Illinois: Filming also took place in Chicago, though specific locations haven’t been widely reported.

Europe:

  • Berlin, Germany: The famous Babelsberg Studio in Berlin hosted some of the film’s production.

These are only the confirmed filming locations. There’s a possibility of additional sites that haven’t been publicly disclosed.

Was The Matrix Resurrections a flop?

Yes, The Matrix Resurrections is considered a box office disappointment. Released on December 22, 2021, the film had a reported budget of $190 million, but it only earned a total of $159.2 million worldwide, with $40.5 million domestically (US and Canada) and $118.7 million internationally. This means the film didn’t recoup its production costs through theatrical release alone. While streaming service viewership numbers aren’t publicly available, they likely weren’t enough to offset the initial investment.

Why did The Matrix Resurrections flop?

The Matrix Resurrections’ lack of box office success likely stemmed from a combination of factors:

  • High Expectations and Franchise Fatigue: The original Matrix trilogy was groundbreaking and hugely influential.  Living up to that legacy was a tall order for the new film.  Additionally, some viewers might have felt a sense of franchise fatigue, where revisiting a beloved story after a long absence doesn’t resonate as strongly.
  • Mixed Critical Reception: Reviews for the film were divided. While some praised the visuals and thematic exploration, others felt it lacked the originality and impact of the earlier movies. This mixed critical response might have dampened audience enthusiasm.
  • Competition and Pandemic: The Matrix Resurrections faced stiff competition at the box office from other major releases.  Additionally, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic might have still discouraged some moviegoers from returning to theaters in 2021.
  • Marketing and Release Strategy:  The film’s marketing campaign might not have effectively captured the interest of a wider audience.  The decision to release it simultaneously on streaming service HBO Max (now called Max) alongside its theatrical run might have further impacted theatrical ticket sales.
  • Creative Choices:  Ultimately, some viewers might not have connected with the creative direction of the new film.  The portrayal of Neo’s weakened state, the changes to the Matrix itself, and the overall narrative might not have resonated with everyone who enjoyed the originals.

Is The Matrix Resurrections worth watching?

Whether or not The Matrix Resurrections is worth watching depends on your individual preferences and what you’re hoping to get out of the experience.

If you enjoyed the original trilogy and want more of The Matrix world, go for it. You’ll see familiar characters like Neo and Trinity, revisit the concept of the Matrix, and delve into a new chapter of the story. However, be prepared, as it’s not a direct continuation of the original trilogy and some elements might differ from what you expect. In general, the film explores themes of nostalgia, choice, and the nature of reality in a fresh light.

If you’re looking for a visually stunning, fight scene packed, and thought-provoking film, this could be a good pick, as it boasts impressive visuals and raises interesting questions about reality and human connection.

Do you need to watch all the previous The Matrix movies before seeing Resurrections?

While it’s not strictly necessary to watch all the previous Matrix movies before seeing The Matrix Resurrections, having familiarity with the original trilogy (including The MatrixThe Matrix Reloaded, and The Matrix Revolutions) can enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the new film.

The Matrix Resurrections builds upon the events and themes established in the original trilogy, and it includes references, callbacks, and connections to those films. Knowing the backstory, characters, and concepts introduced in the earlier movies can provide context and depth to the narrative of Resurrections.

However, if you’re simply interested in experiencing The Matrix Resurrections as a standalone film or if you’re new to the franchise, you can still enjoy it without having seen the previous movies. The filmmakers have designed it to be accessible to both longtime fans and newcomers alike, providing enough information within the film to follow the story and characters.

Where to watch The Matrix Resurrections

In the United States, as of April 2024, The Matrix Resurrections is currently streaming on Max, Max Amazon Channel, and Freevee. It is also available for rent or purchase on Apple TV, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Vudu, Microsoft Store, and Amazon Video online.

Will there be another Matrix movie after Resurrections?

Yes, The Matrix 5 is confirmed. On April 3, 2024, several news outlets reported that Warner Bros Pictures has officially greenlit a fifth installment in the Matrix franchise. The new movie will be written and directed by Drew Goddard, best known for writing the 2015 sci-fi drama The Martian and directing the 2011 horror thriller Cabin in the Woods.

This will be the first-ever The Matrix movie without a Wachowski on the director’s chair. While Lana Wachowski won’t be the one helming The Matrix 5, she is still involved in the movie as an executive producer.

In addition to directing the new movie, Goddard will also be producing the film, alongside his partner Sarah Esberg (Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk) via their Goddard Textiles banner.

It’s not yet clear where there will be more Matrix sequels after The Matrix 5.

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