Prior to 1999, it was said that actor Keanu Reeves, by that time established as an action star with some high-concept lead roles like Coppola’s “Dracula” movie, had a small fear that his eventual gravestone will read “He played Ted,” a reference to the slacker rock-star wannabe from the “Bill and Ted” comedy franchise. After 1999 with “The Matrix” taking off, the future gravestone might have read “He played Neo. He also played Ted.” Granted, Reeves is actually pretty chill about both roles, considering he is starring in a third “Bill and Ted” film and, as newly revealed this week, a fourth “Matrix” movie too.
CBS News tells us that, some sixteen years after it was believed that Warner Bros. and the Wachowskis’ “Matrix” sci-fi action film trilogy ended in 2003, a fourth installment has been announced to be in development just this Teusday, August 20. Even better, one of its original creators returns along with two of its original lead stars, Carrie-Ann Moss and Keanu Reeves himself. Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Picture Group expressed the studio’s excitement to return to the world of “The Matrix,” with the film being written and directed by Lana (formerly Larry) Wachowski.
In interview, Lana remarked that some of the concepts from the blockbuster trilogy that she and her sister Lilly (formerly Andy) Wachowski delved into two decades ago to create the “Matrix” storyline have gained greater relevance in the present-day climate. “I’m very happy to have these characters back in my life and grateful for another chance to work with my brilliant friends,” says Lana. Emmerich adds, “Lana is a true visionary — a singular and original creative filmmaker — and we are thrilled that she is writing, directing and producing this new chapter in ‘The Matrix’ universe.”
This early in development, there are no plot threads available to be shared about the prospective “Matrix 4,” though it is known that Lana Wachowski will share writing duties with Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell. Full production of the film is expected to kick off in the early part of next year. While Lilly Wachowski is not involved in the project, she has given her blessing and noted that “Matrix 4” will at the very least be “bigger than the original.” That said, the original 1999 movie earned $460 million worldwide while the trilogy as a whole racked up a combined $1.6 billion, those being the days before $1B box office takes become more commonplace.
Keanu Reeves, who has seen a resurgence in his mega-star power in the past years, is currently still at work with old costar Alex Winter for “Bill & Ted Face the Music,” the third chapter of his earlier breakout franchise that is due to premiere from MGM/Orion Pictures in 2020.
Image courtesy of Vox