Property In Hollywood, sequels, remakes, and reboots of big franchises have always been big business, and over the years, there’s been a lot of cha
In Hollywood, sequels, remakes, and reboots of big franchises have always been big business, and over the years, there’s been a lot of chatter about the potential comeback of one big property: The Matrix. A new report throws a bit more fuel on that particular fire, as John Wick: Chapter 3 director Chad Stahelski says the Wachowski siblings are working on a new installment in the series.
Rumors of a reboot or continuation of the franchise have circled for a couple of years. In 2017, The Hollywood Reporter suggested that Warner Bros. was working on a reboot of some sort, with Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther) potentially attached and Zak Penn (Ready Player One) tapped to write. Notably, that report indicated that the Wachowskis weren’t attached to the project.
Speaking to Yahoo! Movies, Stahelski suggests that not only is a Matrix film in the works, but that the Wachowskis are involved and that it would be a continuation of the original three films. (Clearly, someone read my former colleague Kwame Opam’s take that they should expand the world, rather than remake it from scratch.) Stahelski said:
I’m super happy that the Wachowskis are not just doing a Matrix, but they’re expanding what we all loved, and if it’s anywhere near the level of what they’ve already done, it wouldn’t take more than a call to go, ‘Hey, we want you to be a stunt guy’ and I would probably go and get hit by a car.
A representative for Stahelski told The Verge that the quote is “inaccurate” and that he did not say that the Wachowskis are doing another installment, but that “his comments were talking about if they were, he’d love to be a part of it.”
Whether or not the statement is accurate, it’s obviously, the type of situation to approach with a salt shaker at the ready: directors and actors say things all the time while speaking with the press, and Stahelski does hedge a bit, noting that he’s not sure whether Lana Wachowski will be involved as a director. There have been rumors that the sisters will be retiring after they sold their production office in Chicago last year.
The original Matrix debuted in theaters 20 years ago, and the Wachowskis followed up with a pair of sequels, The Matrix: Reloaded and The Matrix: Revolutions, to mixed reviews. They also oversaw a series of comics; a video game, The Matrix Online, which was set in the aftermath of Revolutions; and The Animatrix, a series of animated shorts set in the Matrix universe. Revolutions certainly leaves open the possibility of more stories as the war between humanity and machines came to a close with the entire Matrix getting a reboot. The Oracle and Architect’s final scene shows that there’s still some tension, but the peace will last “as long as it can.”
Presumably, any sequel or tie-in could explore the nature of the post-Revolution world and those tensions between humanity and the machines. Or it could deal with the Matrix breaking down and what post-Matrix life looks like. Certainly, having the Wachowskis return to direct or oversee that reboot would be preferable, given how they’ve directed and conceptualized the philosophy and world.
But the original creators aren’t necessarily a requirement for any continuation. Disney’s reboot of the Star Wars franchise went forward without the explicit help of George Lucas, whose summaries of a post-Return of the Jedi trilogy were essentially tossed out in favor of J.J. Abrams’ vision for the future of the franchise. But The Matrix has always had the Wachowskis’ special brand imprinted on its world, so it’s hard to see how any future of the franchise wouldn’t involve them.
Updated May 10th, 2019, 2:00PM ET: Updated to include statement from Stahelski’s representative.