In case it's slipped your attention, we're getting a fourth Matrix movie in 2021, with Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their roles as Neo and Trinity. Here's everything we know so far.
1. The plot is shrouded in secrecy
Fresh from the career-reviving highs of the John Wick series and Toy Story 4, Keanu Reeves returns to his acclaimed role as Neo. The last time we saw him, at the end of 2003's critically derided The Matrix Revolutions, he saved the human race from the rampaging machines, and appeared to sacrifice himself in the process. Earlier in the movie, Neo's love interest Trinity also died, so we're interested to know how they're both back in action.
2. It's written and directed by Lana Wachowski
One half of the Wachowski siblings will return to write, produce and direct The Matrix 4. (Lilly Wachowski is reportedly busy with her own project, TV series Work In Progress.) Lana Wachowski has expressed enthusiasm at her return to the Matrix franchise, telling Variety: "Many of the ideas Lilly and I explored 20 years ago about our reality are even more relevant now,” she said. “I’m very happy to have these characters back in my life and grateful for another chance to work with my brilliant friends."
Warner Bros. chairman Toby Emmerich is similarly enthused about the prospect of a new Matrix movie: "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."
3. There's a host of new faces
In addition to Reeves and Moss, we've got Lemony Snicket's Neil Patrick Harris, Baywatch's Priyanka Chopra, Game of Thrones' Jessica Henwick and Frozen's Jonathan Groff. Character details are thin on the ground at this stage, although Deadline reported last year that Jada Pinkett Smith was in talks to return as Niobe. There are also rumours that French actor Lambert Wilson will reprise his role as the Merovingian. However, don't expect to see Hugo Weaving return as the nefarious Smith, as filming clashes with a pre-scheduled theatre engagement.
The latest bit of casting news confirms the presence of Sense8 stars Brian J. Smith and Toby Onwumere. Most intriguing of all is the presence of Aquaman and Us actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who, rumours suggest, may be playing a younger incarnation of Morpheus. Original Morpheus actor Lawrence Fishburne isn't credited in the cast list, so, given all the timey-wimey potential of the Matrix storyline, we'd love for this to be true.
4. It's definitely not a reboot
If the rumours about young Morpheus are confirmed, then this Matrix movie will be taking place in an earlier time period than the original trilogy. In the 1999 film, Morpheus appeared as a mentor to computer hacker turned human saviour Neo, but we learned very little about how the former had attained near-mythical status among the human resistance.
One thing that does appear to have been confirmed: The Matrix 4 isn't a reboot. Ready Player One screenwriter Zak Penn has allegedly been working on his own Matrix script (unrelated to Lana Wachowski's movie), and in a tweet last year, confirmed that both his proposed project and The Matrix 4 are original concepts.
People keep asking, so let me clarify there are two different #Matrix projects at wb. i wrote one set earlier in the timeline of the matrix universe. Lana Wachowski is directing a sequel that i did not work on, but cant wait to see. Neither of them are reboots. #notareboot— Zak Penn (@zakpenn) October 5, 2019
So, what are we looking at? An origin story for one of the greatest Matrix characters? Or a trippy new movie that criss-crosses the older and younger versions of the Morpheus character?
5. It's currently being filmed in San Francisco
Set videos have started to emerge, showing stunt-people leading from tall buildings on wires, while Reeves and Moss have also been spotted. (Reeves was even sporting his famous black trench coat from the original trilogy.) Helicopters and explosives have also been liberally deployed during principal photography in San Francisco, all of which promises yet more mind-bending action. Will the fourth Matrix continue to push the boundaries of stunts and visuals? We can only hope.
6. It's out next summer
Mark it on your Cineworld movie calendar: The Matrix 4 reaches us on the 21st of May 2021.
Excited? Let us know @Cineworld.