It seems that nearly two decades after the release of The Matrix, we may be seeing a new chapter in the Matrix series. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros is currently looking into rebooting the classic 1999 sci-fi film. There was talk in the last few years of making a television series, but it seems that idea may have been replaced with a feature film.
Joel Silver, the original producer of The Matrix series, allegedly approached Warner Bros. about a continuation of the series. But according to reports, Silver and the Wachowski’s have strained relationship, suggesting that the studio will have to choose one or the other if they look to reboot the franchise (they have no obligation to include Silver, as he sold his stake in the franchise to them in 2012). Warner Bros is more likely to seek the collaboration of the Wachowski’s rather than Silver, given the loyalty their fans have for them. The Wachowski’s originally conceived of a trilogy, and have said that their story is complete, so it is likely they will just lend creative support if they become involved.
The original 1999 film starred Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving, and went on to win four Academy Awards for editing, sound, and visual effects. There were two sequels, Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, which proved to be less financially successful than the first. But the characters in the fictional universe have been further used in other media, including animation, comics, and video games, and as of February 2016, the franchise has generated an estimated $3 billion in revenue, making The Matrix series one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.
The Wachowski’s since The Matrix haven’t been able to reach the same kind of success, directing 2012’s Cloud Atlas and 2015’s Jupiter Ascending, which were both considered financial flops. They released the TV series Sense8 in 2015 on Netflix, and the series has run for two seasons, with the 10-episode third season set to be released on May 5, 2017.
However, Keanu Reeves has said while promoting John Wick 2, that the Wachowskis would have to be involved for him to return. But, it can be presumed that Warner Bros is more interested in recruiting new blood rather than necessarily bringing Reeves back in a lead role (although he and other original cast members definitely could appear in supporting roles). Sources say that Warner Bros. is interested in Creed star Michael B. Jordan as a lead, who has proved his interest in action/superhero films with roles in 2012’s Fantastic Four and as well as the upcoming 2018 Marvel film Black Panther. Other elements of the project need to solidify prior to attaching acting talent.
Zak Penn is allegedly being approached to write the treatment for the script. Penn’s background in superhero/sci-fi tv and film speaks to his qualifications. He wrote the stories for 2012’s Avengers, 2008’s Incredible Hulk, 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, 2005’s Electra and 2003’s X-Men 2. He also wrote Syfy’s television series Alphas, which showed on the channel from 2011-2012.
Stay tuned for more updates on the possibility of The Matrix reboot.