[Screenrant has called “bullshit” saying that the head of the school told them no such Keanu appearance happened. Kind of an odd set of details for someone to fictitiously assemble, but there you go. My immediately outdated and worthless rumination on the possibility of more Matrix films will remain below.]
You’ll not find a more qualified (and hesitant, and conflicted) Matrix trilogy apologist than I… the amount of time I spent reading about, thinking about, and dreaming about these films is frightening. The nostalgia and immaturity that allowed me to blindly love the sequels has long since faded though, so I’m left loving an original masterpiece and feeling coldly towards two other films of which I still have a frame-by-frame understanding. It’s like having a best friend who you love hanging out with, but have to endure his loud, shitty kids. Sure, you can see personality traits and fun characteristics of the little brats that make them tolerable, but you’re much happier when they’re not around and nobody is talking about them so you can just chill with your buddy.
Well Keanu Reeves has supposedly let a bit of information slip that The Matrix may have even more spawn running around the world… the Wachowskis are contemplating a second set of sequels.
The information comes from a reader of AICN, who says he was present at the London School of Performing Arts University key-note speech that Keanu Reeves gave to an assembly of students, and that a question in a Q&A brought out the news. As the source reports it-
“[Keanu] says he met the Wachowski’s (no emphasis on the word brothers), for lunch over Christmas and stated that they had completed work on a two picture script treatment that would see him return to the world of the matrix as Neo. Says the brothers have met with Jim Cameron to discuss the pro’s and con’s of 3D and are looking to deliver something which has never been seen again. keanu stated that he still has an obligation to the fans to deliver a movie worthy of the title “The Matrix” and he swears this time that the treatment will truly revolutionise the action genre like the first movie. Wachowski’s are working on a movie called “Cloud Atlas” at the moment, once that concludes they will talk again. [sic]”
So a two-film script treatment pitching a possibly 3D, possibly revolutionary take on the action genre through two more Matrix films centering around Neo, which could happen once they wrap up Cloud Atlas.
I’m not really sure what to say. Frankly, I’ve never legitimately considered the possibility of more sequels to The Matrix, and even now I don’t feel like the sequels were engineered with more adventures in mind. The very nature of the subject matter makes it more than possible, but I could go at length about the conclusion of the trilogy and how it did stay true to the (monumentally overwrought) spiritual/philosophical themes it established. All of this is to say that I’ve always felt the ultimate ending made sense, and the Wachowskis intended it to be more definitive than many seemed to interpret it. Considering a decade or more will surely have elapsed between films before any Matrix sequel could conceivably make it to the screen, I think this holds true.
So what is there to mine and where is there to go with another 3+ hours of Matrix sequels? The Matrix Online MMORPG was intended as a true-canon extension of the story, but by all accounts devolved into a string of endlessly fragmenting fan wank that ultimately served no narrative purpose, despite killing Morpheus and foreshadowing Neo’s return (without ever paying it off). I imagine anything from the game will be ignored, and I have no desire to start spinning alternate theories at this point.
I’ve made clear my relationship with The Matrix, and how important and singular that film remains in my movie-watching and movie-making head. I think all people with a love of film –whether they express that passion through studious viewing or by actually dabbling in the craft– have that one epicenter film (or *achem* original trilogy) from which they can trace that spark. So for me if The Matrix certainly isn’t the greatest film of all time, it’s still the one that changed everything for me. This sudden possibility of more of these films creates a well of complicated emotions. I’ve managed to psychologically annex the first film after all of these years and can appreciate it in a vacuum of my own creation, so there’s no “damage to the legacy” that could really be done. Perhaps time, distance, and perspective have sharpened the Wachowskis take on that universe? Keanu certainly seems to have that “we kinda fucked up, we can do better” attitude that ultimately served Soderbourgh and Clooney well with Ocean’s #. Naturally in a post Prequel Trilogy world, naive enthusiasm is impossible, but I can’t muster complete cynicism either- I ultimately have too much love for Keanu Reeves in a Bishop’s cassock kicking ass. More solid news will create a more solid reaction from me and from most people I suspect, so- we’ll see.
If you’ve made it through this much navel-gazing self-contextualizing of news that is insubstantial at best, then it’s worth noting that Keanu mentioned a few other projects…
He refers to a “hard R-rated actionf feast” set in the world of samurai that is definitely 47 Ronin. Apparently he’s only 2 months into his 6 month training program, so that still has a while before shooting begins. We already knew 3D was a thing though.
Bill & Ted 3 was briefly mentioned, but beyond maintaining his commitment, no news.
Apparently the Wachowskis have sold their futuristic Robin Hood script to Warner Brothers, and that Will Smith is on board. Warner Brothers paid an unprecedented sum of 5 Million for it, and they envision the effects and visuals having a Terminator 2-like impact.
The Wachowskis seem on the brink of unleashing another huge wave of directorial projects after having long focused on producing and writing. I hope Cloud Atlas (and Cobalt Neutral 9, if it ever manifests) strike a good tone for the duo, as they’ve yet to live up to or completely spoil their potential to be important filmmakers. Sometimes it takes a long time for a shining star filmmaker to reveal their true character, and returning to an original success in rarely a good sign- but there’s just too much ambition in these siblings to not cross a finger or two.
More as we hear it folks.
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