In a word: woah. After a round of talk about potential reboots, prequels and other spin-offs, big news has just broken about the future of the Matrix franchise, as Variety reports that Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are on to return for a fourth instalment along with Lana Wachowski, back to co-write and direct.
It's a huge step for the films, which changed the way action is portrayed in big Hollywood blockbusters and blended philosophy with kung-fu for a potent mix that, if the sequels couldn't quite match in terms of critical response and general appreciation, still became successes and had their moments.
What the new film will feature is still being kept under wraps for now, though it'll continue the story of Neo, Trinity and co. Whether Laurence Fishburne will return as Morpheus is also up in the air, according to the trade mag, and there is mention of a potential new way forward with the role. Wachowski has been working on the script with Aleksandar Hemon and Cloud Atlas novelist David Mitchell.
"We could not be more excited to be re-entering ‘The Matrix’ with Lana," says Warner Bros. picture group president Toby Emmerich in a statement. "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." Wachowski famously wrote and directed the first three films with sister Lilly, who doesn't seem to be returning at this point. "Many of the ideas Lilly and I explored 20 years ago about our reality are even more relevant now," Wachowski says. "I’m very happy to have these characters back in my life and grateful for another chance to work with my brilliant friends."
No release was announced, but the studio is hoping that cameras will roll early next year. If Reeves wasn't already spending plenty of time at the 87 Eleven action training facility thanks to his John Wick duties, he'll now be practically living there...