Spoilers for all The Matrix works preceding it will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!
The Matrix Resurrections is an upcoming American Cyberpunk Science Fiction action film produced, co-written and directed by Lana Wachowski.note The script was co-written with Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell. It is the third sequel to The Matrix and the fourth film installment in the Matrix franchise. The film is due to release on December 22, 2021, both in theaters and on HBO Max (the latter for a one-month duration).
Set years after the end of the Machine War, things have returned to a state of familiarity in the Matrix, though the simulation's technology has progressed to reflect a more advanced society. Neo, once thought to be dead, has returned to his Thomas Anderson persona and lives a fairly normal life as he struggles with memories of a life that he doesn't remember living. But when familiar faces and their new allies seek out his assistance, it's time for Neo to take a trip down the rabbit hole once more...
Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett, Lambert Wilson and Daniel Bernhardt reprise their roles from the previous films, while Yahya Abdul-Mateen II takes over the role of Morpheus for Laurence Fishburne. Also among the cast are Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Toby Onwumere, Max Riemelt, Eréndira Ibarra, Priyanka Chopra, Andrew Caldwell, Brian J. Smith, Ellen Hollman and Christina Ricci.
The Matrix Resurrections contains examples of:
- Alice Allusion: The trailer has a consistent Alice's Adventures in Wonderland theme:
- The trailer is set to a remix of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit", a song about drug usage ("one pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small...") told through Alice's story.
- During the "if you go chasing rabbits" line, we see a rabbit tattoo, alluding to Alice chasing the white rabbit.
- A copy of Through the Looking-Glass is briefly seen.
- Amnesiac Hero: Neo and Trinity appear to be alive and well in the trailer (both died in The Matrix Revolutions), but they don't remember each other. Neo also doesn't remember his previous life, and even that he's in the Matrix at all since he's presented with the Red Pill, Blue Pill choice once again.
- Artificial Brilliance: A marketing example — both iterations of the "Choose Your Reality" teaser are actually made up of 180,000 potential combinations of footage snippets and orderings, based on what time you watch the teasers and other factors. Most notably, the Analyst and Morpheus read the time that you're watching the trailer as they deliver their monologues.
- Ass Kicking Pose: Neo strikes a combat pose in the teaser.
- Back from the Dead: It's right there in the title. Neo and Trinity, both of whom died in The Matrix Revolutions, appear to be alive and well in the trailer, but also don't know each other, somehow.
- Badass Beard: Neo's badassery from the previous films needs no elaboration, and he sports a beard in the teaser.
- Body Horror: In the teaser, Smith's mouth melts itself shut just like what happened to Thomas Anderson/Neo in the first film.
- Body Surf: An Agent of the Matrix appears in the trailer, possessing the body of a plugged-in human.
- A Freeze-Frame Bonus in the trailer showcases that Neo's original body is still blind following the events of The Matrix Revolutions.
- The trailer's lack of the signature green color filter that the Matrix scenes had in the first three movies is also owed to Revolutions, as it went away following the end of the Machine War.
- Enemy Civil War: Several advertisements showcase scenes of the machines fighting other machines for some unknown reason.
- Everything Is an iPod in the Future: In stark contrast to the much grittier earlier films. Resurections was made more than a decade after Revolutions, and if the trailer is anything to go by, substantially updates its setting to a much more modern urban environment. Gone are the dim flickering fluorescent lights and green camera filter - Neo now sports a hipster beard and coffee shops and clean white rooms are the setting of the day.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: The trailer shows that Neo's got longer hair and a beard now which serves as a little visual cue to show Neo's current stress and doubt of his life. note
- Gravity Screw: Neo opens a door into the floor of another location in the trailer.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The film keeps the tradition of having the sequel subtitle start with "Re" after Reloaded and Revolutions.
- Meta Fiction:
- One scene from the trailer has a SWAT team shoot a wall onto which a scene from the original Matrix film is projected. Narration from the blue-pill version of the teaser has Neil Patrick Harriss character speak of confusing fiction with reality. This strongly suggests that Neo is apparently (supposed to be) convinced that the events of the original film are a Show Within a Show.
- The teasers and the trailer also contain a number of scenes that directly reference scenes from the previous films: the dojo fight, Trinity being aimed at from behind and then walking on walls, touching a mirror leaving ripples on its surface, Neo facing a luminous door, someone jumping out of a tall building through a window. Jessica Henwicks character has a rabbit tattoo, referencing the one seen in the first film.
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Someone gets pummeled with punches against a wall in the teaser in the same manner Agent Smith pummeled Neo in the first film.
- Red Pill, Blue Pill:
- In the trailer, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II's iteration of Morpheus presents the same choice to Neo between the blue pill and the red pill as Laurence Fishburne's iteration of Morpheus did back in the first film.
- In the trailer, Neo is shown with a prescription bottle of "blue pills" as well.
- Setting Update: The presence of smartphones and tablets in the trailer shows that this version of the Matrix is no longer based on an early 2000s aethestic as in the original trilogy, but updated to the 2010-20s era.
- Shout-Out: Out of all the references to the previous Matrix films seen in the trailer, one can be spotted in a random business sign during the part where Thomas/Neo is looking at birds in the sky that is a reference to another film outside of the previous films. If one pays attention, they'll notice a business called Corky's Massage, with a bizarre logo. However, if anyone is familiar with the Wachowskis and their filmography, you'd realize that this is a reference to Bound, the first film the Wachowskis made. Corky is the lead of the film, played by Gina Gershon. And the odd looking logo? It's a Labrys, an asymmetric double-headed ritual axe, just like the one that Corky has as a tattoo on her arm in the film.
- Trilogy Creep: The Matrix Revolutions used to mark the Grand Finale of the Matrix trilogy. It's not a trilogy anymore.
- Younger and Hipper: While several surviving characters from the original movies have visibly aged with their actors, Morpheus appears considerably younger in the trailer due to being played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II instead of Laurence Fishburne.