We’re just a few weeks away from the release of The Matrix Resurrections, and Warner Bros. is whetting our appetites with a shiny new trailer.
As we’ve reported previously, series writers/directors Lilly and Lana Wachowski didn’t originally intend to make another Matrix film after Revolutions, but rumors about a possible fourth film have been swirling since 2012. Lilly Wachowski went so far as to call the prospect “a particularly repelling idea in these times” in a 2015 interview—a sharp critique of Hollywood’s preference for sequels, reboots, and adaptations.
Nonetheless, Warner Bros. officially announced the fourth film in August 2019. Lana Wachowski signed on to direct and co-write the film with novelist David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas) and Aleksandar Hemon (Sense8). Lilly Wachowski gave the project her blessing but declined to be involved, partly because she was busy with Showtime’s Work in Progress.
Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss will return to their roles as Neo and Trinity, respectively. Three actors will be reprising their roles in Reloaded and Revolutions: Jada Pinkett Smith as Niobe, captain of the Logos; Lambert Wilson as The Merovingian, a rogue Matrix program with his own agenda; and Daniel Bernhardt as Agent Johnson. We’re also getting a host of new cast members: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (currently lighting up the box office in Candyman), 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 first trailer was released in September and was set to Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” to really drive home the red pill/blue pill theme. We saw Neo in therapy with a smarmy psychiatrist played by Neil Patrick Harris, and it soon became clear that we were in a brave new Matrix-constructed world. People take two blue pills daily, and everyone is glued to their iPhones and tablets—whatever it takes to keep the masses sedated, one assumes. When Neo runs into Trinity, the two feel a vague sense of recognition.
Of course, Neo once again finds a “white rabbit” to follow, and a new version of Morpheus (Abdul-Mateen II) offers Neo that all-important red pill. There were agents, explosions, gravity-defying fight scenes, and a scene showing Neo stopping a hail of bullets, with one final shot of Jonathan Groff welcoming us “back to the Matrix.” It was perfection.
This new trailer is aptly titled “Déjà Vu” since it riffs on that key moment from the first Matrix film where Neo saw the same black cat walk past a doorway in the Lafayette Hotel. “A déjà vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix,” Trinity told him. “It happens when they change something.” In that case, the code around them was being rewritten as the Agents closed in. In this case, it seems that the entire preceding “reality” has been changed, but the trailer doesn’t spill many details beyond that.
We get haunting strains of “White Rabbit,” harkening back to the first trailer, and Trinity’s line is repeated several times as images from the original trilogy and the new film flash by in parallel—including that déjà vu cat—with blue and red hues washing over them to represent the changes coming. I am especially intrigued by a visually arresting shot of Trinity’s face melting into code and Neo facing off against a band of assailants with glowing green eyes.
“Why use old code to make something new?” we hear Neo say. “Maybe this isn’t the story you think it is,” a mechanized voice replies. We’ll find out just what kind of story this is in a few weeks.
The Matrix Resurrections hits theaters on December 22, 2021. As always, we strongly recommend only going to see films in theaters if you have been fully vaccinated and wear a mask for the duration of the screening.
Listing image by Warner Bros.