Rumor: New Matrix Film Trilogy in the Works

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The Matrix was very "of its time" - end-of-Millennium, pre-9/11 existential angst, po-faced grimdark cyberpunk aesthetics, CGI because CGI FUCK YEAH, bullet time, wire-fu, and so on. I don't think it'd be possible to make a modern Matrix film without it being either an unintentional parody or so distanced from the originals that you might as well call it a new franchise.

Seriously? Why did it take them this long? Here, I'll write a Matrix movie right now:

Scene 1:

Poncey characters in stupid club wear stand around and look anxious/"profound"/tough.

Scene 2:

Someone makes a vague and insubstantial reference to a roughly 2000 year-old yet trendy religion. Perhaps this time it's Wicca's turn!

Scene 3:

Several unimportant background characters spout incoherent shit that might as well have been written by madlib.

Scene 4:

Fight with pounding techno soundtrack! until you forget what actually happened in scenes 1-3.

Scene 5:

You are the chosen one! Why? Bugger if anyone knows, but this movie ain't moving forward otherwise.

Scene 6:

An extra poncey character pouts and does something thoroughly irrelevant to the plot, but they keep talking like they're talking about something until the audience is lulled into a hypnotic trance and believes they've actually said a single coherent sentence.

Scene 7:

Fight with pounding techno soundtrack! and bad CGI that we're going to pay all the press to say looks 100% natural until you forget scenes 4-6!

Scene 8:

Protagonist has a word salad conversation with some poncey but old guy portraying an antagonist. Background characters grit their teeth and pretend whatever scenes they're in matter.

Scene 9:

Final fight scene! The guy no one cares about beats the guy no one cares about, but if you pound the techno hard enough and throw in enough bullshit special effects maybe the audience will forget that they don't actually care what's happening!

Scene Epilogue:

Background characters speak vaguely in an incoherent and needlessly pompous conversation that suggests all is not as it seems and more will be revealed in the next movie. Spoiler alert! It won't be. The writers are just making it up (according to this outline) as they go along.

Post production:

Take people's money, and tell them they are deep and smart for giving it to you.

Done. Hire some two-bit techno outfit for the soundtrack and set up an expense account at Black Leather R' Us and we can shoot this pile of whatsit in a day.

Simalacrum:
Firstly, where did this whole idea of "trilogies" come from anyway? Like, why is 3 the optimal number? Seems like a strange number to limit oneself to, and it seems particularly prevalent in films.

As Evil Smurf already mentioned the concept of 'trilogies' is ancient. Greek theater used the format. Playwrights often put on three tragedies, and then one comic relief play.

Anyway, I'm not sure how I feel about this. A prequel is probably doable, but anything after the events of the last film would be a disaster in my opinion.

I'm happy if this is true. Matrix 2 and 3 were flat-out ruined by corporate meddling. The should have been 1 movie, and not 2.

Ugh....still the freaking trilogy stuff. I hate it that things (even games) are now planned in threes, without even knowing if the first one will work out. Also, I actually liked Reloaded, but Revolutions kind of fall kind of flat for me. If there was supposed to be some kind of prequel to how the Matrix started...that's already been done in Animatrix, with such art and powerful visual imagery that I doubt any movie will be able to portray. Just leave this thing alone.

Batou667:
The Matrix was very "of its time" - end-of-Millennium, pre-9/11 existential angst, po-faced grimdark cyberpunk aesthetics, CGI because CGI FUCK YEAH, bullet time, wire-fu, and so on. I don't think it'd be possible to make a modern Matrix film without it being either an unintentional parody or so distanced from the originals that you might as well call it a new franchise.

We're classying movies as "pre-9/11" now?

Just when you thought American egos had peaked :D

baconsarnie:

Adzma:
What do they mean new trilogy in the works? There's only one Matrix film. One.

I find this an interesting phenomenon, 'I hated the matrix sequels therefore they don't exist' but we never see this applied to anything else. Why not Star wars 1-3, the entire Twilight thing or anything else.
Can anyone explain this for me please?

In defense of this move, I should point out that the second Highlander movie was so bad that it was actually written out of the cannon, so I wouldn't say that it's the Matrix sequels are the only ones to be regarded as non-existent by the fan base. I could throw in Star Trek: Generations as well. I think it's a case of fandoms reacting to a bit of cannon that is so far out of left field that they would rather choose to ignore it than try to make the pieces and plot holes fit.

llagrok:

Batou667:
The Matrix was very "of its time" - end-of-Millennium, pre-9/11 existential angst, po-faced grimdark cyberpunk aesthetics, CGI because CGI FUCK YEAH, bullet time, wire-fu, and so on. I don't think it'd be possible to make a modern Matrix film without it being either an unintentional parody or so distanced from the originals that you might as well call it a new franchise.

We're classying movies as "pre-9/11" now?

Just when you thought American egos had peaked :D

Since so many movies come out of Hollywood and 9/11 affected the way many people view those movies, once could make a case that 9/11 is a useful reference tool when talking about aesthetic choices in movies. I don't think it's so much American egotism as it is a cultural and historical event of major importance that had serious impact on visual styles, scenes and cues. In essence, it should not be terribly surprising that American made art was affected by a major event in American history or that the event is used as a reference point to those changes.

The original was great. The second was average, the third average too. The problem was, that the first was such a bolt from the blue, that making two more films up to that standard was impossible. You forget, that this film single handedly resurrected Keanu Reeves' career - okay, so maybe not completely perfect.
The real issue was one of disappointment, the original suggested and some greater deeper meaning when none existed. In the end, it was about "guns, lots of guns" and nothing else.

Simalacrum:
Firstly, where did this whole idea of "trilogies" come from anyway? Like, why is 3 the optimal number? Seems like a strange number to limit oneself to, and it seems particularly prevalent in films.

It's more the extension of the basic storyline formula with a beginning, middle, and end. And most production has figured out that you get about three movies before you seriously wear out your welcome (often because the producers start to stick their fingers into the product by then). Hell, the original Matrix was was essentially a rehashing of the The Hero's Journey done using a cyberpunk premise of Plato's Cave. The only thing original about it was the detail and cinematic elements, and that's what made the film great.

baconsarnie:

Adzma:
What do they mean new trilogy in the works? There's only one Matrix film. One.

I find this an interesting phenomenon, 'I hated the matrix sequels therefore they don't exist' but we never see this applied to anything else. Why not Star wars 1-3, the entire Twilight thing or anything else.
Can anyone explain this for me please?

Are you familiar with the Star Wars Christmas Special? The world managed to blink that out of existence to the point that it's like the essay "The Individual Eleven" from Ghost in the Shell.

Now if you'll excuse me while I stick my hand on a stove for bringing it up...

OT: There's two ways this could go that doesn't turn this into an unnecessary reboot. They could have it as the cyclical story of another iteration of the Matrix where the machines have learned more and are a little less overt in their methods of internal control (because it's established they go in cycles). Or it could be a prequel set during the events that created the first Matrix.

But I'm not holding my breath. Oh, I'll probably still watch it if there's nothing else to do, but it will probably not be as interesting or influential as the original.

The visual philosophy presented by the original Matrix movie literally turned my world upside down for a few days after I first saw it...its how good a movie it was, that you could actually accept its philosophical premise even though the entire premise is based in science fiction.

The second two movies did a bad job of attempting to pad out the theories by focusing on extremely vapid character representation of philosophical ideals through relatively bad actors and largely had Hugo Weaving not held the entire thread together, they would have been relatively more a disaster than they were.

If the Wackoski Brothers have another one in the tank that can re-introduce the Matrix to the market again in a way that isn't blatantly a B movie wrapped in a AAA IP's name...then I might be interested to see what they can produce.

In my opinion, the only place the Matrix would fit into our day and age is (dun dun dunnnn) yet another reboot.

Sicram:
At first I was "Oi!" at the "brothers" in the ingress, but then below it said siblings so it was maybe an honest mistake? They aren't brothers, they're siblings, one of them is a sister.

I too had the same reaction, although to be strictly fair, they were brothers at the time of producing the Matrix trilogy. It's was years later that Larry publicly became Lana.

Nope, not liking it to be frank. I'll stck to the Animatrix and estrablished triology, Hollywood is going to F it over as useall.

baconsarnie:

Adzma:
What do they mean new trilogy in the works? There's only one Matrix film. One.

I find this an interesting phenomenon, 'I hated the matrix sequels therefore they don't exist' but we never see this applied to anything else. Why not Star wars 1-3, the entire Twilight thing or anything else.
Can anyone explain this for me please?

Sorry, bub, but that's not the only example or even the first example. The same things HAVE been said of the Star Wars films, of the Indiana Jones franchise, of the Mad Max trilogy, and many other well-loved film series. The one that sticks in my head though is Highlander. Highlander two was so bad that I'm told scientists are trying to warp time so it can be truly erased from the franchise. Somebody better call Doc Emmett Brown.

Denial can be a beautiful thing. When faced with tainting something that a person really enjoys only humans have the capacity to choose to ignore the 'tainted' part to allow them to enjoy the bits they loved.

I think having another three Matrix movies wouldn't be so bad. The first one was very good, the second and third were...adequate Admittedly they weren't great and the philosophical arguments were headache inducing and questionable at best in their logic. The acting was subtle, yet compelling in some case, but in others it was rather flat and lifeless. The action scenes were, for the time, ground-breaking. Finally the story arc was decent and it ended on a note that felt fairly self-contained, yet like a new story could lead from it.

That said, I'm still rather dreading this new trilogy. Why? Because this announcement says one of them will be about the birth of the Matrix. My first thought when I saw the announcement was "Oh God, please don't, please don't, please don't..." Then when I read that line, my next thought was. "Damnit, they are." It looks like this trilogy will be a PREQUEL trilogy.

I have grown to develop a real disdain for prequels. They VERY rarely turn out well. Knowing ahead of time what must happen in order for the circumstances you know will exist to be there, there's limited opportunities for surprises. In addition, it's incredibly difficult for the events needed to set up those circumstances to occur without it feeling like the writers or directors are turning to the audience and saying "See? That's how it went down!", thus destroying a sense of immersion in the story.

I think this immersion-breaking is one of the biggest flaws of prequels; they all seem to come with this sense of, for lack of a better term, meta-narrative, like you can hear the filmmakers silently pointing things out to you. It makes it feel less like you're watching events unfold and more like you're having things explained to you. From my own limited point of view, prequels only really work if they're set far back enough that they're not directly related to the events that occurred in the previous movies. Let's look at two examples. A bad prequel would be The Thing from 2011; in addition to being cookie cutter with a lot of its tropes and containing narrative plot holes, the events were incredibly blatant with their setups, like you were watching the prequel characters assemble the scene that the characters from John Carpenter's film would discover later. Now a good prequel would be Red Dragon, the film set just before Silence of The Lambs. Now the film by itself may have had some flaws, but it did a good job of telling its own story that didn't feel like it was leading the audience by the hand on a tour of setpieces and pointing each one out. It's only direct connection to the next chronological film is when Dr. Lecter is told he has another visitor from the FBI, and just as Dr. Chilton was about to turn the request down, Dr. Lecter says "What's her name?"

So long story short, this new trilogy sounds like it's shaping up to be a prequel, and that's rarely a good thing. The last movie ended with plenty of opportunities to begin new stories, with people now aware of the existence of The Matrix and given the choice to freely come and go between the Matrix and the real world through a tenuous agreement with the machines. Perhaps there could be fanatics who refuse to trust the machines and want to destroy them, so in order to honor their agreement, humanity has to stop them from releasing a computer virus that would bring down the system that millions still rely on for survival. Or perhaps there might be additional rogue programs like Agent Smith that seek to take control of The Matrix and re-enslave humanity, perhaps intending to develop interstellar flight so it can try to conquer other planets. The possibilities are there, but they won't be realized if Hollywood insists on getting bogged down in one story to the point it won't even consider writing a new one, even within the same setting.

Simalacrum:
Firstly, where did this whole idea of "trilogies" come from anyway? Like, why is 3 the optimal number? Seems like a strange number to limit oneself to, and it seems particularly prevalent in films.

Because the majority of films have settled on using a three-act structure, which can also be applied to a larger story over the course of three films.

image

Take Star Wars for example. Each film of the original trilogy is its own 3-act story, but together they also form the three acts of a larger story; It's the introduction of , confrontation with, and ultimately the destruction of, The Galactic Empire.

PlasmaCow:

Sicram:
At first I was "Oi!" at the "brothers" in the ingress, but then below it said siblings so it was maybe an honest mistake? They aren't brothers, they're siblings, one of them is a sister.

I too had the same reaction, although to be strictly fair, they were brothers at the time of producing the Matrix trilogy. It's was years later that Larry publicly became Lana.

That is true, although that is no longer the case. Calling them "brother's", even if it's retroactively, is a bit insulting. We aren't living in the past.

baconsarnie:

Adzma:
What do they mean new trilogy in the works? There's only one Matrix film. One.

I find this an interesting phenomenon, 'I hated the matrix sequels therefore they don't exist' but we never see this applied to anything else. Why not Star wars 1-3, the entire Twilight thing or anything else.
Can anyone explain this for me please?

I personally like to pretend Twilight doesn't exist.

This could absolutely end up extremely cool. I'd love to see it happen, whether they made them direct sequels or whether they were prequels. Or even if they were just other stories set within the same universe. Very exciting stuff.

mrpollio:
Might want to update the article "The Wachowski siblings" would be more accurate. They aren't exactly brothers anymore.

Who at the Escapist would you file an editorial complaint with anyways? Cause getting some ones gender wrongs kind of a big oversight.

Please don't be a reboot. Please, oh please, oh please, don't be a reboot.

On the other hand, if we could get to see the previous Matrices, that'd be interesting. How do you "wake up" from Simulated Medieval Europe, for instance, or can you even do that? Agent Smith did explain how the Matrix we saw is only one of many designs, the so-called peak of our civilization being the point where we could accept the Matrix's core requirements without subconsciously rebelling.

What I don't get is why the Matrix wasn't designed in order to resemble the Dark Ages. Keep the Agents as lords-of-the-manor and county sherrifs, and the setting would naturally prevent most connected humans from hacking their way out. The only potential would be self-substantiation, as displayed by the Kid, in "The Animatrix". Even then, the machines win by default, since a mind that's been codified to think along Medieval standards wouldn't know what to do with its status as a Redpill, or much of the real world to begin with.

Seems like a pretty foolproof setup to me. As for the necessity of giving us the unconscious choice of whether or not to accept the program, I'm pretty sure Existentialism existed in some form in the Dark Ages - just not in a very astute way.

one two, one two, testing, one two...

Because THAT was a problem that needed solving.

Anyway, thanks to the author of this article for not saying they were going to reboot the franchise.

This may not be terrible. I think the timing is pretty good, neither too soon or too long. Also I want another MXO but without a terrible launch and with a lot of stuff to do outside of the directed story.

"Mr Anderson, welcome back. We missed you!"

baconsarnie:

Adzma:
What do they mean new trilogy in the works? There's only one Matrix film. One.

I find this an interesting phenomenon, 'I hated the matrix sequels therefore they don't exist' but we never see this applied to anything else. Why not Star wars 1-3, the entire Twilight thing or anything else.
Can anyone explain this for me please?

Oh yes we do. there are people who pretend that Star Wars 1-3 nebver happened. That Harry potter ended with 3 movies, that Remakes do not exist, that only 2 Jason movies exist, ect. plenty of people that think pretending its not real makes it go away. We see this with videogames too, usually with "That game that should not be named" and the like. I know people who think Settlers only had 3 games, HOMM 3 as well, that Bioshock 2 never happened, ect. this is nothing new, many people chose ignorance to "preserve" their vision of franchises.

edit: oh how could i forget - Indiana Jones 4 never happened either!

A Distant Star:

mrpollio:
Might want to update the article "The Wachowski siblings" would be more accurate. They aren't exactly brothers anymore.

Who at the Escapist would you file an editorial complaint with anyways? Cause getting some ones gender wrongs kind of a big oversight.

go to http://www.escapistmagazine.com/contact/
from dropdown select letter to the editor.
write your complain bellow.
according to this http://www.escapistmagazine.com/content/about
Editor in Chief
Greg Tito

(and i see they updated that site since the last time i visited so i guess its up to date)

Simalacrum:
Firstly, where did this whole idea of "trilogies" come from anyway? Like, why is 3 the optimal number? Seems like a strange number to limit oneself to, and it seems particularly prevalent in films.

The Holy trinity.

As for the matrix, well I didn't actually hate them like most people seem to do. I know i'm in the minority but I enjoyed them.

PlasmaCow:

Sicram:
At first I was "Oi!" at the "brothers" in the ingress, but then below it said siblings so it was maybe an honest mistake? They aren't brothers, they're siblings, one of them is a sister.

I too had the same reaction, although to be strictly fair, they were brothers at the time of producing the Matrix trilogy. It's was years later that Larry publicly became Lana.

Yep, exactly my point. Most people knew them as the "Wachoski Brothers" years ago. Used that for the lede to give people better understanding of the story. Used the correct "siblings" in the actual post. Amended it all the same since some people think I did it out of ignorance or I have another agenda. :(

You know what? As long as it doesn't go George Lucas on us, I'm FINE with this.

I'm okay with this. I liked the first and third films, and even some of the action scenes in the second weren't too bad.

The origins of the matrix? But we already have the terminator films.

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