I watched THE MATRIX last night on a cross-country flight and the whole time I couldn’t help but wonder why Warner Bros. hasn’t already rebooted the franchise, which has been lying dormant since 2003. Well, I didn’t have to wonder very long because the studio is, in fact, doing just that with the help of screenwriter Zak Penn, according to trade reports.
Penn is in early discussions to write a treatment for a new Matrix movie that could very well star Michael B. Jordan, per the Hollywood Reporter, though a rival blog claims they’ve heard talk of a Matrix writers room on the horizon. Oh, Morpheus! Give me the blue pill so I can wake up from this nightmare!
While it’s true that The Matrix is a bonafide Universe(!) in a town full of pretenders, it has been gathering dust in Burbank, and though the trilogy grossed nearly $1.8 billion worldwide, it’s hard to argue with the franchise’s diminishing creative returns. Despite some awesome action sequences, those Matrix sequels only served to sully the memory of the original, as the mythology of the world became more and more asinine. As brilliant as the Wachowski siblings are, they can also be their own worst enemies, at least from a storytelling perspective. Just look at Cloud Atlas and their head-scratching Netflix series Sense8 for proof.
Reports suggest the Wachowskis would be involved only peripherally this time around, and that Warners brass would entrust the green ones and zeroes to another filmmaker. Let’s just hope it’s not the studio’s workhorse Zack Snyder, who shares similar strengths and weaknesses as the duo.
It’s no surprise that Jordan is high on the studio’s list to play the new “The One,” aka Neo, aka Thomas Anderson, because he’s an excellent young actor. I’m just not so sure I see him dodging bullets in a trenchcoat. Maybe he could be a young Morpheus, or perhaps the new Agent Smith?
This is all very early, so forgive this hot take thinkpiece! Just know that déjà vu was a bad sign inside the Matrix, and it’s worrisome that WB execs would rather dust off this franchise than develop an original property that could be the next Matrix. Wake up, indeed!
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief