The Matrix is changing. That’s the undeniable takeaway from the latest trailer for The Matrix Resurrections, which takes viewers on a quick journey through Matrices past and future. It also lets viewers know tickets are available for the Dec. 22 release starting Dec. 6.
“A deja vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix,” a voice says, as “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane plays in the background. A black cat crosses Neo’s path, just as it did in original, 1999 Matrix. The voice reminds the viewer that “it happens when they change something.”
From there, the trailer moves through a series of Star Wars-esque sidewipes, transitioning between the past and the upcoming film. The viewer sees the real world of the machines, with Neo plugged into the pods that have ensnared all of humanity. There are cool jumps, bullets, quick shots of fan favorites like Seraph and Smith, an updated version of Smith’s mouth-elimination trick from the first movie, long views down a hallway in preparation for a fight, Neo and Trinity putting sunglasses on, and so on.
Some of these characters look rather different than when they first appeared. The biggest change might come in the form of The Merovingian, sometimes referred to in The Matrix Reloaded as The Frenchman. One of the oldest programs in The Matrix, he is best remembered for his decadence, a long speech about causality, and being married to Monica Bellucci’s Persephone.
But the briefest of glimpses here shows a very different look: unkempt, disheveled, with none of his finery around him (or Monica Bellucci, for that matter). It’s too early to know exactly what happens to The Merovingian, but it seems like everyone’s favorite horny French computer program might just be in for a change of scenery.
A new Entertainment Weekly cover story goes even further into “change,” both in terms of what to expect from the new movie and what was altered in the old. Keanu Reeves recalls an early draft of the first movie’s original script, where a character entered the Matrix world as a different sex, adding further credence to the idea that The Matrix was at least in part about the trans experience. “I think the studio wasn’t ready for that,” he guesses.
There are also tidbits about the challenges of modern movie making. Newcomer to the franchise Jessica Henwick was forced by Disney and Warner Bros. to choose between Resurrections and Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. “It was a red-pill/blue-pill moment for me,” she says, and clearly chose to chase down the rabbit hole.
The new Morpheus, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, spoke to Wired about working with Lana Wachowski. “She’s the only director I’ve ever worked with who will grab the camera from the DP or from the camera operator and film something herself. She was right there, damn near inside of the movie. She really put her muscle and sweat into it,” he says, also mentioning that it felt like Wachowski was making “her art for an audience of one, which is herself, and then trusts that there will be an appetite for it.”
Between the two stories, work on The Matrix Resurrections seems like it was both intense and relaxed. In the EW story, Carrie Anne-Moss talks about having “a lot of obstacles to overcome” in performing a scene where she and Reeves leap off a 40-story building, and Reeves mentions that if the two stars were present for any given scene, “it’s not a stunt,” suggesting that there more elaborate scenes where pros step in.
But on the other hand, Reeves says Wachowski “more interested in doing than rehearsing” and that the cast “barely rehearsed, if at all.”
Back in 1999, Agent Smith told Morpheus that “The future is our world ... the future is our time.” Now that future’s here.