Moviegoers know that the Matrix trilogy’s finale “heavily hinted that our hero will be back at some point in the distant future,” writes the Guardian.. “Now he is…”
But does the first three-minute trailer for the soon-to-be-released sequel The Matrix Resurrections suggest Keanu Reeves’ “Neo” character has been wiped from existence?
In his place is a beardy, incredibly well-aged fiftysomething who looks a bit like John Wick, or possibly that brooding weirdo from The Gift. He meets Carrie-Anne Moss’s Trinity in a coffee shop, but fails to recognise her despite all their adventures down the digital rabbit hole. Later he’s seen training in what appears to be a dojo with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s unnamed character, who appears to be fulfilling the Morpheus role of martial arts mentor and guide to the Matrix. Is Abdul-Mateen playing a younger version of the human resistance leader, and if so couldn’t they just have digitally de-aged him, given the entire movie probably takes place inside Adobe After Effects anyway?
The teaser poses further questions. Why is Neo taking blue pills as medication? Does this signal the new Neo’s willingness to succumb to the virtual world that keeps him blissfully ignorant of the horrifying reality? And if so, what’s been going on — didn’t the pesky machines promise to free all humans from the Matrix…?
The great thing about Matrix movies is that all usual rules of film-making continuity can be easily placed to one side. Reality can be shifted and reconfigured at every opportunity in the interest of entertainment. This is like the bit in Doctor Who where one Time Lord’s face morphs into the next. For all we know, Reeves could be playing the Mad Hatter and Moss a giant pot plant who just appears to be a human being…
There could be a genuinely fascinating reason why Neo and Trinity are back and ready to kick machine ass once again. We won’t know for sure until just before Christmas, when the movie hits cinemas.
ABC News notes the new film “also stars returning Matrix co-star Jada Pinkett Smith, features series newcomers Jessica Henwick from Iron Fist, Christina Ricci, Mindhunters star Jonathan Groff, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas.” Though as IndieWire points out, there’s no sign (yet) of the original Morpheus, Laurence Fishburne.