One of the most shocking parts of the official trailer for “The Matrix Resurrections” is how bright and colorful Lana Wachowski’s sequel looks. Gone is the cold and monotone atmosphere of the original trilogy and in its place is a vibrancy the franchise never had before. “The Matrix” feels different in its fourth outing, and change appears to have been an essential component of the entire production. In a new cover story for Entertainment Weekly, Keanu Reeves reflected on how different of a director Wachowski was on “Resurrections” compared to the first three movies.
As EW reports: “Reeves remembers that on the original trilogy, [Wachowski] was ‘more behind the monitor’ but ‘still hands-on.’ With ‘Resurrections,’ she was ‘participating more with the movement of the camera, and more interested in doing than rehearsing.’ It was less about prep and more about everyone’s readiness to find the unexpected in the moment. Reeves confesses they ‘barely rehearsed, if at all.'”
“Filming on the fly” is how new “Matrix” star Neil Patrick Harris described Wachowski’s directing style. Speaking to Variety earlier this year, Harris said, “[The production] didn’t feel large because it felt like she was in her sweet spot, which was filming on the fly, filming using natural light. Sometimes you’d sit around for an hour waiting for the clouds to clear, and then you’d quickly film…You’d film pages at a time in 30 minutes and then be done. You would think that a giant movie would be 100 percent storyboarded, animatics, and we’d be checking off shots. I think she lived that before three times over, and I would suspect that she wants to do things her own way now.”
As for Wachowski, the director isn’t giving away any plot details about “The Matrix Resurrections.” The filmmaker told EW that “the power of technology to trap or limit our subjective reality” plays an “important part of the new narrative” that makes up “Resurrections.”
“Art is a mirror,” Wachowski wrote to EW via email. “Most will prefer to gaze at the surface but there will be people like me who enjoy what lies behind the looking glass. I made this movie for them.”
“The Matrix Resurrections” opens December 22 in theaters and HBO Max.