‘The Matrix Resurrections’ First Reactions: Bold Hollywood Sequel or Meta Headache?

The latest entry in the "Matrix" franchise has finally screened, and here's what people have to say.
THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS, (aka THE MATRIX 4), Keanu Reeves, 2021. © Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection
"The Matrix Resurrections"
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

The Matrix Resurrections” has finally screened for press, industry, and other lucky viewers, and first reactions to the sequel from director Lana Wachowski are pouring in. This is not only the last major movie premiere to round out this year’s winter season, it’s also the first “Matrix” film since 2003’s “The Matrix Revolutions,” and the fourth film in the franchise. Check out a roundup of social media reactions — which are divided, but sway toward the positive — below.

The Matrix 4” features Keanu Reeves (consummate game stuntman of all time) and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their roles as Neo and Trinity, respectively, as well as Jada Pinkett-Smith as Niobe, Lambert Wilson as The Merovingian, and Daniel Bernhardt as Agent Johnson. They’re joined by a wave of high-profile co-stars including Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, Jonathan Groff, Toby Unwumere, Priyanka Chopra, and more.

As the last trailer revealed, the franchise’s main characters no longer remember each other following the events of the original “Matrix” trilogy. Franchise newcomer Abdul-Mateen II is Morpheus, but he’s not Lawrence Fishburne’s version of the character that fans love.

“I think what the script provided was a new narrative and some new opportunities that did make room within the Matrix universe for a new Morpheus,” Abdul-Mateen II teased to Entertainment Weekly in October. “I play a character who’s definitely aware of the history of the Matrix [and] the history of Morpheus. This character is on a journey of self-discovery. There’s a lot in our story that’s about growth, defining your own path. Morpheus isn’t exempt from that. This is definitely a different iteration of the character.”

The film, written by Wachowski with authors David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon, has been in development since 2017. Top-secret filming began February 4, 2020, in San Francisco under the code name “Project Ice Cream,” with filming also taking place in Germany and Chicago. Production was halted on March 16, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but then resumed in August. Filming wrapped in November 2021.

The film opens from Warner Bros. in theaters and day-and-date on HBO Max December 22.

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