‘Matrix 4’ Could’ve Happened Without Lana Wachowski at the Helm, Producer Says

"I think when you've had a franchise with that much potential money-making capability, there's always talk."
THE MATRIX RESURRECTIONS, (aka THE MATRIX 4), Keanu Reeves, 2021. ph: Murray Close / © Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection
The moment Neo is imprisoned by "bullet time" in "The Matrix Resurrections." Imprisoned by blockbuster conventions, even Lana Wachowski couldn't resist giving Neo the line "I still know kung fu."
©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Ever since it debuted in theaters in on HBO Max December 22, “The Matrix Resurrections” has been garnering praise from critics and fans alike for its meta take on the “Matrix” trilogy. But in a new interview with Collider, producer (and first assistant director on the first three films) James McTeigue reveals that one scene in particular was even more meta than audiences knew. Light spoilers below!

In “The Matrix Resurrections,” Neo (Keanu Reeves) believes himself to be a video game designer responsible for a popular trilogy series called Matrix. Then he hears this very inside baseball statement from his boss, Jonathan Groff’s Smith: “Things have changed, the market’s tough. I’m sure you can understand why our beloved parent company Warner Bros. has decided to make a sequel to the trilogy. They informed me they’re going to do it with or without us.”

And apparently, there’s more than a kernel of truth to that moment in the script by director Lana Wachowski, David Mitchell, and Aleksandar Hemon, according to McTeigue.

“I think when you’ve had a franchise with that much potential money-making capability, there’s always talk,” McTeigue said in the interview. “It’s in the same way that the Marvel universe repeats and turns in on itself, or you have ‘Spider-Man,’ or you have ‘Iron Man,’ or ‘Thor.’ There’s always a potential to update those movies just because of the possibility of making the money and telling new stories. I shouldn’t say it’s just a purely fiscal thought. But yeah, look, there was versions out there, but they hadn’t landed on the right version. So when Lana eventually came back around and said, ‘Look. I’m interested in making another movie,’ of course, they went with the filmmaker who was the genesis of the ‘Matrix.'”

“The Matrix Resurrections” picked up $22.5 million over a five day opening weekend, even with its availability to stream from home on HBO Max. But despite the film’s success — it is the third film of 2021 to gross over eight figures — McTeigue told Collider there are no plans to make another “Matrix” movie.

“We’ve got no prequel in mind,” he said. “We’ve got no sequel in mind. We’ve got no further trilogy.” But while there may not be a new Matrix film in the works, McTeigue adds that there is an Easter egg to keep an eye out for when you rewatch “The Matrix Resurrections.”

“Look at the screens when we first come into the [Thomas Anderson]  office,” he said.

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