It feels weird saying it out loud, but The Matrix 4 is set to release this year. Following on from the original trilogy that was released throughout the noughties, the fourth film is in a precarious position.
What’s even more interesting is that the film will release around seven months from now, and we’ve still not seen a single thing about it. No trailers, no teasers.
All we know is that it will star Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss, and one half of the original directors, Lana Wachowski will lead the project.
Other than the casting, we only know a few snippets of information. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II who is set to feature in the sequel described the script as a "beautiful script that is a love story". He also added that the movie acts as a “call to wake up”, implying the movie could once again be a wider commentary on society, much like the original.
We’ve seen countless directors use sequels to fix plot holes pointed out by fans in previous films. Star Wars: Rogue One was essentially the answer to the question, “How did Luke blow up the Death Star so easily?”
There’s every chance Wachowski could use plot-holes from the previous three films as a basis for The Matrix 4. If you’ve watched the trilogy enough there’s a lot of very obvious plot holes, so it would make sense for the sequel to help mend some of those.
One of the biggest plot holes in the original trilogy was how Neo could use his powers outside of the Matrix. It didn’t really make any sense, and stands as one of the weakest points in the series. Subsequent releases have tried to better explain how Neo could affect machines in the actual world, but putting it front and centre could be an interesting plot device in the Matrix 4.
A story based on love
Spoilers for the original Matrix trilogy here, but both Trinity and Neo died at the end The Matrix Revolutions. Subsequent releases revealed that Neo and Trinity were the culmination of decades of machine research into translating human DNA into machine code. This not only allowed them to interface directly with the matrix, but it also means there are DNA sequences for both characters.
The Matrix 4 could see one of the two characters brought back to life. As we saw in the previous three films, the bond between Neo and Trinity was incredibly strong. The story could revolve around one character's quest to revive the other. Fighting against the odds to do something that other characters call impossible. This kind of story would also fit in with Abdul-Mateen II's comments about it being a love story.
Whatever happens, we know both Neo and Trinity are in the film and will likely play important roles.
Lilly Wachowski revealed last year that The Matrix was a trans metaphor. Both Lilly and Lana Wachowski have since come out as trans since The Matrix released. Speaking in an interview last year with BBC, Lilly said it was her “original intention” to make the film more apparent in its metaphors. She added that “ the world wasn’t quite ready”. In the original script, the character Switch was presented as female inside the Matrix, and male in the actual world. The studio shot the idea down, but they still presented Switch as an androgynous character.
The Matrix 4 could further explore themes of trans identity. While it likely wouldn’t be the sole narrative arch, it could be one of the most prominent themes in the sequel.
The Merovingian and Persephone
Lambert Wilson and Monica Bellucci have both confirmed they will return to the series. Playing the unusual married couple, The Merovingian and Persphone, the pair will once again play a part in the narrative. The onscreen couple played important roles in both The Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions. Therefore, it’s likely the duo could once again aid or hinder Neo and Trinity.
The Merovingian is a powerful program, so we could even see him turn into an antagonist for Neo or Trinity. In the expanded lore, it is implied that The Merovingian was behind the killing of Morpheus. This could also play an important part in the story.
With seven months to go and now trailer in sight, who knows what The Matrix 4 could entail. All we know is that we can’t wait to get escape our reality, and explore the world of The Matrix once again.