While the surprise sci-fi sequel The Matrix 4 is due for release later this year (and would have already been released if not for a particular pesky contagion), we still know next to nothing about the movie. Well, that could all have changed, with a new rumor claiming to reveal several crucial elements of the plot that will see Keanu Reeves' Neo, make a triumphant return.

Potential SPOILERS to follow...

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According to sources, The Matrix 4 will reportedly pick up some 60 years after the events of 2003's The Matrix Revolutions. With the simulated world now rebooted, "there have been significant changes from the world we last left. Not all are still alive and the "world" has a divergent feel from the one Neo first entered all those years ago."

This different world includes such intriguing details such as Zion no longer existing, with the remaining humans no longer living in fear of machines, and some even working with humans. The rumor also provides some insight into the absence of former leader, Morpheus, who has now passed away. Jada Pinkett Smith's Niobe, has now taken his place, with the actress due to be aged-up for the movie.

This peace between humans and machines though is tenuous, with events leading to the return of Neo. While it's unknown how (or if) he will back in his real-life form, "Neo will be working to free a version of Trinity from the existing Matrix." Played once again by Carrie-Anne Moss, Trinity has undergone some substantial changes and is now named Tiffany and "lives a very "normal" life with her husband and kids within the program." In The Matrix 4, Neo will be fighting to free "Tiffany" from The Matrix, with The One rumored to be acting in much the same way as Morpheus did all those years ago.

The final detail concern Neil Patrick Harris' role in proceedings, with the actor reportedly playing The Analyst, a new version of jargon and exposition spilling The Architect, with Harris' character said to have helped in creating the peace between machines and humans. Whether The Analyst is actually the villain of the piece is not yet clear, but that would not come as too much of a surprise.

Now, it's worth pointing out once again that these are all rumors currently. Generally speaking though, everything sounds very plausible. Shifting Neo into the guiding, Morpheus-esque role and thus making Trinity the main character would certainly be a slightly different way to approach the story, and thus hopefully justify a sequel all these years later. Picking up so much later would also allow director, Lana Wachowski, to play around with the universe a lot more, so that too makes sense. It is worth noting however that these rumors barely make any mention of any of the new characters aside from Neil Patrick Harris.

Putting Neo and Trinity once again at the story's center does track with what Keanu Reeves has revealed of the movie in the past. The actor has described the fourth Matrix movie as a "love story", as well as giving us some idea of the direction of the highly anticipated sequel. "We have a wonderful director, Lana Wachowski, and she has written a beautiful script that is a love story, it's inspiring," Reeves said. "It's another version, a call to wake up and it has some great action. All will be revealed."

Audiences don't have to wait too much longer to find out if any of this is true, with The Matrix 4 scheduled to be released by Warner Bros. Pictures theatrically on December 22, 2021. The movie will also stream digitally on HBO Max in the United States for a month beginning on that same date. This comes to us from Giant Freakin Robot.