The Matrix 4 is gearing up to begin filming next month. We learned officially last August, after much discussion, that Warner Bros. was gearing up to dust off the classic sci-fi franchise for another installment. Not a reboot. Rather, Keanu Reeves will be returning as Neo, with Carrie-Anne Moss also reprising her role as Trinity. Now, we have word that production is looking to get underway sooner rather than later on what could be one of the most significant franchise revivals in recent memory.

According to a new report, a casting call from Dwyer Casting was recently put out, which was on the lookout for background extras for something called Project Ice Cream. Filming is set to take place between February 5 and March 1 in San Francisco, California, per the casting call. As it just so happens, Project Ice Cream is the working title being used for The Matrix 4. So, while that certainly wasn't the intended purpose, this has revealed that cameras will get rolling in the very near future.

At present, few details have been made available about the sequel. We know Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the original Matrix trilogy alongside her sister, Lily Wachowski, is returning to helm the project. Lily Wachowski, so far as we know, will not be involved. Other returning cast members from the past include Jada Pinkett Smith as Niobe and, quite possibly, Lambert Wilson as The Merovingian. New cast members include Max Riemelt (Berlin Syndrome), Jessica Henwick (Iron Fist), Jonathan Groff (Mindhunter), Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), Toby Onwumere (Empire) and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Watchmen). It's rumored that Abdul-Mateen will be playing a young Morpheus, but that has yet to be confirmed.

No plot details have been revealed at this time. We did recently hear that Hugo Weaving won't be returning as Agent Smith. However, the actor did reveal that there was a part for him, he just couldn't work it out in terms of scheduling. This comes at a time when studios are desperately searching for franchises that can deliver at the box office, as the marketplace has become unpredictable. Disney has been dominating the competition, as they have an army of franchises and IP that can attract big crowds. Bearing that in mind, the time seems right for Keanu Reeves to have another crack at The Matrix.

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Released in 1999, The Matrix went on to become a massive blockbuster hit and, more than that, a seminal, genre-defining sci-fi classic. The sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, both released in 2003, failed to live up to the original in the eyes of many fans and critics. To date, the franchise has grossed more than $1.6 billion at the global box office. The Matrix 4 is set to hit theaters on May 21, 2021. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. This news comes to us via HN Entertainment.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott