After feeling for so long like we knew absolutely nothing whatsoever about The Matrix Resurrections, it suddenly feels like we have been uploaded with a whole lot of information at once. Following the release of the first trailer for the sci-fi action sequel, a new, fairly vague, synopsis has now also come to light courtesy of Warner Bros., and could suggest that the movie will erase The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions from the franchise's canon. The official synopsis offers these clues.
The Matrix Resurrections is a continuation of the story established in the first MATRIX film. It reunites Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss as cinematic icons Neo & Trinity in an expansion of their story that ventures back into the Matrix and even deeper down the rabbit hole. A mind-bending new adventure with action and epic scale, it's set in a familiar yet even more provocative world where reality is more subjective than ever and all that's required to see the truth is to free your mind.
20 years after the first film, the franchise that helped define pop culture at the turn of the century is back for a continuation and extension of the original movie. The Matrix remains in the zeitgeist as a film that has changed the way we look at cinema and reality itself. With its game changing action and visual effects, The Matrix helped pave the way for films to follow.
While it may seem a bit of a reach, the lines "continuation of the story established in the first MATRIX film," and the reference to The Matrix Resurrections as a "continuation and extension of the original movie," that stand out. There is no mention of either The Matrix Reloaded or Revolutions, and several mentions of the first movie, which seems suspicious and could mean that the upcoming fourth movie will take events in even more of a different direction, ignoring the previous sequels completely.
This would of course mean that The Matrix Resurrections is picking up years after Neo first discovered he could fly, rather than following his death and the reboot of The Matrix, and thus the story will branch out into something totally unexpected, perhaps filling in the gaps between the 1999 original and the 2021 effort along the way.
Besides, pretending prior installments in a franchise never happened is nothing new, with both 2018's Halloween and Terminator: Dark Fate the latest to use this strategy. While The Matrix is considered to be one of the most influential science fiction movies of all time, the sequels were considerably less well-received, with many feeling that they not only paled in comparison to their predecessor, but that they even harmed it with their dissatisfying revelations and conclusions.
Critically, The Matrix Reloaded did okay, but the threequel, The Matrix Revolutions holds a paltry 35% on Rotten Tomatoes, and while this is of course far from the be-all-and-end-all, it offers a good idea of the general consensus, and why The Matrix Resurrections would decide to leave it out. Though maybe this is the reason why the studio simply decided to leave them out of the synopsis...
While there are some potential clues in the recent The Matrix 4 trailer to suggest this is not the case, would you prefer that The Matrix Resurrections left the sequels out? The Matrix Resurrections is scheduled to be released by Warner Bros. Pictures theatrically on December 22, 2021, and will also stream digitally on the ad-free tier of HBO Max in the United States for a month beginning on that same date. This comes to us from Warner Bros..