They’re Rebooting ‘The Matrix’ and Now I’m Dead

By  · Published on March 15th, 2017

Warner Bros. takes some more red pills and wants to bring the franchise back.

Warner Bros. really wants to see how deep the rabbit hole goes. According to THR, the idea to reboot The Matrix is now being tossed around. I know what you are thinking; how could they possibly do this! Apparently, there has been some talk with screenwriter Zak Penn about writing a treatment, so this could still very much fall apart. There are even rumors that Michael B. Jordan is being considered for the lead. What was once a groundbreaking Sci-Fi film that defied expectations, will now be mined for new entries and destroyed.

What was it about The Matrix that made it so fresh? Specifically you could point towards the stunning special-effects that were imitated for years afterwards. Inspired from Hong Kong martial arts features, The Matrix used a technique known as Wire Fu in order to capture its most thrilling action sequences. Nevermind the original concept of ‘Bullet Time’ that also was a signature element of the film franchise. There were countless imitators who tried to ape what The Matrix did, but often it came off as parody.

Perhaps it was the Wachowski siblings, who wrote and directed the original and sequels. They had this idea of a ‘chosen one’ who would change the world. The only problem was that the world as they knew it was a computer simulation. The machines had taken over and there was seemingly nothing a human could do to stop them. The Wachowski siblings mixed what inspired them from Japanese animation and hacking subculture to create an original concept in science fiction. They captured a very specific feeling in the world at the right time. It was right before the turn of the millennium and people were fearful of the internet. It was a new frontier.

Then who can forget the cast, specifically the trio of Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Laurence Fishburne. Keanu Reeves, who was best known at the time for Speed and Bill and Ted, had a role that was perfect for his talents as an actor. His preparation for a role is unparalleled, but when given too much heavy lifting for a character, he often misses the mark. Playing the character of Neo gave him all the fantastic action moments, with little dialog. That is what works best for Keanu Reeves. The Matrix also helped Carrie-Anne Moss fully launch her career after having been in TV for many years. Laurence Fishburne had been established for quite sometime, but no one else could’ve possibly played Morpheus.

What was once an original film, will now be part of the reboot machine. Building new properties is tough work, work that Warner Bros. is not in the position of doing. It was once the studio that would be willing to take a risk with The Matrix, but now it sees the dormant franchise as a familiar name to get people into theaters. Warner Bros took a huge risk financing the R-rated film and releasing it in March 1999. Make no mistake about it, original science-fiction is just not happening in 2017. One of the most anticipated films of the year is a sequel to a thirty-five year old film with Blade Runner 2049. For every success story like Arrival, you get something from Warner Bros. like Midnight Special.

The Surprising Failure of Midnight Special

There is just too much risk involved with tackling original properties.

Rebooting The Matrix is a terrible idea all around. It was something of a miracle that the first film is as good as it is. Few of the people involved with The Matrix have gone on to do anything received nearly as well since the original eighteen years ago. The Matrix was a concept honestly only worked for one film and even the Wachowski siblings couldn’t victoriously continue it. What makes Warner Bros. believe that with the Wachowski siblings and original cast involved that this could be a success? There is a good chance that it doesn’t even happen. There have been countless projects discussed, but never fully realized, especially at Warner Bros. If The Matrix really does get a reboot, at least Keanu Reeves has John Wick as his original franchise.

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News Writer/Columnist for Film School Rejects. It’s the Pictures Co-host. Bylines Playboy, ZAM, Paste Magazine and more.