Director Lana Wachowski is back for the fourth instalment of the Matrix franchise, and all indications suggest she will continue testing what is and what isn’t possible on the silver screen.
“There’s some camera rigs that I’ve never seen before that we’re using. That’s probably all I can say for that,” teased new star Jessica Henwick.
Henwick, of Iron Fist fame, is one of a few of new faces fans of the franchise can expect to see in the film, even though the character she is playing is yet undisclosed. She is joined by Watchmen and Aquaman star Yahya Abdul-Mateen, who is also playing an unannounced character, although rumours suggest he might be a young Morpheus. The third of the secret triumvirate is Neil Patrick Harris and fans are just going to have to wait and see how it all plays out.
Returning for the fourth film is Keanu Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity, and it will be fascinating to see how they are reintroduced considering they were both dead by the conclusion of the original trilogy. Unfortunately, two of the biggest stars from the first three films will not be back. Hugo Weaving was unable to reprise his role as Agent Smith due to scheduling conflicts, and Laurence Fishburne is also absent for undisclosed reasons.
Ever since the original Matrix film hit the big screen in 1999, the franchise has had an immense impact on filmmaking, especially special effects, and popular culture. The most notable is the “bullet time” shot in which time is slowed down to a crawl to show characters movement in dodge bullets. It was revolutionary at the time, and the technique has been “borrowed” by countless other films ever since.
Memorable lines and scenes have been satirised and reproduced in famous movies like Grandma’s Boy whose character sees himself as the human embodiment of Neo, shiny black cape and all, and there is also a nod to the franchise in a bar scene with Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.
In the video gaming industry, fans of the franchise can try Enter the Matrix or The Matrix: Path of Neo on console, and PC players can play the massively multiplayer online experience The Matrix Online, which was launched in 2005.
The hugely effective franchise has influenced the iGaming industry as well, as there is an official Matrix slot game that players can discover on brands like Betfair and Netbet known for having some of the best casino bonus codes available.
And the fourth film of the franchise is going to continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in filmmaking if initial reports are to be believed. “Lana is doing some really interesting things on a technical level in the same way that, you know, she created a style back then,” said Henwick. “There are definitely moments on set where Yahya and I look at each other and we just go, ‘Matrix 4’. Those ‘pinch me’ moments.”
According to Patrick Harris, the tone and visuals of the film have shifted dramatically from the originals, which were famous for a dark and brooding atmosphere. It will undoubtedly be interesting to see how it all plays out because the original Matrix film was genuinely groundbreaking. It is always a risk doing something no-one has ever
done before, and it has to be said the second and third films of the trilogy definitely fell flatter than the first. Hopefully, shooting for the moon for the fourth time will set another new benchmark in sci-fi filmmaking.