It’s been 18 years since the culminating film of the Matrix trilogy hit theaters, but a new trailer from Warner Bros. reveals a venture back down the rabbit hole. Lana Wachowski is at the helm for the upcoming The Matrix Resurrections.
The roughly three-minute trailer trades the excessive explosions of Revolutions for the speculative fiction of the original movie.
Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are reprising their roles as Neo and Trinity in the upcoming sequel/reboot, and the trailer is nothing if not nostalgic.
Taking place in a not-so-distant future, the trailer shows Neo apparently unaware of his previous journey as “the one.” Speaking with a therapist played by Neil Patrick Harris, Neo confesses he’s having “dreams that weren’t just dreams.” The blue-spectacled Harris also appears to be supplying Neo with a bottomless prescription of blue pills: the infamous means to remain in blissful ignorance of the Matrix.
Though Neo is seen eating blue pills by the fistful, a young Morpheus (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) re-creates the iconic red-pill-blue-pill scene from the original movie, and Neo once again opts to have the curtain pulled back.
The not-Laurence-Fishburne Morpheus appears to be a younger version of the character, while Neo and Trinity have aged (though barely, thanks to Reeves’ and Moss’ unfair genetics). It’s not clear why Fishburne didn’t reprise his iconic role.
“I am not in the next Matrix movie, and you’d have to ask Lana Wachowski why, because I don’t have an answer for that,” Fishburne told Collider recently.
Neo and Trinity appear to be unaware of their shared past in the new film. In one scene revealed in the trailer, Trinity asks, “Have we met?” Falling perfectly in line with the trilogy that challenged reality, the trailer offers more questions than answers.
With iconic Matrix imagery like the red and blue pills, cascading green coding, and black leather get-ups, Resurrections appears to lean heavily on nostalgia. In callbacks to the original trilogy, swarms of squidlike sentinels swim past towering pods of people plugged into the Matrix, Neo and Morpheus again face off in a picturesque dojo, and time and space warp as Neo controls bullets in midflight.
With nearly two decades having passed since the last Matrix movie, the Wachowskis are smart to tap into fans’ sentimentality, but one hopes they won’t overdo it. Nearly every part of the trailer, which is set to the sound of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit,” is a reference to the original. Resurrections risks falling into the same trap J.J. Abrams did with The Force Awakens, where the reboot becomes nothing more than a remake of the original with a special-effects facelift.
Jada Pinkett Smith and Lambert Wilson are reprising their roles from the original trilogy and will be joined by Matrix newcomers Christina Ricci and Priyanka Chopra Jonas. The Matrix Resurrections hits theaters and HBO Max Dec. 22, 2021. Watch the full trailer here.