The fourth chapter in the popular sci-fi film franchise The Matrix is titled Resurrections, studio Warner Bros has announced. The studio also unveiled the first footage of the film, fronted by Hollywood star Keanu Reeves, at a downsized CinemaCon, billed as “the largest gathering of movie theater owners from around the world” in Las Vegas.
Lana Wachowski, one half of the Wachowskis who directed all the three films in the franchise with sister Lilly, has penned and directed the new project. Besides Reeves, original trilogy star Carrie-Anne Moss also returns for the fourth installment.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the trailer was played for the CinemaCon audiences but not released online.
The trailer began with Reeves’ character Thomas Anderson, not Neo — his name in the original trilogy — in therapy, telling his therapist (Neil Patrick Harris), “I had dreams that weren’t just dreams. Am I crazy?”
He senses something is off with the world, but has no memory of what The Matrix is. Later, he runs into a woman (Moss) at a coffee shop. They shake hands but neither one remembers the other. Meanwhile, Thomas spends his days taking prescription blue pills, and wondering why everyone is glued to their phones, him being the odd one out.
Thomas later runs into a mysterious man (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) who is reminiscent of Morpheus, the freedom fighter played by Laurence Fishburne in the original trilogy. The man hands Thomas a red pill, synonymous with the franchise’s premise, and soon the footage of him with powers, seeing The Matrix for the fake reality that it is, plays out.
The CinemaCon presentation also saw closer looks at Warner Bros’ other big-ticket films like The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson; Denis Villeneuve’s take on Dune, James Wan’s Malignant, Clint Eastwood’s neo-Western Cry Macho, The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark and King Richard, starring Will Smith.
CinemaCon is being viewed as Warner Bros’ attempt to reassure the exhibition industry that the company is still in the game of theatrical releases, eight months after its decision to debut its entire 2021 slate on the same date in theatres and on the WarnerMedia-owned streaming service HBO Max.
The December announcement sparked backlash from theatre owners and talent, including director Christopher Nolan, who had a long-time relationship with the studio, and Villeneuve.
Under a deal made public earlier this month, Warner Bros will resume giving films an exclusive theatrical window next year, with its 2022 slate going into cinema halls for 45 days. Meanwhile, its upcoming DC superhero titles Batgirl and Blue Beetle will directly head to HBO Max.