Fans of The Matrix have waited 18 years to know what happened after the climactic Matrix Revolutions. But will the long-awaited fourth film, The Matrix Resurrections, be the final installment in the series? Or are there plans to plug back into the Matrix?
The answer is: maybe?
For years, Matrix creators Lana and Lilly Wachowski declined offers to expand the franchise. According to Resurrections director and writer Lana Wachowski — who worked on the new film without her sister — making a fourth Matrix “wasn’t planned,” or even on her radar until a familial tragedy struck a few years ago. The Wachowskis’ parents passed away in 2019, and making the new movie helped Lana process her grief. “I couldn't have my mom and dad … yet suddenly I had Neo and Trinity, arguably the two most important characters in my life. It was immediately comforting to have these two characters alive again,” she told Entertainment Weekly earlier this year. “This is what art does and this is what stories do. They comfort us and they’re important.”
Below, everything to know about the possibility of a fifth Matrix movie. Warning: spoilers for The Matrix Resurrections follow.
What happens in The Matrix Resurrections?
A lot. Viewers reunite with Neo (Keanu Reeves) only to learn that he’s once again living in the Matrix, going by the name Thomas Anderson. He’s a video game developer with no memory of what took place in the original trilogy — well, kind of. Everything he “remembers” about the Matrix he believes to be a dream or a symptom of mental illness, and he channels these supposed hallucinations into a successful video game franchise called “The Matrix.” It’s later revealed that Neo — and his soulmate, Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) — were brought back to life by the machines and placed in a more sophisticated version of the Matrix.
The Matrix Resurrections also sees new characters, mainly the Analyst (played by Neil Patrick Harris), a villainous program moonlighting as a therapist. He designed the new iteration of the Matrix, and is the one who brought Neo and Trinity back to life. There are also new versions of familiar characters, including Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s Morpheus (originally played by Lawrence Fishburne) and Jonathan Groff’s Agent Smith (previously played by Hugo Weaving).
Will there be a fifth — or even a sixth — Matrix film?
It’s anyone’s guess. While plans for further sequels have yet to be announced, the ending to The Matrix Resurrections leaves some questions unanswered. For one, the film reveals that the truce between the humans and the machines orchestrated in The Matrix Revolutions was broken, meaning the franchise’s central conflict remains unresolved. And with Neo and Trinity reuniting at the end of Resurrections to defeat the Analyst, there are surely enough plot points to flesh out a new chapter of the franchise.
What do critics think of The Matrix Resurrections?
The Matrix Resurrections has been pretty polarizing. Some argue that the new movie fails to reach the heights of the original 1999 film, while others find it hugely rewarding for longtime fans, and a clever — if imperfect — reboot.
The Matrix Resurrections is out now in theaters and streaming exclusively on HBO Max.