It looks like there's been a glitch in the coverage of The Matrix. Last week, the announcement that the deeply unique zeitgeist sci-fi is to be rebooted sent shockwaves through the world of cinema. It is, by all accounts, a film series that is untouchable, one not to be messed with, updated or altered.
However, the breaking coverage requires a quick tap of CTRL+Z, as the screenwriter attached to the project, Zak Penn, took to the Twittersphere to set the record straight. Penn, who has worked on films such as X2, X-Men: The Last Stand and The Avengers, rubbished claims that the new instalment will be a straight up, off-and-then-off-again "reboot."
Instead, he explained that such speculation was down to "inaccurate news," and, although he couldn't comment on the true nature of the project, he hinted it would take inspiration from #TheAnimatrix, the anime anthology that explores the wider Matrix universe. Comparing the project to Fox's X-Men offering, he tweeted:
"Do I want to see more stories set in the universe of The Matrix? Yes. Because it’s a brilliant idea that generates great stories. Look at what people are doing with X-Men universe. Between Logan and Legion and Deadpool, does anyone want them to stop? Not me."
The only problem is, there's a big difference between the X-Men universe and the Matrix. Fox can draw upon the rich, expansive history of Marvel Comics, where the characters have already been brought to life. #TheMatrix, on the other hand, was the brainchild of The Wachowskis, and their lack of involvement in the reimagining will be sorely missed.
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'The Matrix' Reboot Will Be A Prequel Focusing On Morpheus
Birth Movies Death expand on Penn's comments, citing two independent sources who claim that Warner Bros. are looking to explore the wider Matrix universe. In pole position would be a prequel focusing on a young version of glass wearing rogue, Morpheus, who will be played by Michael B. Jordan. Which, compared to a simple reboot, is an intriguing concept.
Morpheus, played by Laurence Fishburne in the original trilogy, is one of science fiction's most unforgettable characters. As the captain of the Nebuchadnezzar, he's a well known figure in the city of Zion, a man who was freed from the Matrix and later identifies Neo as "The One." Within the Matrix itself, Morpheus is considered as a dangerous terrorist, and his hunted by Agents.
There's plenty of material to work with to fill the feature's runtime, and although it'll be difficult to do the story justice without the creative influence of The Wachowskis, Michael B. Jordan is a talented actor, with enough on screen presence and charisma to help create a deeper backstory to a character as revered as Morpheus, as well as providing a bridge between old and new.
Warner Bros. Are Working On A Shared Matrix Universe
Things wouldn't end with Morpheus, though. Those same sources also claim that Warner Bros. has a writing room dedicated to fleshing out an expansive, shared universe, which could create interlinked projects taking place before, during or after the main trilogy — similar to the Star Wars universe.
In a world where franchises and shared universes seem to be taking over the film industry, the expansion may not be the most welcome news, reboot or not. But remember, most people had strong reservations about Rogue One when that was first announced, before going on to gross over $1 billion worldwide. With an open mind, it's possible the Matrix could do the same.
Is a prequel focusing on Morpheus the best option for The Matrix reboot, or would you choose another story?