I guess it was inevitable? According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. is in the early stages of relaunching The Matrix franchise. The outlet is reporting that screenwriter Zak Penn (X-Men: The Last Stand) is currently in talks to drum up a treatment for the potential reboot. They are also saying that ever-busy actor Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Fantastic Four) is already at the top of the studio’s wish list to star. Furthermore, neither franchise creators The Wachowskis nor original producer Joel Silver are involved with the project at this time.
Naturally online outlets, blogs, and social media venues of all kind are already exploding with voiced interest, protest, and wanton fancasting. The truth of the matter is that we have no idea what this project will end up being. Will it basically be The Matrix 4? Original star Keanu Reeves just recently voiced an interest in returning to the franchise, providing that the Wachowskis are involved. Mind you that creative duo reportedly channeled all remaining ideas for a fourth film into The Matrix Online game, but who knows what they might have thought up since.
Perhaps it will be a looser relaunch of the series? Something along the lines of Tron: Legacy or Jurassic World that just takes the basic tenants of the property and heads off into a different direction? With the right talent on board, such a path might be an interesting one to take.
My point is that, at this stage, there is no reason to automatically assume that it will be a wholesale remake of the original 1999 film. While it has almost been 20 years since it arrived and blew our minds, it is still a beloved enough property that an outright remake would be folly. That’s an uphill battle that I would not wish on any director, writer, or set of actors. No, I’m betting a loose reboot of some sort is what we will end up with. The only question right now is who, if anyone, from the original trilogy will be involved?