The Storyline Of Matrix Resurrection Questions WB’s Franchise Plans

The premise of The Matrix: Resurrections appears to explicitly criticize Warner Bros. Let’s see how:

The Matrix: Resurrections appears to explicitly criticize Warner Bros
The Matrix: Resurrections appears to explicitly criticize Warner Bros

The premise of The Matrix: Resurrections appears to openly attack what Warner Bros. sought to achieve with The Matrix remake, and it subverts many of the normal expectations for current property revivals. A clear name-drop of Warner Bros. is even made at one point, casting their connection with the creators in an unusual light, but a deeper look at the film’s plot and ideas reveals something considerably more critical of the studio’s Matrix franchise expectations. The Matrix transformed cinema in 1999, permanently altering the way current blockbusters are manufactured and raising viewer expectations for sci-fi and action films. The Matrix: Reloaded and The Matrix: Revolutions weren’t as well regarded at the time, but both sequels added something new to the genre, and fan support for their surprising creative choices has risen in the years after their release. While blockbuster hits of this type sometimes cry for more sequels, spin-offs, or reboots, The Matrix trilogy had a clear finale, and the Wachowskis were unwilling to expand the tale with further films. Warner Bros. could only sit on the brand for so long, and a campaign to bring the Matrix series back to the big screen was finally successful, with Lana Wachowski returning for The Matrix: Resurrections. The film garnered mostly excellent reviews, although a sizable number of critics and moviegoers were dissatisfied with how it critiqued previous franchise resurrections while still indulging in some of the conduct it mocked.

Warner Bros.’ Matrix 4 Dive Is More Than One Line:

A Still Of Smith (played by Jonathan Groff) & Neo (played by Keanu Reeves)
A Still Of Smith (played by Jonathan Groff) & Neo (played by Keanu Reeves)

When Smith (played by Jonathan Groff) told Thomas Anderson, AKA Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) in The Matrix: Revolutions, “I’m sure you can see why our beloved parent company, Warner Bros., has chosen to develop a trilogy sequel. They told me they’d accomplish it with or without us. Warner Bros.’ straight name drop is a little more on-the-nose than The Matrix franchise has been in the past, especially given how closely it aligns with historical events. Before the current edition of The Matrix: Resurrections began production, it was rumored that Warner Bros. was working on a new Matrix film without the Wachowskis’ involvement. During interviews for The Matrix: Resurrections, producer James McTeigue acknowledged there was another project in the works before Lana Wachowski joined on. Given the resemblance to actual events, the setting explains much of The Matrix: Resurrection appears to be a direct critique of Warner Bros.’ aspirations to expand the Wachowskis’ finished trilogy into a broader franchise. The pitch meeting montage alone contains references to focus groups, brand branding, and buzz terms. Neo, the series’ inventor, listens calmly as a room full of executives explains to him what made the first Matrix trilogy so great and what he needed to do with Matrix 4 to recapture the magic. Given that the story of the original Matrix trilogy is ascribed completely to the Wachowskis, and that the plot of the Matrix game trilogy is credited solely to the Wachowskis in the film, The idea of a sequel being constructed in this manner by Thomas Anderson, drawn straight from shards of recollections in his mind regarding his actual identity, is beyond ironic, especially when the plot takes an unexpected turn.

The Matrix 4 preys on audience and studio expectations for a sequel (and then fails to deliver):

A Pic From The Matrix 4
A Pic from The Matrix Resurrections

The Matrix Resurrections has been criticized for ridiculing the type of nostalgia common in films like this, but it’s vital to analyze the story’s structure and delivery. The opening hour of the film is devoted primarily to referencing the original Matrix films, with repeated heavy-handed usage of footage from the original trilogy. Characters in the film also make references to the film, either because they know it through the games or (if they’ve been rescued from the Matrix) because they know Neo’s past. This culminates in the pitch conference for the Matrix sequel game, which calls out many of the techniques used in the film, but things start to flip upside down when Neo escapes from the Matrix’s artificial world, which was created to control him. The Machines genuinely resurrected Neo and Trinity’s bodies after the events of The Matrix: Resurrections, according to The Analyst (Neil Patrick Harris), since he discovered a method to exploit them to improve energy output for “the suits.” In other words, the tale Neo is compelled to act out within this version of The Matrix is purposefully made to look like the type of story a corporate board would want to tell in order to maximize profits, since that’s what the Machines are doing. It’s also no coincidence that Smith refers to their masters as “Warner Bros.” and The Analyst refers to the Machine overlords as “The Suits.” The film has some big action scenes and thought-provoking concepts, but it doesn’t try to “revolutionize” movies “again,” introduce a new bullet time, or give Neo and Trinity the kind of bonkers action sequences that were typical of the original trilogy, at least not in the ways that typical franchise movies do. In reality, Neo is purposefully less aggressive, and The Analyst physically weaponizes and employs “bullet time” against him. The Matrix spends the first half of the film establishing that it understands what viewers and studios want, from legacy sequels to popular concepts, but then spends the second half of the film rejecting and mocking those things.

The plot of Matrix 4 is an image for creators who own their own art:

A Still Of Keanu Reeves's Neo & Carrie-Anne's Trinity
A Still Of Keanu Reeves’s Neo & Carrie-Anne’s Trinity

The main issue for several people that are disgruntled with this path is “why?” Why would the creator of such a preferred property develop a sequel that snubs the studio and also the public in such a way? One of all the film’s crucial sequences, which happens straightaway once modern is expelled from The Matrix, could provide insight into Lana Wachowski’s purpose for reading. Following Neo’s revelation to Bugs (Jessica Henwick), “They stole my life and turned it into a game,” Bugs says. They took your story, which meant a lot to people like me, and twisted it into something insignificant, which is exactly what The Matrix will do. It weaponizes each thought. Each fantasy includes everything that’s important to the North American nation. The meta-jokes concerning resurrecting franchises, the direct jab at Warner Bros., the story call to possess modern and Trinity resurrected for profit by the machines, and a slew of different parallels culminate in modern and Trinity telling The Analyst they are going to “remake his world” and “remind folks what a free mind will do.” It’s worth noting the Wachowskis’ somewhat uncommon reference to Warner Bros. Once Richard Donner extensively revised their initial script, Assassins, the inventive partnership warned Warner Bros. that they’d solely allow them to have the script for The Matrix if they ought to direct it. As a result, because the team had never directed before, they created their directorial debut with certainty so as to prove they might direct The Matrix. Warner Bros. and Matrix eventually united to present them with inventive management of The Matrix in exchange for the studio handling casting. The Wachowskis became some of Hollywood’s few administrators to maintain that level of inventive management, as well as picture authority on their films (it’s unclear if this is often still the case with The Matrix: Resurrections) and an infamous “no press” clause that freed them from having to try and do interviews or point out their films if they did not wish to (which they sometimes didn’t).

The Matrix was a unique type of Hollywood blockbuster, inspired by an original script:

A portrait from 'The Matrix Resurrected'
A portrait from ‘The Matrix Resurrected’

The Matrix was a unique Hollywood blockbuster, inspired by an original story and with the Wachowskis controlling the majority of creative decisions from page to screen. Going back to the movie, criticizing Warner Bros. for creating sequel plans without their cooperation would be equivalent to informing Christopher Nolan that another Inception movie would be made without his involvement or telling Quentin Tarantino that Kill Bill 3 would be made without his involvement. While it’s understandable why Warner Bros. would want to capitalize on the Matrix franchise and why many fans would want to see it, it’s evident why Lana Wachowski wasn’t as enthusiastic, and why she chose to take the plot in this way. When it comes to big franchises like Marvel, DC, or Star Wars, the relationship between the filmmakers and the studio is usually a little clearer because the studio owns the rights to the source material on which the movies are based, but with The Matrix being an original property where the Wachowskis saw an unusual amount of creative control, those lines are a little blurrier, especially if Warner Bros. was planning on continuing the franchise without the Wachowskis. The Matrix: Resurrections makes it apparent how Lana Wachowski feels about the property, regardless of who owns it.

Azhan Ali
Azhan Ali

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