To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original film, the third sequel was officially announced on 20 August 2019. The word is out, and is official; a new incarnation of The Matrix is almost upon us. But what do we know so far about The Matrix 4?
It’s been twenty years went by since the first Matrix movie shocked the world. Although it seems it was yesterday when we first saw Neo dodging bullets, the trilogy ended 17 years ago, in 2003.
Two decades ago, The Matrix changed the cinematic world forever; can Lana Wachowski do it again with Matrix 4? We are about to go deep into gossip and try to make some conclusions. Fasten the seatbelt and hold on tight, we’re in for a ride.
The official news is that part of the legendary cast that made The Matrix such a blockbuster ($1.6bn so far) is back in the game. So far, these are the confirmed names:
Neo – Keanu Reeves is going for his old role as ‘The One’. According to his own social media, and some leaked photos of the set in San Francisco, he is a long-haired, bearded version of himself.
Trinity – Kate Ann Moss is also going to be back in the cast playing her legendary role. Although we saw her death during Matrix Revolutions, she is going to be one of the main characters for Matrix 4.
The Merovingian – Lambert Wilson, AKA The Merovingian from Matrix Reloaded is back in the cast. Will Monica Bellucci appear as well? Nothing confirmed yet.
Niobe – Jada Pinkett Smith is also back in her role as Niobe, the rebel present in both, Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions.
Agent Johnson – Daniel Bernhardt, who played Agent Johnson in previous versions, is confirmed to be back in the cast reprising his role.
So far, these are the confirmed characters with known, familiar faces. But what about other classic characters such as Morpheus, or agent Smith? Lawrence Fishburne told New York Magazine, he had not been invited to join the action this time but gives his blessing to the project. About Agent Smith, actor Hugo Weaving confirmed that although Lana Wachowski approached him. Still, some schedule problems will keep him away from the project.
On one hand, the familiar faces, on the other, the big absences. What’s the icing on the cake? The added stars. Lana Wachowski brought to the Matrix realm some of the big names that worked with her in Cloud Atlas, Sense8, and more. Let’s take a look at who’s onboard so far.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II – The rising star from Watchmen and Aquaman is a confirmed member of the cast as well. Will he be playing young Morpheus? That’s what most gossip goes for.
Neil Patrick Harris – Perhaps the biggest surprise is the How I met your mother star who claimed was on board for a significant role. What role is it? That is yet to be seen.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas – The Indian movie star was confirmed as part of the cast, but no further details were given about her role.
Jonathan Groff – Star from Mindhunter and Frozen, has confirmed being part of the cast.
Jessica Henwick – This Marvel star is getting all the cool stuff in geek land. She played an X-Wing pilot in The Force Awakens, a Sand Snake in Game of Thrones, and Collen Wing in the Netflix series Iron Fist. According to The Wrap, she is into the new Matrix movie with a “key role”.
Brian J Smith, Toby Onwumere and Eréndira Ibarra – These familiar faces from Wachowski’s Sense8 will also be present in the last incarnation of Matrix.
Is Lana Wachowski alone?
The Wachowski brothers made some amazing things together but this time Lana is doing the Matrix sequel on her own. Her sister, Lilly seems to have abandoned science fiction for good. She claimed in August 2019 to the TCA that she was no longer interested in the implicit messages (subtext) present in science fiction as a genre.
Her sister is absent and she is taking on the directing role by herself. This doesn´t mean she´s alone. She wrote the script together with David Mitchell, and Aleksander Hemon, coworkers from Sense8. The team of stars is complete with Grant Hill, a long-time collaborator of the Wachowski adventures.
The plot, what we know so far
Let’s see, we know that Neo and Trinity are back in the game. We also know that they died in Matrix Revolutions. This will direct us to a prequel, but when interviewed by the BBC, Keanu Reeves denied this theory stating that it was not a trip to the past. Furthermore, he said that it will be a beautiful love story with lots of action. Moreover, he qualified the script as “too beautiful to turn down” when interviewed by Empire Magazine. We assume this love story is between Neo and Trinity; will the power of love beat death? Yet to be seen.
Can we expect to see a different incarnation of Morpheus? Perhaps a parallel universe? With a Wachowski involved, anything can happen.
The filming had started on February 4th, 2020 in San Francisco. Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the production was brought to a halt on March 16th. It was Keanu Reeves, through his social media who confirmed that the filming resumed on August 16th in Berlin. The principal photography for the movie was wrapped up by November 11th, 2020. This included the three main locations: Berlin, San Francisco, and Chicago.
The very few leaked scenes are in San Francisco and show Kate Ann Moss (Trinity) onboard a Motorcycle and Keanu Reeves (Neo) riding behind her.
Warner Bros original release date for Matrix 4 was May 21st, 2021. Due to the pandemic delays, the release was postponed until April 1st, 2022. Still, the latest gossip we could get our hands on said that it will premiere on December 22nd, 2021. The big news, though, is that it will be premiering not only in theatres but also in HBO MAX for all the lucky subscribers.
Since the filming wrapped up only two months ago, we should have some months before seeing the first official trailer. Don’t worry, we searched all over for it too; we can’t wait either.
What can we expect from the new incarnation of The Matrix? Well, we can make some assumptions to consider the resurrection of Neo and Trinity. Perhaps the inclusion of a younger Morpheus, which would mean time-travelling? Or even parallel realities. The truth is that with a Wachowski involved anything can happen.
We, as fans, would love to see Matrix 4 break all the moulds and witness Lana Wachowski, Keanu Reeves, and company revolutionize the movie world again.
Hopefully, they will not let us down.
Thanks for reading about what we know so far about The Matrix 4. Did we miss anything? Are there any rumours you’ve heard? What do you think the plot will be? Leave us a comment below.
Read what if Will Smith was Neo HERE.
Check out IMDB information on The Matrix 4 HERE.
Jungle Cruise – Review
Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt swing in with force in Disney’s new Jungle Cruise. And while the movie has fun callbacks to the Disney Park ride and a clever plot, if this movie is trying to be the next Pirates of the Caribbean, it falls short. Here’s our review of Jungle Cruise.
SPOILERS: Warning there are spoilers ahead.
To be honest, I was expecting a much less creative plot from this movie. Following suit with typical adventure movies, I was expecting this film to be a less-funny version of the Jumanji reboot. But the plot has an unexpected emotional centre and a clever twist. And while the film suffers from CGI villain goopiness, it gives the CGI villains actual heart and motivations.
The film centres on Lilly (Emily Blunt), a botanist in search of a healing petal. The petal is said to be able to cure any illness and resides deep in the Amazon Rainforest. She is accompanied by her little brother, McGregor (Jack Whitehall) and their hired skipper, Frank (Dwayne Johnson).
But a curse resides around the petal. Spanish conquistador Aguirre (Edgar Ramirez) and his crew went in search of the petal four hundred years ago. The petal can only be found with an arrowhead sacred to the Umbala or Headhunter tribe of the region. When Aguirre and his crew are on the brink of death, the Umbala tribe saves them. But Aguirre betrays them to get his hands on the arrowhead, and the chief of the Umbala tribe curses Aguirre and his party. They can never stray from the river, or the rainforest will take them. For four hundred years, they’ve lain dormant, having strayed too far from the banks of the river. They cannot die.
Now the arrowhead rests with a sexist scientific community. Lilly steals the arrowhead, just before it was set to be sold to Prince Joachim (Jesse Plemons). Joachim works for the German government during the height of World War One. He believes that the petal will not only bring victory to Germany, but will make him a world ruler. (How he thinks it will do that is unclear).
As Lilly, McGregor, and Frank make their way down the Amazon in search of the Petal, Joachim follows and occasionally attacks them in his submarine. Deciding he needs more help, he wakes up Aguirre, now a monster of the Amazon, and his crew. Aguirre, who is now made out of snakes, and his two colleagues, one of which is made out of honey and bees and the other mud and tee frogs, are sent on Lilly’s trail.
What happens next is the usual adventure. White water rapids, a run-in with the Umbala tribe (who become allies), submarine fights, swinging on jungle vines; you name it.
But after a run-in with Aguirre, Lilly learns the truth about Frank. In a plot twist I absolutely did not see coming, it turns out that Frank is actually Francisco, Aguirre’s cartographer. We learn that Aguirre was not looking for the petal for glory or gold, but to save his deeply ill daughter. Aguirre and Francisco grew up together, and they were willing to do anything to save his daughter. But when Aguirre betrays the Umbala tribe, Francisco tries to stop Aguirre. Francisco was also cursed to be unable to leave the riverbank, but Aguirre kept returning to fight and defeat (stab) Francisco.
Tired of constantly getting stabbed, Francisco traps Aguirre in a cave. Letting the Amazon have him and turn him into the monster he is today. Francisco then built a town on the river banks, built a boat in search of the petal, gave up, and now runs river cruises.
While the plot is very complicated, it’s easy enough to follow while watching the film. I will say that the motivations of Joachim are a little hard to follow. But the plot twist with Frank was very clever. It gives a CGI-heavy Aguirre a human heart. Now all he wants to do is break the curse and be allowed to die. To do so he needs a petal. The plot in and of itself was much more clever than I expected.
Characters and performances
One character that pleasantly surprised me was McGregor. At first, I thought he was merely queer-coded. He definitely fell into some gay stereotypes, but I thought that was all it was going to be. A guy who was subtly a little queer. But, when Frank asks him why follows Lilly, even through a jungle, he gives a surprisingly candid answer. He explains to Frank that he is gay and that Lilly is the only one who supports him.
When the world turned his back on him, she stood with him, and for that, he would “follow her into a volcano.” This is the first time I can remember that a Disney character was very, clearly openly gay. Disney has had about a dozen “first gay characters,” but all of them have been off to the side. None of them has stated their sexuality or been open about it. McGregor not only states it outright but is not ashamed of it and it is not his only character trait. He becomes brave and capable and is a good friend to both Frank and Lilly. It was really surprising to see good representation from Disney in this film.
Emily Blunt also gives a wonderful performance (as she always does). She’s headstrong and stubborn, but kind. The sexism was a little on the nose, with a tired bit about how she wears pants, but she was delightful.
And Dwayne Johnson was… okay. He plays the exact same character in every movie he’s in. And while his performance was good in this movie, I can’t help but think that another actor could have done better. He and Emily Blunt have a romance in this movie, but they have absolutely no chemistry. It was hard to believe their romance. I think another actor could have added a little more to Frank’s character. Frank is an interesting character, and another actor could have done more with him. This movie might have been better without Dwayne Johnson.
This movie also might have been better without Joachim. His motivations were really hard to follow. At the end of the day, he was just another stereotype of a German general who only complicated the plot.
It feels as though Jungle Cruise might be Disney’s attempt to re-make the magic of Pirates of the Caribbean. But I can’t see this film becoming a franchise. The first Pirates movie is masterful, with amazing rewatchability. But Jungle Cruise, while fun, is forgettable. It’s not a movie I see myself rewatching anytime soon. If this is an attempt to create a new franchise for Disney; it falls short. But, the film was fun to watch and was a good movie theatre experience.
CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 5/10
Thank you for reading our review of Jungle Cruise. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
Read our review of Emily Blunt in A Quiet Place Part Two HERE.
Read IMDB information about Jungle Cruise HERE.
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