Matrix Resurrections: Why Keanu Reeves And Carrie-Anne Moss Are Back
Matrix Resurrections, it has been almost 20 years since Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss last suited up in their black leather to play Neo and Trinity in a Matrix film. Since that time the two actors have gone on to reach new heights in their career. Meanwhile the directors of The Matrix trilogy both underwent some personal transitions, while still trying to make innovative new cinema. Despite the fact that the studios have been begging for another Matrix movie for years, neither of the Wachowski twins felt the time was right. Until now.
A Return To The Matrix In Resurrections
Image via Warner Bros.
In an in-depth article from Entertainment Weekly, the stars of the upcoming The Matrix: Resurrections spoke about why they chose to return to their iconic roles. And much of it had to do with the Wachowski in question, who broke away from her sister to helm this movie on her own. Lana Wachowski directed The Matrix: Resurrections solo, and she returns to the franchise older, wiser, and with new skills at her command.
The Wachowskis never saw the kind of dizzying success with any of their other films as they did with The Matrix. They collectively went on to direct films like Speed Racer, and Jupiter Ascending. Despite continuing their vein of surrealist experimental filmmaking, neither of these films saw critical success at the box office. They had better luck on the small screen, with Netflix’s Sense8. But it was their collaboration with genre author David Mitchell on Cloud Atlas that may have had the most impact on The Matrix: Resurrections. With Lana directing the film on her own, Mitchell was brought in to help write the script. Given the author’s love of eternal recurrence in his own work, it seems a perfect match.
A “Singular Vision”
Image via Warner Bros.
Despite bringing in another writer to work on the script, it is clear that this film is the singular vision of Lana Wachowski. Shockingly, the studio once attempted to bring another writer and director in Zak Penn back in 2017 to film another installment of The Matrix. But it never came to pass, and the Wachowskis held on to their iconic creation.
After the failure of Jupiter Ascending, Lana Wachowski went back to film school to hone her skills. In the interview with EW, Keanu Reeves detailed the difference in her filmmaking style on The Matrix: Resurrections. He says that in the past, Wachowski would remain at the monitor and direct from a distance. But now she is more hands-on, moving the cameras herself and inhabiting the space with the actors. There was little rehearsal, as the actors lived in each moment capturing their authentic emotion at being reunited.
And the reunion between Neo and Trinity lies at the heart of the new Matrix film. The actors say that the love story is integral to the story this time, and not just a tangential element. “Certainly the depth of why this film got made is the sense of it being a love story between Trinity and Neo,” says Reeves.
Carrie-Anne Moss says that there was never a doubt in her mind that she would return for The Matrix: Resurrections. Unlike her action-hero co-star, Moss has always had to train hard in order prepare for the physical strain of the role. But the work is all worth it for Moss to have the “opportunity to embody” Lana’s love. Moss says that “I’ve never felt that way before, where I could see that I am an extension of her heart in playing this role,”
A Leap of Faith
Image via Warner Bros.
Reeves also went on to say that he returned for this film because “We had filmmakers who you wanted to say yes to. Material that you wanted to commit to, to give everything that you could to.” He also spoke about an iconic moment in the new Matrix film – a shot that has featured heavily in the trailers – where Neo and Trinity jump off a building together while holding hands. That moment is a metaphor for the entire movie he says. “We have an incredible filmmaker, a visionary, these amazing roles with the kind of storytelling and ideas and promotion of thought. A leap of faith? We have a lot of faith in that leap.”
The Matrix: Resurrections will air in theaters and on HBO Max on December 22nd.
Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.