• Follow us


How The Matrix 4 Can Fix Sequel Problems & Redeem The Franchise

Here's how The Matrix 4 can correct the mistakes of the franchise's previous sequels. Released in 1999, The Matrix is widely heralded as an era-defining work of science-fiction but the two sequels that followed, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, failed to hit those heights. Consequently, the Matrix movie franchise finds itself with a somewhat tattered reputation, maintaining its popularity purely thanks to the strength of the original.

After years of speculation regarding sequels, reboots and Michael B. Jordan, The Matrix 4 has now been confirmed, directed by Lana Wachowski and starring original cast members, Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss. While some may question the wisdom in developing a fourth movie when the second and third were critically derided, The Matrix 4 does provide an opportunity to correct the mistakes made in a series that evidently still captures the imagination 20 years later.

Continue scrolling to keep reading Click the button below to start this article in quick view. advertising

Related: What If The Matrix Was Cast Today?

These corrections could correlate directly to events in the original trilogy - such as undoing Trinity's laughable death - but there are some more general lessons to be learned that would help correct the course of The Matrix as a franchise.

The Matrix 4 Should Have A Focused, Streamlined Story The Matrix - Blu-ray cover

One of the biggest differences between The Matrix and its sequels are the stories, particularly in terms of theme and structure. The 1999 film is an intelligent and reality-bending affair, but still offers a tight, lean script that takes the audience on an intense ride from point A of Neo's development to point B, by which time he has evolved greatly as a character. The Matrix Reloaded takes the polar opposite approach. After laying bare the threat of the Machines, the sequel moves from one action set-piece to the next and, come the end credits, the core plot has barely inched forward.


By virtue of being the final installment, The Matrix Revolutions improves in this area, but instead falls into extended periods of heavy exposition and meandering quasi-spiritual dialogue. Seemingly important story arcs and characters are sacrificed in the name of setting up the film's climax and the smart subtext of the first film has drifted into pretentious waffling.

The Matrix 4 must trim the fat, strip the franchise down to its basics and get back to the elements audiences loved about the first film. The titular Matrix should also be front and center of the story, rather than the city of Zion and its extended rave sequences. The strange interplay between the Matrix and the real world was a key selling point of the original movie and a significant reason as to why The Matrix felt so unique. In later films, the Matrix became a mere plot device to facilitate epic battles and introduce mysterious figures who would tell Neo where to go next.


Similarly, The Matrix 4 should move on from the Machines. Agent Smith was always The Matrix's arch villain, but the sequels presented the Machines as the most pressing threat facing the story's protagonists. The Matrix 4 needs a single antagonist, rather than two villains with entirely separate interests and motivations.

Related: 5 Ways The Matrix Holds Up (& 5 Ways It Doesn't)

Take Inspiration From Wider Matrix Media The Animatrix

The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions may have been uninspiring, but the franchise's wider output unquestionably proved that the Wachowskis' fictional world could be expanded in interesting ways and The Animatrix is a prime example of this. A series of direct-to-DVD animations, The Animatrix is far more faithful to the ideals and spirit of the original movie, exploring the background of the Machine War, Zion and the Matrix itself with the same level of moral ambiguity and science-fiction styling as the 1999 film. The Animatrix touches upon issues such as freed humans wanting to return to the Matrix and the human failings that led to the Machine takeover. The series of Matrix comics perform a similar function and were also positively received by fans and critics.


Interestingly, both the comics and The Animatrix were produced by the Wachowskis, proving that the duo had some very worthy ideas for widening the world of The Matrix, even if none of them found their way onto the big screen. The Matrix 4 would benefit hugely should Lana Wachowski return to her work on these non-cinematic projects for inspiration, since the best of these stories encapsulate the mystery and philosophy that was sorely lacking in the sequels, while also remaining grounded in reality, relatively speaking.

Make Neo The Matrix 4's Morpheus MBTI Personality Types Of The Matrix Characters

By the time of his death in The Matrix Revolutions, Neo had become the God-like hero of the real world. With virtually limitless power and a cult-like following developing, Neo's arc came to a natural conclusion, even if many of the religious parallels were deemed a little heavy handed by fans. With Keanu Reeves returning for The Matrix 4, Neo needs a new path to follow, since there's no longer any value to be mined from his omnipotent savior shtick.


The most obvious direction would be for Neo to take on the Morpheus role in The Matrix 4 - a guide to help others out of the Matrix or a leader to help rebuild the world destroyed by the Machines. Not only would this take Reeves' character into fascinating new territory, but such a storyline would also allow for the introduction of a brand new crop of characters, providing some fresh blood to the Matrix franchise.

Neo's future story will likely hinge on the reason for his resurrection. Will there be a big new villain that only Neo can defeat? Or has someone reprogrammed Agent Smith? While both concepts are interesting, they risk retreading old ground, especially with Neo in the role of the mythical returning hero. They pick up where The Matrix Revolutions left off, when The Matrix 4 should really be hitting reset. In the Morpheus role, new sides to Neo's character could come to the fore.


Related: How Hollywood Would Be Different If Will Smith Hadn't Done Men In Black

Bring Back The Philosophy Of 1999's Matrix Movie Red Pill or Blue Pill? in The Matrix

The Matrix found a pleasing balance between exploring philosophical themes and delivering an accessible story, however the sequels found themselves leaning on extreme ends of the spectrum, either ignoring the cerebral elements completely in favor of more Kung Fu or hitting viewers over the head with mental gymnastics. Unlike the original film, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions weren't content to let subtext remain as simple subtext, and instead relied on the aforementioned dumps of exposition to explain details that were better left to the audience's interpretation.


The Animatrix demonstrated that it was possible to reveal details of The Matrix's fictional history without destroying its mystique and the fourth movie would be wise to follow a similar format. With 16 years passing since the last movie, The Matrix 4 has a prime opportunity to craft a new philosophy, only taking the bare essentials from the original trilogy. The baggage of the Oracle's prophecies, the Source, the Architect and resetting the Matrix can all be left behind and replaced with the more simple and effective questions, such as the classic "red pill or blue pill" dilemma.

Decide On The Matrix's Future Direction Early

It's widely believed that the Wachowskis didn't have a trilogy in mind when first plotting out The Matrix, and were moved into making further installments thanks to the first film's huge success. This would've undoubtedly contributed to the directionless feel of The Matrix Reloaded and the thematic departure both sequels were guilty of. While The Matrix certainly isn't the first movie series to fall foul of a studio suddenly wanting more material, it would be smart to learn this lesson ahead of The Matrix 4.


With the new movie in early development, Lana Wachowski must decide whether The Matrix 4 will serve as one final goodbye to Neo and Trinity or trigger the start of a brand new trilogy, and plan accordingly. If a whole new set of films is the order of the day, The Matrix 4 should be paced to accommodate that and weave in plot threads that can play out over the course of multiple releases, rather than a standalone, tightly-focused story that doesn't naturally leave room for growth.

With The Matrix taking on iconic cinema status over the past two decades, The Matrix 4 should be afforded more creative freedom to tell a cohesive story, and not be beholden to an overly-strict studio process.


More: Why Rebooting The Matrix Is A Bad Idea

The Matrix 4 is currently without a release date. More news as it arrives.

Tags: the matrix, matrix 4

Nintendo Switch Lite Review Nintendo Switch Lite Review: The Best Handheld Gaming Experience Around advertising Read More

Leave A Comment

More News

Screen Rant

Birds of Prey Set Photos Show Harley Quinn 2019-09-19 08:09:57New Birds of Prey set photos show Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in the middle of a car chase as the upcoming DC production wraps up reshoots.

X-Men Theory: MCU's Mutants Already Exist (& Black 2019-09-19 08:09:53The Eternals' Black Knight can help introduce mutants in the MCU - because in the comics, one of his ancestors met some early mutants.

Apple TV+'s Dickinson Full Trailer | Screen Rant 2019-09-19 08:09:50The official trailer for the Apple TV+ original series Dickinson turns the famed 19th century poet Emily Dickinson into a millennial hero.

Supergirl Season 5 Is Introducing Atlantis Characters 2019-09-19 08:09:15Supergirl season 5 casts Mitch Pileggi as Rama Khan and Cara Buono as Gamemnae, both DC Comics characters who are associated with Atlantis.

Bachelor Peter Weber Went 'Crazy’ After Finding Out 2019-09-19 08:09:14Peter Weber "started going crazy" after finding out he was cast as the new lead on The Bachelor, hoping this allows him to find his one true love.

FIFA 20 Review: Silky Smooth Soccer Skills | 2019-09-19 08:09:08FIFA 20 is not an overhaul for the series, but combines its top tier core gameplay with some neat additions such as the fun Volta game mode.

Bachelor in Paradise: Derek Peth Hurt to See 2019-09-19 07:09:52Derek Peth admits that it hurts to see John Paul Jones and Tayshia Adams still dating each other after the sixth season of Bachelor in Paradise.

Hell's Kitchen: 10 Most Hilarious Gordon Ramsay Lamb 2019-09-19 07:09:48The sheer variety of Lamb Sauce memes keep this Hell's Kitchen joke alive and fresh. Here are the 10 best Lamb Sauce memes

Jurassic Park: 10 Times The Movies Made Absolutely 2019-09-19 07:09:45Here are ten things from the Jurassic Park movies that make no sense and still have fans scratching their heads to this very day.

Downton Abbey Movie Ending Explained: What Happens & 2019-09-19 07:09:42Downton Abbey Movie's ending promises big changes to the future of the Crawleys. We delve into what happened and what Downton's future holds.

Harry Potter: 10 Things In The Philosopher’s Stone 2019-09-19 07:09:41While many things from the first Harry Potter book are in the franchise's first movie, there are also some differences that were left out.

Smallville Season 8: Best & Worst Episodes, Ranked 2019-09-19 07:09:38Smallville's Season 8 took big steps forward in Clark Kent's journey to become Superman and these are the best and worst episodes in the season.

Rolling Stone Latest Movies

‘Where’s My Roy Cohn?’ Review: Portrait of a 2019-09-19 16:53:07Documentary on the legendary lawyer—and Trump mentor—digs in to the controversial figure's life, times and toxic legacy

‘Rambo: Last Blood’: A Reagan-Era Hero, Re-Engineered for 2019-09-19 14:51:14Sylvester Stallone's perpetual warrior returns in a revenge story that couldn't be more toxic and Trumpian

Watch Errol Morris Compare Steve Bannon to Lucifer 2019-09-19 13:48:31Filmmaker's new doc centered around 16 hours' worth of interviews with former Trump advisor

Daniel Craig Digs Up Dark Family Secrets in 2019-09-18 10:08:44Chris Evans, Lakeith Stanfield, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Christopher Plummer co-star in Rian Johnson murder-mystery

‘Downton Abbey’ Review: Return of the Stiff Upper 2019-09-18 09:16:21The vintage Brits of the popular PBS show are back, in a feature film that doubles as diehard-fan service

‘Corporate Animals’ Review: From Team-Building to Team-Eating 2019-09-17 16:33:09Satire about business culture, field trips gone bad and cannibalism doesn't quite hit the mark—but damned if Demi Moore doesn't give it some b

‘Ad Astra’ Review: Brad Pitt, Lost in Space 2019-09-17 10:26:05The star and writer-director James Gray concoct a cerebral sci-fi film about fathers and sons that's absolutely enthralling

‘Monos’ Review: Rebels Without a Cause, or a 2019-09-16 14:53:15Alejandro Landes' study of child soldiers deep in the jungles of Colombia is part survivalist thriller, part perpetual-war film, and completely cinem

12 Best Movies at Toronto Film Festival 2019 2019-09-16 08:26:12From an A-list murder mystery to Romanian documentary on corruption, lies and journalism — these were the dozen films that earned TIFF's best-o

‘Ford v Ferrari’: Matt Damon, Christian Bale Shake 2019-09-15 11:08:12Greta Van Fleet's "Highway Tune" soundtracks latest preview of upcoming film

Toronto 2019: ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ The Hitler Comedy Taika 2019-09-12 17:25:33One of the fest's most divisive films tries to weaponize a WWII coming-of-age story with sick humor—and largely succeeds

Review: ‘The Goldfinch’ Is a Stolen Opportunity 2019-09-12 15:17:24The only achievement in transferring Donna Tartt's 'The Goldfinch' from page to screen is that it's a botch job for the ages.

NYT > Movies

4 Film Series to Catch in N.Y.C. This 2019-09-19 17:00:05Our guide to film series and special screenings.

Renewing an Affair With the Empire State Building 2019-09-19 15:50:14A revamped tower wants your love: it’s offering King Kong, flying steel girders — and a vertiginous ride to the 102nd floor. The city&rsqu

‘Loro’ Review: A Corrupt Leader, and the People 2019-09-19 13:27:06Toni Servillo plays the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Paolo Sorrentino’s extravagant portrait.

‘Ad Astra’ Review: Brad Pitt Orbits the Powers 2019-09-19 13:08:30The latest from the director James Gray centers on an astronaut whose mission into deep space becomes a voyage of self-discovery.

‘Where’s My Roy Cohn?’ Review: A Fixer’s Progress 2019-09-19 12:41:18A documentary traces the life and times of a notorious lawyer whose career stretched from Joseph McCarthy to Donald J. Trump.

‘Rambo: Last Blood’ Review: Death Country for Old 2019-09-19 12:20:34While the killings in this continuation of Rambo saga are zestfully depicted, the movie overall is rote.

‘Diego Maradona’ Review: A Soccer Player Who Got 2019-09-19 11:12:21The filmmaker Asif Kapadia (who won an Oscar for “Amy”) cuts through the filler of conventional sports documentaries.

‘Corporate Animals’ Review: Trust Falls at the Center 2019-09-19 08:46:29Demi Moore plays the unpleasant boss of unpleasant people trying to survive after a cave collapses on a company retreat.

‘Villains’ Review: Blundering Robbers Meet Their Match 2019-09-19 07:00:07The film zigzags between tones, zanily bouncing between comedy and horror-esque thrills.

‘Always in Season’ Review: Lynching Is Not Just 2019-09-19 07:00:03Jacqueline Olive, who directed the documentary, makes a powerful case that such murders can and do happen today.

‘Britt-Marie Was Here’ Review: Scrubbing Away Years of 2019-09-19 07:00:02In this Swedish comedy, a woman’s humdrum life changes when she takes on a job as a youth soccer coach.

‘Zeroville’ Review: An Innocent Finds a New Religion 2019-09-19 07:00:01A near-catatonic James Franco plays a movie-obsessed innocent in “Zeroville,” a painful head trip through 1970s Hollywood.

L.A. Times - Movie News

Review: Jim Gaffigan breaks out in 'American Dreamers'; 2019-09-19 17:04:22Reviews for 'Ambition,' 'American Dreamer,' 'Auggie,' 'Bloodline,' 'Corporate Animals,' 'Running With the Devil,' 'The Wedding Year.'

Review: Sylvester Stallone's 'Rambo: Last Blood' goes for 2019-09-19 16:15:44Sylvester Stallone reprises one of his most celebrated roles, but this one has a darker, more brooding edge

Review: Dark comedy 'Villains' pits two demented couples 2019-09-19 15:54:54Jeffrey Donovan, Kyra Sedgwick and Bill Skarsgard star in the story of two would-be burglars uncovering a suburban couple's twisted secret.

Review: 'Diego Maradona' documentary expertly charts the rise 2019-09-19 15:48:51Asif Kapadia's documentary "Diego Maradona" profiles the triumph and tragedy of the legendary Argentine soccer player.

Review: James Franco's 'Zeroville' is a movie worthy 2019-09-19 15:26:29James Franco's "Zeroville," which was made before "The Disaster Artist" but only opening now, is a dismal drama set in '70s Hollywood.

Review: 'Where's My Roy Cohn?' is a blunt, 2019-09-19 15:26:16The notorious American attorney and fixer gets his closeup in director Matt Tyrnauer's documentary.

Review: Criminally unsubtle penal drama 'Imprisoned' wastes top 2019-09-19 14:40:13"Imprisoned," featuring Laurence Fishburne and Juan Pablo Raba, spins a cliched tale of a criminal trying to go straight contends with a vengeful pr

Review: 'Trauma Is a Time Machine' chillingly portrays 2019-09-19 13:11:53Angelica Zollo's drama "Trauma Is a Time Machine" is an intimate portrayal of a woman's struggles to heal after being raped by her partner.

Review: Life-affirming drama 'Send Me to the Clouds' 2019-09-19 12:26:01In the Chinese drama "Send Me to the Clouds," a young journalist embarks on an existential journey after she is diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Review: The Day-Glo fantasia of Hiroyuki Imaishi's 'Promare' 2019-09-19 11:59:38"Promare" boasts flamboyant color, stylized designs and over-the-top action in its animated tale of a high-tech force battling fire-wielding mutants

Documentary 'Moonlight Sonata' fitfully connects deafness, family and 2019-09-19 11:14:46Irene Taylor Brodsky's "Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements" weaves the stories of hearing loss in her family and the composer Beethoven.

Review: Gay romance 'End of the Century' captures 2019-09-19 10:32:35Gay romance 'End of the Century' follows two men, an Argentine and a Spaniard, who reconnect 20 years after a brief dalliance.

CinemaBlend Latest Content

Why A Silver Surfer Movie Would Kick Ass 2019-09-19 18:38:14Here's why a Silver Surfer movie would kick all sorts of ass.

David Fincher’s World War Z 2 Would Have 2019-09-19 18:24:44Bring this project back from the dead please!

Funny King Of The Monsters Video Pokes Fun 2019-09-19 17:50:10The two titans will square off on the big screen next year.

Halle Berry's Training During The Making Of John 2019-09-19 17:45:28The same thing would probably happen to me.

Sylvester Stallone Explains How Rambo Is Different In 2019-09-19 17:27:52He's still the same Rambo, but he's got a few new wrinkles, literally.

Joaquin Phoenix Has Found His First Post-Joker Movie 2019-09-19 17:09:38The Oscar-nominated actor is in final negotiations for another drama from an exciting filmmaker!

How Much Money Doctor Sleep Could Make In 2019-09-19 14:54:20The sequel to Stanley Kubrick's horror classic The Shining is less than two months away.

The Most Expensive Part Of The Downton Abbey 2019-09-19 14:47:37You'll never guess what part of Downton Abbey's production ran up the biggest tab.

Wes Anderson's Next Film Has A Plot, A 2019-09-19 14:09:05Another film from the Moonrise Kingdom and Grand Budapest Hotel filmmaker is coming and starring some familiar faces.

Rambo: Last Blood Reviews - Here's What Critics 2019-09-19 13:29:36Is Rambo's swan song worth listening to?

9 Great Movies Coming To Netflix In October 2019-09-19 13:02:32It's not all tricks and treats on Netflix in October 2019. Read on for some notable titles outside of their Halloween lineup.

Rihanna Denies Rumors Of Playing Poison Ivy In 2019-09-19 12:39:38To be fair, it's not a terrible choice.

Movie News

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street Trailer 2019-09-19 19:08:43Mark Patton tells his side of the story in his new documentary Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street, which is also seeing a vinyl release of the

Unused Spider-Man: Far from Home Art Shows Mysterio's 2019-09-19 18:54:31Marvel Visual Development artist Henrik Tamm has shared some of his unused work for Spider-Man: Far From Home.

The Rhythm Section Trailer Teams Blake Lively & 2019-09-19 18:38:28Paramount has finally decided on a date for revenge film The Rhythm Section and given us its trailer.

The Craft Remake Has Found Its Four Main 2019-09-19 17:24:05Zoe Lister-Jones has tapped Cailee Spaeny, Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone, and Zoey Luna in The Craft remake.

Eternals Stars Salma Hayek & Kit Harington Share 2019-09-19 16:44:59Game of Thrones was a massive show and Salma Hayek is really happy about getting to work with the Jon Snow actor.

Fun Ratatouille Fan Theory Debunked by Director Brad 2019-09-19 16:19:23Pixar is pretty clever, but not as clever as a new Ratatouille fan theory would have us believe, according to the movie's director Brad Bird.

One of The Force Awakens Biggest Blunders Gets 2019-09-19 15:43:31Star Wars: Age of Resistance: Rey #1 finally gives Leia and Chewie the moment they deserved.

Schwarzenegger Celebrates Rambo: Last Blood with Special Message 2019-09-19 15:16:14Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed some knives for charity and one is definitely bigger than the other.

Netflix Considers Awarding Bonuses to Keep Their Successful 2019-09-19 15:02:47To incentivize talent, Netflix may start paying filmmakers bonuses when movies do well on the streaming service.

New Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie Coming from Evil 2019-09-19 14:16:41Fede Alvarez has been tapped by Legendary Pictures to revamp the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise.

Rise of Skywalker Leak Reveals Why Leia Never 2019-09-19 13:58:49A new possible Rise of Skywalker leak goes into Leia's history of Jedi training and her reasoning for not continuing.

Where's My Roy Cohn? Review: A Blistering Look 2019-09-19 13:40:45From the Red Scare to Donald Trump's presidency, Roy Cohn's influence on America is explored.

Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.