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‘Matrix 4’ Is Happening. Will It Be a Sequel or a Franchise Reboot?

Here's what we know and what we don't.

Warner Bros.

Twenty years after The Matrix became a global sensation, a fourth film in the franchise is officially on the way.

Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss will reprise their roles as Neo and Trinity, respectively. Lana Wachowski, who co-wrote and co-directed the original trilogy with her sister Lilly, is returning to direct. She’ll also co-write the film along with novelists Aleksandar Hemon, who had a small role in her Sense8, and David Mitchell, who worked with her on the screen adaptation of his novel Cloud Atlas.

“Many of the ideas Lilly and I explored 20 years ago about our reality are even more relevant now. I’m very happy to have these characters back in my life and grateful for another chance to work with my brilliant friends,” Wachowski said.

Even in the middle of the Keanussance—voice work in Toy Story 4, action heroics in John Wick 3, a hilarious turn as himself in Always Be My Maybe—this news is unexpected.

Variety reports that the strong commercial performance of Reeves’s recent work combined with a script from Wachowski that “drummed up excitement” was enough to get past a hold-up over producing rights that was preventing Warner Bros. from restarting the franchise.

Although the creative team and the two stars have been confirmed, we don’t know much more about the film. No details have been released about the plot, and it’s unclear how the new film will fit into the world the Wachowskis created. Because Reeves and Moss are returning, our bet is on a sequel, but at this point, that’s just speculation. After all, Revolutions had a pretty clean ending for the series and the Wachowskis have always had a way to pulling off the unexpected. Could Neo be handing the reigns off to a new Chosen One or will he be facing off against a new threat that doubles as a metaphor for some kind of larger philosophical quandary? Only time will tell…

Also unknown is whether Morpheus will return and, if so, who will play him. Laurence Fishburne famously played the role in the first three films, but Variety suggested that “some sources” believe the role could be recast with a younger actor.

Another thing we don’t know: when we’ll get to watch this thing. Production is slated to begin “at the top of 2020,” which means it’s way too early for us to know when we’ll learn just how deep the rabbit hole goes.