Is Matrix 4 A Sequel Or Reboot? How It Connects & What We Know

The Matrix Resurrections is the first entry in the sci-fi franchise in almost twenty years, but is it a reboot, a sequel, or something in between?

The Matrix Resurrections is returning to The Matrix franchise’s cyber world for the first time in nearly twenty years, but is the new movie a reboot or a direct sequel to the original trilogy? Because of the cryptic nature of the franchise and how few story details have actually been revealed so far, it’s difficult to figure out exactly how the film connects to what came before. However, enough clues have been dropped in official press releases and the first Matrix 4 trailer to give a pretty good idea of what Resurrections actually is, and how it ties into the rest of the Matrix story.

At first glance, The Matrix 4 trailer has clues that it could be either a reboot or a sequel. On one hand, all the returning stars, like Keanu Reeves (Neo) and Carrie-Anne Moss (Trinity), are playing older versions of their classic characters, hinting that the new movie is taking place after the events of the original trilogy. That theory also seems to be supported by the fact that the new version of the Matrix seen in the trailer is more modern. Both of those details could also be evidence of a reboot, however, as could the recasting of a younger Morpheus (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II).


Related: The Matrix Resurrections Trailer Supports Fake Trinity Theory

The series has always dealt with themes of cyclical stories, as the Matrix itself has been rebooted multiple times within the franchise canon. That means that the events of all three previous films are likely still canon, but there could also be room for some soft retconning and rehashing of old storylines through the framework of the Matrix itself. It seems most likely that The Matrix Resurrections is not a true sequel or a true remake, but rather something in between.

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In the official synopsis for The Matrix Resurrections put out by Warner Bros., the film is described as “a continuation of the story established in the first MATRIX film,” and an “extension of the original movie.” That’s led some people to believe that Reloaded and Revolutions – both of which were far less successful than the first movie – may no longer be canon in the popular sci-fi franchise. However, the trailer directly contradicts that theory, as it clearly shows plotlines from the sequels being continued. For instance, one shot in the trailer shows Neo being rebuilt by the machines, with his eyes burned – something that happens in Revolutions.

The language in the synopsis is likely meant to avoid connections to the failings of the Matrix sequels, and it doesn’t mean those films aren’t canon. But it does imply that The Matrix 4 will be much closer in tone and narrative to the original film, focus on questions of reality versus illusion instead of the more abstract deconstructionist ideas of Reloaded or the ambiguous meanings of Revolutions. Lana Wachowski doesn’t seem to be throwing away anything that she and her sister built in the original trilogy, and that’s a good thing. But because of what the Matrix is, how it works, and the inherently meta themes of the franchise, The Matrix Resurrections will likely also feel like a reboot in many ways.

Next: The Matrix: Resurrections – Every Character First Look Revealed

  • The Matrix Resurrections (2021)Release date: Dec 22, 2021

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Is Matrix 4 A Sequel Or Reboot? How It Connects & What We Know