Considering Hollywood’s love of IP, it’s kind of a miracle the Matrix stayed offline for so long. But the fourth installment hits theaters this December, and up to this point, all we knew was that it would involve Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and director Lana Wachowski.
Now there’s finally a trailer for what’s officially titled The Matrix Resurrections, and it looks great. The footage teases all of the striking visual storytelling and incredible action the franchise is known for, But there’s plenty of meat to chew on here, so grab your leather trench and tiny sunglasses as we dig deep into what’s happening in this first trailer.
We open on a shot of what is (presumably) a futuristic version of San Francisco. However, something about it feels intentionally off. Maybe it’s just not a fully rendered CGI effect—or perhaps this is the first indication that the world Thomas Anderson aka Neo (Keanu Reeves) inhabits isn’t quite as real as he believes. That’s right, Neo is (somehow) back despite being very dead at the end of Matrix Revolutions. This theory gains a little more traction when we see the black cat in the preceding shot. Avid fans of the original Matrix will remember that black cats symbolize a Matrix code being altered, causing a repeat occurrence of movement. We don’t see the cat loop over again, but its presence is undoubtedly meant to indicate to the audience that something isn’t quite right.
After Neo’s therapist (played by Neil Patrick Harris) asks Neo if he’s feeling “triggered” we get our first look at the green Matrix code. As Neo strolls down the block, we then cut to a handful of quick images that include Neo knocking a bullet out of mid-air, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (more on him shortly) dual-wielding guns, someone that looks a lot like Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) sitting in a chair, and Neo waking up in the real world near a bunch of machines. Neil Patrick Harris also seems pretty keen on reassuring Neo he’s okay. Might he be a sort of guardrail created by the Matrix to ensure Neo doesn’t break free again?
I don’t have any particularly insightful analysis here other than I anticipate this image being used heavily on Twitter over the next three months or so. Neo is a self-care king!
Here’s the first look at a strikingly normal-looking version of Trinity inside what I assume is the “Simulatte” coffee shop. Even though Trinity recruited Neo to the resistance in the first movie, the two don’t appear to recognize each other. Might we see an inversion of that recruitment, with Neo bringing Trinity in this time? Either way, something is drawing Neo to her.
Despite a steady diet of blue pills—which, famously, keep humans docile and adhered to the fake reality—Neo has decided to give them up and start another adventure down the rabbit hole. Along the way, he encounters a physical copy of Alice in Wonderland in a bookshop, with a woman (Priyanka Chopra) who very well may be an adult version of Sati. You may remember Sati as the young girl who was in the protection of the Oracle during the events of the second and third films.
And here’s the man of the moment, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, playing a younger version of Morpheus. As to why it’s not Laurence Fishburne, the videogame The Matrix Online, which is canon, established that Morpheus died in an alley at the hand of an assassin. Death and rebirth is central to these movies, so it’s not a shock to see the character back in action. Nevertheless, it’s time to get red-pilled.
In another redux of the original film, it’s time to go chasing rabbits in the form of Jessica Henwick’s blue-haired character. She specifically calls Reeves Neo, marking the first official mention of the character’s true name in the trailer. As the two walk through a door and emerge on the other side, the glass behind them ripples as if to further indicate Neo is officially through the looking-glass, in another Alice-related reference. And to fully hammer the allusion home, Jefferson Airplane’s famous LSD anthem “White Rabbit” soundtracks the trailer.
As Morpheus and Neo square off in a lakeside dojo, the former mentor says to his pupil, “The only thing that matters to you is still here. I know it’s why you’re still fighting.” As Neo encounters Trinity once more, he can see the lines of code in her face, indicating she’s still plugged into the Matrix. Morpheus pushes Neo to his breaking point, seemingly awakening the dormant power inside him once more.
This is our first solid look at the real world, as hundreds of pods are tended to by a machine. We also see another glimpse of what may be a human ship. Despite Neo’s heroic sacrifice at the end of Revolutions, the real world is as bleak as ever.
Henwick’s character faces off against a new foe: Agent Johnson (Daniel Bernhardt), as he takes over one of the cops in classic Agent fashion. We’re also treated to a true WTF moment as it appears there’s an action sequence wherein footage from The Matrix—namely, the moment where Neo is traced—is being projected on a wall. Are we in a situation where the events of the original trilogy, or at least the first movie, are common knowledge? Or is it something else entirely? Either way, we’re getting meta, baby.
Please enjoy this incredibly badass shot of Morpheus using a pistol and his favorite submachine gun.
This shot of Trinity freaking out is days away from becoming a reaction meme, like “when the edible is too strong.”
There’s a quick shot of Morpheus rocking an Agent suit. Perhaps he’s undercover? We also see Neo protecting Trinity with his good ol’ bullet move before pulling a new trick out of his sleeve: re-routing (!!) a whole (!!) missile!
To close an already impressive trailer, we get the juiciest tease of all. It seems as if Mindhunter’s Jonathan Groff knows all about the original Matrix. Is Resurrections going to be a meta commentary on reboots and the franchise’s history as a whole? No matter what, there’s plenty of info to chew on here between now and the film’s December release. Don’t mind us; we’re just going to spend the rest of the day rewatching this over and over again.