When “The Matrix” hit theaters in March of 1999, it took the world by storm because audiences had never seen a science fiction action story so thought provoking or filled with so much cinematic style.
That’s why the franchise went on to gross over $1.6 billion in the box-office – that figure does not include home rentals or dvd sales.
But while it made a mess-load of money, it was still shocking to see what Hollywood just announced about the “Matrix 4.”
There has been chatter about doing a “Matrix 4” for years, but apparently Warner Bros. wanted to recast Neo with Michael Jordan. Not that Michael Jordan. The actor who starred in “Creed,” “Creed II” and “Black Panther.”
But Warner Bros. scrapped that idea in favor of Lana Wachowski (only one of the siblings) is returning to write/direct with co-stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their respective roles of Neo and Trinity!
Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures will produce and globally distribute the film. Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich made the announcement on Tuesday.
“We could not be more excited to be re-entering ‘The Matrix’ with Lana,” said Emmerich. “Lana is a true visionary—a singular and original creative filmmaker—and we are thrilled that she is writing, directing and producing this new chapter in ‘The Matrix’ universe.”
According to Variety, “In addition to Wachowski, the script was also written by Aleksander Hemon and David Mitchell. Wachowski is also producing with Grant Hill. Sources say the film is eyed to begin production at the top of 2020.”
Lana Wachowski also said, “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.”
Keanu Reeves is currently shooting “Bill & Ted 3” right now in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Anytime we get more Keanu Reeves it is a great thing.
Getting the original “Matrix” greenlit was an interesting story too.
The movie not only revolutionized the science fiction genre, but big-budget original stories in general. The story goes that directors and then-Wachowski Brothers were given a meager $10 million to make their niche project and ignored the total budget and used that entire amount on the first ten minutes of the movie. So impressed, the studio gave them the budget they required instantly.
In the sequels, Reeves donated a lot of his massive salary to the crew.
For the first film in the trilogy, Reeves made $10 million up front, which, when combined with his back-end deal, upped his salary to $35 million. Amazingly, when it came time to negotiate his back-end profit sharing deal for the second and third “Matrix” films, Keanu insisted on handing over a significant portion of his back-end points to the films’ special effects and costume design teams.
Reeves believed the men and women who created the effects and costumes for the franchise were the true heroes of the movie.
Keanu reportedly ended up giving away an estimated $75 million dollars with both sequels. Each member of these teams received $1 million dollars per person, instantly making them all millionaires.
But Keanu didn’t stop at just the special effects and costume teams. He also gave the entire stunt team on the “Matrix” sequels Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
And he’ll probably do the same for “Matrix 4.”