Neo, Trinity, it’s time to dive deep. Image: Warner Bros.
Watching The Matrix Resurrections is like eating a huge feastI. You love it, but it takes a few minutes to digest. Well, that time is over. Last week we posted about how co-writers David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon boarded the project with friend and collaborator Lana Wachowski, and what they had to say about some of the biggest spoilers and questions.What did Lana Wachowski know about the movie that went into it?
Warner Bros. had asked the Wachowksis to make a new Matrix movie since the third movie Revolutions came out. When Lana Wachowski finally decided to tackle it, she went in with a few general ideas to get started.
“She had the idea about the opening scene,” Hemon told io9. “She said she saw that opening scene in her head in the middle of the night, one night in Chicago, and described it to me and us. This modal little world that Thomas Anderson, Neo, constructed for himself to be reminded of what he might have lost and what he was. Finally, out of that world, comes the Morpheus.”What were some of the hardest scenes to crack?
Resurrections has a lot of moving parts, from the new Matrix and the real world to the visuals from the old movies, new characters, old characters, sequel storylines, new storylines, etc. So we wondered, out of all that, what was the hardest to get right.
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“There were quite a few conversations about the modal, about the opening,” Mitchell said. “The opening scenes, where we’re apparently back in the late 1990s, and we’re back at the beginning of the first movie, where we could cut and eat the pie from making those allusions. But once we zoom in on the present, it makes crystal clear what just happened. So I suppose how to make clarity out of complexity.”
“That was a challenge and it was also the transition from that modal world, the modal universe to the world out there, which is also kind of a modal universe in its own right,” Hemon added. “We were afraid it would get confusing if we weren’t careful. And so that transition was being worked on and its logic was often discussed.”
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Morpheus, but not that one. Image: Warner Bros.Was the new Morpheus always part of the plan?
Given that Resurrections takes place 60 years after the events of the previous Matrix, it makes sense that Laurence Fishburne’s character Morphues is gone. But if for some reason the actor didn’t want to come back, it would have been an elegant solution too. So we asked if the idea of having that role, as well as Agent Smith (previously played by Hugo Weaving, now played by Jonathan Groff) always be a part of it.
“From the beginning, there was a new Morpheus,” Hemon said. “We knew that Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss would be involved. Without them this thing would not have been possible. But besides that, during my short film career I learned that making films is a world of contingencies. And so people may or may not sign up, or if they sign up, some things might change. So we wrote some roles, I’m not going to give it away, but we wrote a character for someone we thought would play [it] and then it couldn’t. And so still, we didn’t change anything radically, but we just imagined this actor in the role. And then it turned out that it wasn’t possible, but we didn’t change the rules about that. So that actor is still enlisted in the role.”Wait, are you talking about Agent Smith?
We followed up on that earlier answer.
“There were preparatory talks [presumably with Hugo Weaving] and so we weren’t involved with people, but it wasn’t completely resolved,” Hemon said. “Because the premise of The Matrix and [this] movie is slightly different, Agent Smith would have been different in some ways no matter who played him. And Jonathan Groff is amazing in that role. He added a dimension that I could not have foreseen while writing. But there’s a heightened emotional emotionality in the movie and then it fits into that pattern.Was there any backlash to the meta opening, where Warner Bros. make jokes about yourself?
The Matrix Resurrections begins with the revelation that Thomas Anderson runs a large gaming company that made games, not movies, called The Matrix. And now the parent company, Warner Bros., wants a fourth game… which it doesn’t want to do. The whole thing feels like a very obvious commentary on Wachowski’s personal feelings about the making of this movie, so we asked if it was specifically related to any trepidation or whether Warner Bros. ever shied away from being ridiculed.
“Excitement. I think that’s a fair word,” Mitchell said. “And the trepidation is sublimated into Thomas Anderson’s general existential dread, I think. [As for] some nonsense [on Warner Bros.]This is of course done with respect and affection. In the most legal sense with respect and affection. But yes, I think fear is a fair word. It was a big step.”
“It was,” Hemon added. “It’s also true that David and I are just writers, so I never met anyone from Warner Bros. until these interviews were arranged.” (“Same here,” Mitchell interrupted.) “So if there was a pushback, we’d never have heard of it. Lana protected us. But I also think they were so excited that Lana was going to make the movie, why push back? At that time for sure. Maybe later. But whatever, just make that movie.”
Lana Wachowski on set. Image: Warner Bros.What does the end of The Matrix Resurrections mean for the co-writers?
At the end of Resurrections, a newly reborn Neo and Trinity, now fully powerful in the Matrix, say they’ve been given another chance. We asked the writers if that other opportunity refers to their love and life together, or to liberating all of humanity from the machines and the Matrix, which they didn’t do last time.
“Well, love will set the real world free, so it’s both,” Hemon said.
“But yeah, you identify the two options very well, and it’s not necessarily an either/or,” Mitchell added.Will there be more Matrix movies?
Whether or not you interpret the ending as Neo and Trinity living happily ever after, or Neo and Trinity continuing to fight for the freedom of all humanity, the story leaves open for more chapters. So we wondered if there had been any talk about where the story might go next?
“Well, we haven’t talked about it yet,” Hemon said. “It is certainly too early for us to be involved. There are so many things that need to be done. So from now on, this is it.”
“That’s also the situation as far as I know,” Mitchell added. “But of course, who knows what will happen in the future, dot point point question mark. But as far as we know, there are no plans.” (It’s worth noting that Lana Wachowski herself gave a flat “No” at the premiere when asked if there would be a sequel.)
The Matrix Resurrections is now in theaters and on HBO Max.
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