Keanu Reeves probably wouldn’t have come back for Resurrections without Lana Wachowski. Image: Warner Bros.
In the week since the release of The Matrix Resurrections, reactions to the film have been extremely polarizing. Some (like us) praised it for being fascinating ideas and smart follow-up of the franchise. Others ditched it because they were too self-conscious with not enough of the action the franchise was built on. Whichever side of the argument you fall on, we can certainly agree on one positive point: that the film was made by one of the people responsible for the franchise, Lana Wachowski. Because that wouldn’t always be the case.
Memories on the internet are short, so chances are a lot of people have forgotten that in 2017, Warner Bros. reportedly developing a new version of The Matrix by writer Zak Penn (Hero of last action, Ready Player One) for star Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther, Creed). That was never officially confirmed, only reported by reputable retailers, but in a new interview, one of Matrix’s producers, James McTeigue, confirmed talks to continue the franchise without the Wachowskis taking place.
“Yeah. That was real,” McTeigue told Collider when asked if there were versions of this movie that could have happened without Wachowski. “There were versions out there. But I guess fate dictated that Lana’s story came at the right time, and Warner Bros. were willing to move forward with that story.”
McTeigue explained that while Warner Bros. was looking at other versions, which is to be expected from a major branded franchise, the company “hadn’t landed on the right version,” he continued. “So when Lana finally came back and said, ‘Look. I’m interested in making another movie,’ of course they went with the filmmaker who founded the Matrix.’
Interestingly enough, though the new interview doesn’t address it, around the time the Jordan/Penn version made news, Keanu Reeves made it clear that he wouldn’t be returning to the franchise unless the Wachowskis were involved. “The Wachowskis should be involved,” Reeves says said in 2017. “They should be writing and directing it. And then we’d see what the story is, but yeah, I don’t know, that would be weird, but why not? People die, stories don’t. People in stories don’t.”
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So even if you don’t like Resurrections, Wachowski’s involvement at least ensured it was Neo in this story and not someone else. The Matrix Resurrections is in theaters now and on HBO Max for a few more weeks.
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