Don’t do it.
Make something else instead. Maybe something original. Maybe not. Who are we kidding, it’ll totally be something unoriginal. But just leave The Matrix alone. Even if you get the Wachowskis still don’t do it, partially because did you even watch Jupiter Ascending? The Matrix, though, just let it be.
The details, if you haven’t already heard, are as follows:
THR reports WB is in preliminary talks to reboot The Matrix. It started when producer Joel Silver approached them with a general idea to either revisit the world of The Matrix through Rogue One-esque prequels or simply reboot the whole thing, but he sold his franchise rights to the studio years ago meaning they can do whatever they damn well please with it. At the moment, they seem content with moving forward without him. A Matrix TV series has already been ruled out, and Michael B. Jordan has expressed interest in taking part in whatever they end up doing. The Wachowski siblings are thus far unattached.
It all feels like the kind of thing that happens when well-fed Hollywood producers hear from their idiot kids that everyone online is debating whether or not we are all in in fact living in The Matrix right now. Talking about The Matrix, you say. Hmmm. There might yet be more money to ring out of this decayed mop of a franchise (I say that as someone who likes Reloaded but can’t stand Revolutions)!
This might lead to a whole lot of nothing. Given the IP-obsessed state of the film industry, it would almost be shocking if someone at WB didn’t at least ask, “Have we thought about The Matrix? Is there anything more we can do with that?” That’s just due diligence, right? However, before we know it there could be a Morpheus prequel, a Netflix series that sounds mysteriously like Sense8 if everyone in Sense8 turned out to be in The Matrix and maybe even a cook book written from The Oracle’s point of view because that woman sure can bake herself some cookies.
Either way we go there will be those who embrace the idea of revisiting a land of tight leather and bullet time and those who reject it outright, viewing it as just the latest sign of how creatively bankrupt the film studios have begun.
I side more with the latter, and happen to think that shit like this is why in recent weeks we have seen multiple people turn down the offer to run Paramount and why both Legendary and Sony are still leaderless. Studios are in the brand management business now, and producers and executives are fleeing for the more creatively nourishing waters flowing from Netflix and Amazon. The next Matrix, as in the next thing to blow minds and shake things up, isn’t going to be a movie; it’s going to be some amazing TV show no one saw coming. There very well might be a next or new Matrix-branded movie, but it won’t be the same.
WB could adopt an Animatrix model wherein disparate new voices are invited to do their own unique things with different corners of the Matrix universe, some of it good, some of it bad. Better yet, though, just do something entirely different, something so successful that maybe we’ll want to reboot it twenty years from now.
As Joss Whedon recently told THR:
Is the nostalgia bank so goddamn secure that we can just keep withdrawing from it? And this is coming from a man who’s made a movie or a comic book out of every show he’s done. Somebody has to move on. We have to create new things for people to try to reboot. It’s something we all dreamed about. But then what happened? The sudden ending of My So-Called Life is only slightly less painful than the sudden ending of Firefly for me. I understand that feeling of, “We love this, and we can have it.” I was pitching a fan-funded Firefly to my agent before that was a concept. I see a little bit of what I call monkey’s paw in these reboots. You bring something back, and even if it’s exactly as good as it was, the experience can’t be. You’ve already experienced it, and part of what was great was going through it for the first time. You have to meet expectations and adjust it for the climate, which is not easy.