There are very few details surrounding Matrix 4 available to us. There's no title, no release date and only two cast members (and a writer/director) confirmed. Yet this hasn't stopped fans from speculating about what might take place in the fourth film in the The Matrix franchise.
What we do know is that we really shouldn't be surprised about a fourth instalment, since it was all but spelled out at the end of Matrix: Revolutions.
It has been 16 years since the third and presumed final movie in The Matrix series, so it's okay if your memory is a bit rusty. Besides which, The Matrix turned out to be incredibly confusing.
The short version is this: Neo manages to negotiate peace between the machines (who have imprisoned humans' consciousness in a simulated reality called The Matrix) and the few remaining humans still living in the real world, in an underground city called Zion.
All Neo has to do is defeat the rogue Matrix program Smith, who is hellbent on destroying both the Matrix and the real world.
The Machines agree. Neo goes into the Matrix to fight Smith but realises the only way to win is to allow himself to be assimilated. At the same time the Machines give his real body a power surge which causes Smith to fritz out, thus killing the bad virus.
In the aftermath the Matrix is rebooted and we find Oracle sitting on a bench. She is approached by the Architect, the Machine who built the Matrix. He asks her how long this peace brokered by Neo will last. She says, "As long as it can."
Not only this, but a program named Sati (who takes the physical form of a young girl) asks the Oracle if they'll ever see Neo again, to which the Oracle says: "I suspect so. Some day."
Turns out the Oracle was right. Doh!
But this doesn't solve the sticky problem of the whole 'Neo and Trinity are dead' thing. Especially considering the fourquel will see both Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their respective roles.
One easy way to bring them back is as machine-made clones. Given things like technical knowledge and physical skill can be uploaded into the Matrix, it isn't a stretch to imagine their consciousnesses being saved in some hard drive far away and being uploaded into new, machine-made bodies.
If this happened, why the machines would create bodies that have aged twenty years would have to be explained. Especially when sources told Variety that Morpheus will be recast with a younger take on the character, who was played by Laurence Fishburne in the original trilogy.
Cast your mind back to the penultimate moments of Matrix Revolutions. The machines carried Neo's dead body away – but what did they do with it? Could they, with their infinitely advanced technology, have revived it somehow? Or at the very least, animated it as a part man, part machine being designed to age? The possibilities are, indeed, endless.
As for Trinity, she could easily be remade. She was born in the Matrix, so the machines have her DNA. But each new clone would have a brand new consciousness, with no memory of the actions the previous iteration took. The same goes for Neo.
The only way for the characters to be recognisable version of their former selves personality-wise is for our aforementioned idea to be true: their consciousnesses have been uploaded and saved, to be downloaded in new bodies.
Given that the whole movie takes place inside a simulated reality means a lot can be explained away. And fans hoping the fourth movie will be less confusing are probably in for a disappointment.
Lana Wachowski is teaming up with writers Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell, the latter of whom is known for writing sprawling and convoluted shared-consciousness stories like Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks. (Not the Peep Show guy, sadly. But we'd watch that too!)
Into the Matrix we go!
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