Back in early 2020, San Francisco was abuzz with Keanu sightings as the cast and crew of a fourth Matrix installment arrived for location shooting. And now we get to see what some of that looks like after post-production, as the trailer for The Matrix Resurrections has just dropped.
The film, set to hit theaters and HBO Max on December 22, begins with Neo (played by Reeves) living a seemingly normal life in San Francisco, going to see therapist Neil Patrick Harris to talk about his disturbing dreams. It appears he's been taking his blue pills religiously and he's forgotten about the Matrix and the world of the red pills — and this is all set in the trailer to the very SF psychedelic rock tune "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane.
Then, Neo runs into Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), who doesn't recognize him, and a red pill must materialize at some point, and we're back at war with the bots.
Directed by Lana Wachowski and co-written by David Mitchell — the brilliant British novelist of Cloud Atlas, with whom Wachowski collaborated on the film adaptation as well as one episode of Sense8 — and Aleksandar Hemon, The Matrix Resurrections has a lot to answer for after the disappointing second and third installments in the franchise. The original Matrix film, released in 1999, was revelatory for the sci-fi genre, and launched the career of the Wachowskis (Lilly Wachowski stepped away from working on the fourth Matrix film for reasons unknown).
Much has been written, both in academic and popular circles, over the last decade casting a new light on The Matrix, its concepts of identity and self-determination, and how it speaks to the experience of trans people. This follows Lana Wachowski's coming out as trans in 2010, and Lilly's subsequent coming out as well. As Vox explained in 2019, the Wachowskis had even written a character with trans identity into the original script of The Matrix — Switch, one of the crew members on Morpheus's ship, was supposed to present as male in reality but as female in the Matrix, but Warner Bros. nixed that idea.
It will be intriguing to see how, in 2021, we may get some more obvious nods to these ideas about identity in this new installment — though there aren't any big hints of that in the trailer. We know two queer actors were cast — Harris and Jonathan Groff — and we also know that Yahya Abdul-Mateen seems to be playing a Morpheus replacement, though he is not named (and Laurence Fishburne seems to not have wanted to reprise his role).
Check out all the glorious shots of San Francisco, though, including a chase scene on BART! And it looks like we have some context for that leaping stunt everyone saw being filmed off the side of a downtown skyscraper, as well as all that helicopter movement one night in February 2020.