Following the release of The Matrix Resurrections in 2021, two things became abundantly clear – the franchise is no longer a popular or profitable franchise, possibly because an entirely new generation was born between the third and fourth entries in its convoluted timeline, and there will be no more installments released in the future. Lana, one part of the directorial team The Wachowskis, confirmed as much in an interview with IGN.
The Matrix Resurrections
There’s a lot of stuff in The Matrix’s back catalog.
In video gaming, the franchise’s history goes back to Enter the Matrix in 2003. The Matrix: Path of Neo and The Matrix Online came out two years later, in 2005, with the latter title lasting until 2009 before being shut down. That’s a long time before today, though, sufficiently long enough for The Matrix to become little more than a footnote in video game history.
That isn’t quite true, though. The Matrix has also enjoyed a certain amount of fame at online casinos. An eponymous slot game exists at the online casino at Paddy Power Games, featuring the likenesses of (and classic poses of) Trinity, Morpheus, and popular baddie Agent Smith. Neo exists as a Wild symbol, represented in green Matrix code. This game was released in 2017, two years before production on Resurrections began.
There are also the first three movies. Unfortunately, the fourth, The Matrix Resurrections, which Lana described as a “very personal” creation, was a truly painful box office disaster for everybody involved. The movie took just US$37.7m in its native US, on a budget of US$190m. Worldwide, takings were better but still came nowhere near to covering costs, at US$156.6m. Overall, that figure is around a quarter of what any other The Matrix film earned over its cinema lifetime.
So, one of the biggest series of movies from the 2000s dies with a whimper. Inevitably, things are never quite that simple. In Hollywood, even the most conclusive “never again” has a way of not meaning a thing, and there’s always the potential for side stories and entirely new trilogies to appear somewhere down the line. Just look at the current state of The Mummy, if you don’t mind the eye strain.
One of the most interesting cases for a continuation of The Matrix in some form or another came from the new Unreal Engine 5, an off-the-shelf kit used to create video games. Released back in 2021, the “open-world video game” The Matrix Awakens was actually little more than a tech demo built to show the capabilities of Epic Games’ new software. Still, it featured both Keanu Reaves (Neo) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) in voice-over roles.
Sadly, Epic Games’ tech demo probably says nothing at all regarding The Matrix’s future, and quite likely exists as a bit of marketing material for both the video game studio and the classic nerd-bait franchise. Unfortunately, as far as The Wachowskis are concerned, recent conversations suggest that they will never work on another The Matrix movie again, at least, not in the capacity of movie creators.
While the Wachowskis insisted that there would never be another The Matrix film back in 2003, as well, Lana has noted that Resurrections was created in response to a difficult time in her life. Such seismic events have a way of changing people’s minds regardless of what life path they happen to be on. There’s always a glimmer of hope out there but it will likely be a while before this particular franchise is seen again.
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