A fourth Matrix movie is exactly the kind of rabbit hole reality needs right now

With its ‘red pill’ imagery co-opted by incels, how nice that Lana Wachowski, a trans woman, could give the original a sequel it deserves

Of the 10 highest-grossing films of 2019, only one – Jordan Peele’s Us – isn’t part of a franchise. Few jaws will have hit the floor, then, at the wholly un-flabbergasting news that sci-fi punch-’em-up The Matrix is to return next year with a fourth instalment. The original trilogy’s co-creator Lana Wachowski will co-write and direct, and both Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are set to re-stretch their leather trousers, despite the inconvenient matter of both of their characters being dead. All of this, in case you were wondering, is very good news.

Pub bores will already be licking the tips of their quills and drafting some dreadful soporific diatribe about how endless sequels and reboots are yet more proof that society is going down the Armitage Shanks. But Avengers: Endgame isn’t the most successful film ever solely because it’s a sequel. It’s the most successful film ever because it’s brilliant.

Be honest – what do you really remember about The Matrix: Reloaded or Revolutions? But the first film? Classic. An endlessly quotable pop-culture milestone. The sequels? Well, there was a car chase that was quite good. Neo and Trinity did that interminable bonk during that rave. Then there were some explosions, before most of the main characters died in variously underwhelming fashion. In short, the sequels were a load of old pants. This is Wachowski’s chance to give the original Matrix the rip-roaring follow-up it’s always deserved.

The timing also feels right. “Many of the ideas Lilly [Wachowski, Lana’s sister and co-director] and I explored 20 years ago about our reality are even more relevant now,” Wachowski said. From the vast strides made in tech and surveillance to blancmange-brained world leaders now denying reality itself, she’s not wrong. The words “red pill” have even been co-opted by incels and meninists as a metaphor for their self-imposed outsider status and thus why no one wants to have sex with them. Wouldn’t it be nice, with these buffoons seemingly everywhere, if one of the highest-grossing films of 2020 was directed by a trans woman? I, for one, am in. Take my money, Wachowski. Let’s see how deep the rabbit hole goes.


Luke Holland

The GuardianTramp

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