'Matrix' reboot? Some say studio should choose another pill

In this 2003 file photo, cast members Laurence Fishburne, from left, Keanu Reeves, Jada Pinkett Smith and Hugo Weaving pose to promote their latest film, "Matrix Reloaded," the second film from "The Matrix" franchise, in Tokyo. AP

NEW YORK —

A reboot of “The Matrix” is said to be the works, but many fans would rather see Warner Bros choose a different pill.

The Hollywood Reporter reported that Warner Bros is developing a relaunch of the 1999 film, which spawned two far less beloved sequels. Any new “Matrix” film is in such an early stage that it may — like countless other projects in development — never amount to anything. 

But the report was enough to stoke a backlash on social media over any tampering with the Wachowskis’ trench-coated, slow-motion bullet-flying science-fiction creation. Reboots, you may have noticed, are a tad common for Hollywood these days. And while repaving old favorites often causes consternation among fans, the possibility of a new “Matrix” touched a nerve.

On one hand, the dystopian vision of “The Matrix,” about a rebellion against machine-controlled rule, would seem ideal for today. After all, many have recently suggested the world has tipped into a simulated reality of its own. The time may be ripe for the deep “rabbit-hole” diving Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus advocated.

Also, initially wounded fan feelings have been known to soften under the right conditions. Get the right talent involved, secure the necessary blessings, talk about “mining” the story’s boundless “universe” and you could — come opening weekend — have a “Matrix” version of the “The Force Awakens” on your hands.

But there’s also reason to believe moviegoers are increasingly saying no to cash-grab reboots. The reasons for their demises were various, but last summer was a graveyard of underwhelming redos, including “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” ‘‘Independence Day: Resurgence” and “Ghostbusters.”

Still, remakes and sequels remain, overwhelmingly, the biggest box-office hits. Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” another refashioned ‘90s fairy tale (albeit one with fewer sunglasses), is expected to open with more than $130 million in ticket sales this weekend and may ultimately gross $1 billion worldwide.

So why is the prospect of more “Matrix” particularly jarring? Here are a few reasons why:

— No Wachowskis. Though they could, of course, get involved in some capacity in the future, they aren’t currently attached as directors for the new project. For many, a “Matrix” without Lana and Lilly Wachowski — the writers and directors of all three films — is anathema. Though their subsequent movies — the “Matrix” sequels, “Cloud Atlas” and “Jupiter Ascending” — have been largely received as misfires, they’ve never lacked for ambition, daring or imagination. That goes double for their Netflix series “Sense8.” Keanu Reeves has said their involvement is necessary for his participation in any new “Matrix” movie. Yet despite Reeves’ action-hero bona fides in still sterling condition (see “John Wick” and its sequel) and the Wachowskis continually churning out sci-fi, Warner Bros. is said to be exploring a different filmmaker and star. “Avengers” scribe Zak Penn may write the script.

— Originality was the main thrill of “The Matrix.” The disappointing sequels notwithstanding, “The Matrix” was for fans exhilaratingly current, even futuristic, in its special-effects innovation, distinctive visuals and philosophical underpinnings. A remake goes against the movie’s defining quality. Something of a gamble, “The “Matrix” was released in March but went on to win four Oscars and make $463.5 million worldwide. Among the many to decry a reboot was “Full Frontal” writer Travon Free, who said: “An original masterpiece called ‘Get Out’ made $113M on a $4M budget and Warner Bros is rebooting ‘The Matrix.’ Spend that money on new ideas!”

—Too Soon. Though quick reboots have happened before (“Spider-Man” may have set the record at a mere five years) “The Matrix” doesn’t yet feel especially dated at 18 years old. But as Hollywood begins veering into the ‘90s for remake-ready intellectual property, Generation X is beginning to experience what has long been a constant for baby boomers. (1999’s “The Blair Witch Project” was also reborn last year.) As Hollywood edges closer to today to plunder evermore recent remakes, it might need Neo to find some kind of time warp, too.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • 0

    Dre Hund

    Rather see a film that uncovers the relationship with dark energy and the way nature has evolved. Cycles. Rather see another Tron film. (My favorite IMAX experience) Rather see an Avatar sequel. Cameron does synthetic better than anyone.... Rather go see Skull Island again next week on six buck Tuesdays. Rather see another Mad Max. Dave Douglas score for The Matrix was fabulous. Why don't we see his name on film credits now?

  • 1

    inkochi

    Woah!

  • 4

    donkusai

    Just looks like another studio who can't think of any new ideas and won't take a chance on bringing in someone or something new. I enjoyed the original Matrix movie. It was done well, the story was interesting, and it had a good ending. By redoing it, the whole surprise of the story would be gone. They've already tried to make 2 sequels and they were terrible. Personally, I find movies like the Matrix and Inception should be left alone once they've been done. Once you know the ending, any sequel/reboot is going to lack the impact of the original.

  • -8

    gaijin playa

    we need a new spy kids movie, or daddy daycare 2. theyve gone to far with the matrix flicks, bill murray is old anyway

  • 0

    geronimo2006

    IT's been about 20 years so time now for the usual somewhat average to poor reboot / remake / rewhatever to milk it from the new generation. Groan. But, of course, I'll have to check it out. That's how they cash in.

  • 0

    Brian Parent

    "After all, many have recently suggested the world has tipped into a simulated reality of its own." Citation needed.

  • 1

    katsu78

    The Matrix is just an unoriginal rehashing of Buddhist theory with a goth fashion aesthetic and a techno soundtrack. It shouldn't be remade not because there is something sacred to the original, but because there is nothing of substance to remake. Gullible audiences got taken in by the white room CGI gun catalog scene and failed to notice there was nothing else to the franchise until sequels featuring Santa Claus in the shopping mall electronics section and Elrond-with-fake-eyes drove the point home that this was a series cribbing notes from someone else's big ideas and nothing original to sustain itself. Let it die the death it deserves along with everything else pretentious and empty from the 90s.

  • 0

    bass4funk

    Please don't! There was one original Picasso, one original Einstein, there should be one original Matrix, don't reinvent the wheel.

  • 1

    dcog9065

    I would easily welcome a Matrix reboot, however pretty much all remakes and reboots and adaptations in the past few years have been such shocking garbage that I probably wouldn't even be bothered to watch it. There is just so much crap coming out recently..

  • -1

    Strangerland

    If anything, they should do a sequel. The Matrix #2 to be specific. Pretend the other two sequels never happened, and make something that actually makes sense.

  • 0

    Cliffy

    Another sign that Hollywood ran out of idea.

  • 0

    deadbeatles

    @Strangerland. That makes no sense.

  • -1

    Strangerland

    What doesn't?

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