2 years after The Matrix hit theaters in 1999, the film still garners respect as one of modern cinema's most ground-breaking and influential films.

What made the movie so influential was that it was a philosophical idea disguised as an action film. The film was an allegory for humanity's dependence on artificial intelligence and the impact that it can have on our survival.

The film directed by Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachoswoeki also explored themes of servitude to corporate power structures and provided a wake-up call to the general populace. Its influence was so seismic that there was a surge in believers in Simulation Theory—the core philosophy at the heart of the film. 

The idea of humans—the movie's characters Trinity and Morpheus—hacking into the "Matrix" to free other humans has impacted the generation so much that to this day, we see whistleblowing hackers who expose corrupt governing bodies. We could even argue that The Matrix instilled our distrust in the internet and social media. 

In addition. the movie's action scenes have been widely used and referenced in the entertainment industry around the world. Especially, the movie's "bullet time," an effect where the camera pans around the character in super slow motion, was copied everywhere from movies to TV and even games. 

Impact Of 'The Matrix' On Human Consciousness 

The Matrix was ahead of its time. Today, we can see some of the dystopian developments that the film reflected.

The rise of automation is replacing thousands of jobs, and each coming generation is becoming more dependant on technology to the point that daily tasks are almost impossible without them. We now feel more controlled and looked after as a society.

Ideas in The Matrix have become so influential now that the terms such as "red-pilling," 'the System' and 'rabbit-hole either borrowed or derived from the movie have been used in pop-culture to signify to someone about the un-truth nature of the reality they experience.

'The Matrix' Series Recap

Each version of the "Matrix" saw war between the humans and the machines, with the humans losing all of them. At the end of each war, the system was restarted, with some few humans given a chance to start a new human city.

At the end of the third film, The Matrix Revolutions, Neo deals with the machines sacrificing his life. In exchange, the machines stop their attack in the human city and let them build a new one with the condition that humans stay away from the "Matrix." And thus, the "Matrix" was restarted, effectively giving birth to the ninth version of the "Matrix."

When Is Matrix 4 Coming Out? Release & Premiere Date

The Matrix 4 is scheduled to be released by Warner Bros and Village Roadshow Pictures on April 1, 2022.  

In early March 2017, it was reported by The Hollywood Reporter that Warner Bros and the Wachowskis sisters were in the early stages of developing a fourth sequel to the franchise.  

In Aug 2019, WB officially announced that Lana Wachowski would return as the sole director with award-winning novelist Aleksander Hemon and 'Cloud Atlas' author David Mitchell as members of the writing team. 

As if that wasn't enough, in October 2019, American writer Zak Penn went on record saying that there was not one but two Matrix projects in development and that he was working on another one. This leads many to believe that Warner Bros is developing a universe around the franchise that could extend well beyond just one or two films.

The Matrix 4: What We Know So Far

Neo's New Looks

News of Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss joining the sequel came right after the film's announcement. However, Laurence Fishburne (Morpheus) and Hugo Weaving (Agent Smith) seemed to be missing from the casting list. 

Considering that at least one of the siblings is returning to write and direct the sequel means that the story will closely follow-up to the previous story in the form of a sequel or a prequel. In a statement to Variety, Lana had this to say about the film:

Many of the ideas Lilly and I explored 20 years ago about our reality are even more relevant now. I’m very happy to have these characters back in my life and grateful for another chance to work with my brilliant friends. 

In the set pictures revealed online, Neo sports a worn-down look. The character's appearance here is far removed from the savior figure from the previous film. Since Neo died at the end of The Matrix Revolutions, many fans had speculated that the upcoming version of Neo would just be an ordinary person inside the Matrix. It could be possible that after the end of the war, Neo's consciousness was plugged back in the matrix with no memory of his past life. 

This changed version of Neo would also make sense since, in the second installment, the Architect of the "Matrix" told Neo that, in addition to two unstable versions of the "Matrix," there were 5 versions of the "Matrix" and corresponding versions of the "One."

The architect also revealed that Neo was the 6th version. He also went on to explain that the concept of the "One" was a machine-created prophecy to give some form of purpose to those few percent of humans who choose to escape the "Matrix.

'The Matrix 4' Possible Plot 

The story would have to take place in either the rebooted version of the "Matrix" or tell the story of a past version of the "Matrix." Perhaps the machines found a way to populate this new "Matrix" with the younger versions with the existing humans to prevent any fatalities. All this seems to be confusing at first, but when you consider that people in the "Matrix" are, in fact, only memories, then this theory makes sense.  

It is entirely possible that Neo might not be returning at all and that Keanu Reeves is playing a different character altogether. Whether the story is set in the future version of the "Matrix" or older versions, we cannot know for sure. One possible theory is that the "Matrix" is rebooted, and the same humans that existed before keep existing again so that Keanu Reeves will playing only Mr. Anderson. Since he wouldn't be plugged out in the new version, he could go on to keep working as a software engineer. This way, his worn-out shaggy look will make perfect sense. This would also explain who Trinity will get older.  

We may find another answer to the plot in the 2005 MMORPG game, 'The Matrix Online.' The game was a continuation of the film franchise. The main key points in the game were the death of Morpheus and the possible revival of both Neo and Trinity after their death.

The game also featured Merovingian as a major villain. According to Allocine, Lambert Wilson is reportedly reprising his role as Merovingian.

The Merovingian is one of the oldest programs in the "Matrix," who is a data trafficker of sorts. He provides safe haven for older programs from deletion and, in turn, asks them to do his bidding; as a result, he could indeed be a key piece to the story. If he is playing the lead villain, as in the game, then Neo and Trinity may again have to go against him to try and repair some older versions of the "Matrix." 

'The Matrix 4': Things To Know 

Possible Older Neo And Younger Morpheus Casting

The casting news of Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, confirmed by Variety sources, has been turning heads on the internet. There have been rumors that he would indeed be playing a young Morpheus. What gives this rumor a strong case is the absence of Laurence Fishburne from the film's cast. 

If the rumors are to be believed, we need to ask questions about the kind of story that could encompass both older Neo and a younger Morpheus.

Time travel might be the easiest answer here. But given Lana Wachowski's propensity for a more existential bent, that option is less plausible. Plus, the concept of time travel has been tackled by so many films, not to mention Christopher Nolan and Avengers Endgame; Lana Wachowski would likely stay far away from that idea. 

The Human Villian That Loves Machines

The Vanity Fair followed the casting of Abdul-Mateen with news of Neil Patrick Harris being cast in a villain role. Pretty odd choice, one would think. But when you consider The Matrix's preoccupation with the concept of duality, it would make sense that the villain for the sequel will be a human with opposite values to the insidious authoritative Agent Smith of the original franchise. He may, thus, be a human that favors the dream world of the simulation over the real world. 

Revealed Matrix 4 Casts

Early this year, just ahead of the start of production, Variety reported that Priyanka Chopra would be starring alongside Keanu in an undisclosed role. 

I think she has been selected to portray the role of Sati. If you don't know about the character, she is a young exile smuggled into the Matrix by Rama-Kandra and Kamala's programs. The Oracle had prophesied that she would someday play an important role in the fight against humans and machines.

Given Priyanka Chopra's age, Sati would be right about her age by now. So Priyanka Chopra might indeed play a more significant role than previously thought. 

Including Priyanka Chopra, the confirmed casts till date are Neil Patrick Harris, Keanu Reeves, Carrie Ann Moss, Lambert Wilson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jessica Henwick, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jonathan Groff, Toby Onwumere, Max Riemelt, Eréndira Ibarra, Andrew Caldwell, Brian J. Smith, and Ellen Hollman. 

Stay tuned to get updated as reports appear. Till then, you can expect to re-enter The Matrix on April 1, 2022.