Warner Brothers seems to be really interested in staying toe-to-toe with Disney on all fronts. Disney is having a great deal of success with its live-action adaptations of its storybook cartoons like Beauty and the Beast, so Warners wrings the Fantastic Beasts franchise from the ashes of the storybook (kinda) Harry Potter franchise. The House of the Mouse has made billions from a shared universe of movies adapted from its Marvel Comics subsidiary so Warners is trying to do the same thing with adaptations from their subsidiary, DC Comics. And surely Disney’s box office grosses for its revival of Star Wars is playing a part in Warners’ reviving one of its sci-fi franchises, The Matrix.
The Hollywood Reporter states the studio has begun work on reviving the concept. It is all in the early stages as of yet, but the site did have some details.
- The Wachowski Sisters, the creative minds behind the franchise, are not attached to the revamp as of yet, and there’s no word that they will be. Warners is open to their return.
- Instead, Warners is in talks with Zak Penn to write a treatment. This can only be seen as a step down. The Wachowskis can be hit or miss, but at least they don’t have X-Men: The Last Stand or Elektra on their resumes. Also, arguably the two best films on Penn’s IMDB page, The Avengers and X2: X-Men United, were extensively rewritten by others.
- Joel Silver will not be back as producer. He sold all rights to the studio, and the article states his free-spending ways and poor relationship with the Wachowskis as reason why he won’t have a meaningful role in the new films.
- While Keanu Reeves has expressed interest in returning to the franchise if the Wachowskis wrote and directed the new entries, the studio is looking in the direction of hot and buzzy actors like Michael B. Jordan to headline the revival.
- The sources also seem to indicate that the new films won’t be a reboot or a remake, per se, but rather a further exploration of the universe first introduced in the original films, akin to what Disney is doing with the Star Wars universe.
The original Matrix trilogy made over $1.6 billion dollars for Warner Brothers against a total budget of around $363 million, so its obvious to see why Warners would want to return to that well. However, it is safe to say that the franchise does not have the cultural impact that the Star Wars franchise has. Also, from a quality perspective, each new film that came out of the original trilogy was a case of diminishing returns in the eyes of many critics. But if the new creators can capture some of the magic that the Wachowskis caught in making the first installment, this project would be something that we would be interested to see.