When The Matrix first burst onto screens in 1999, audiences had never seen anything like it before. There were plenty of action-oriented sci-fi movies out there, but the Wachowski siblings had created something completely unique from both a storyline and technical perspective, combining expertly choreographed set pieces with cutting edge visual effects to deliver a groundbreaking work of cinema.
A movie’s influence can usually be determined by the number of thinly veiled imitations and parodies that it launches, and on that front, the first installment in the original trilogy has to be regarded as one of the most influential blockbusters in history. For the next several years, almost every action hero was wearing leather and sunglasses, while bullet time appeared in numerous genres spanning similarly themed action epics to gross out comedies.
Almost two decades after Revolutions, The Matrix 4 is now in the midst of production, and it appears that director Lana Wachowski is looking to change the game again. In a recent interview, star Jessica Henwick admitted that the long-awaited fourth entry is poised to revolutionize the industry once more, saying:
“There are definitely moments on set where Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and I look at each other and we just go, ‘The Matrix 4‘. Those pinch me moments. Yeah. Lana is doing some really interesting things on a technical level in the same way that you know, she created a style back then. I think she’s going to change the industry again with this film. There’s some camera rigs that I’ve never seen before that we’re using. That’s probably all I can say for that.”
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Henwick is no stranger to effects-heavy fare having already appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Netflix’s Iron Fist, as well as recently wrapping Godzilla vs. Kong, but The Matrix 4 looks to be an altogether different beast. Almost 20 years after the last movie, Wachowski must have stumbled upon a pretty good reason to revisit the franchise, and while the narrative element of both Reloaded and Revolutions was sorely lacking, they both went out of their way to push technological boundaries, something that’s almost become a requirement of the popular sci-fi series with each new sequel.