The opening act of The Matrix Resurrections takes a little getting used to, dropping us right into a recreation of the first scene from the classic 1999 original, albeit with a twist, but that’s just the tip of an increasingly self-referential iceberg.
We soon discover that Keanu Reeves’ John Anderson is the developer behind a hugely successful trilogy of video games known as The Matrix, and his office is packed with familiar iconography. However, his boss tells him that parent company Warner Bros. want a fourth installment, and they’re going to make it with or without his involvement.
In an interview with Gizmodo, writers David Mitchell and Aleksander Hemon revealed that the studio had some concerns about the meta gags, but director Lana Wachowski ensured they made it into the final cut in their unaltered form.
“It’s also that David and I are just writers, and so I have never met anyone from Warner Bros. until these interviews were arranged. So if there was there was pushback, we never heard of it. Lana protected us. But I also think they were so excited that Lana would make the movie that why would they push back? At that time, certainly. Maybe later. But anything, just make that movie.”
In a delicious twist of irony, it’s since been revealed that WB were toying with the idea of making another Matrix blockbuster even if Wachowski didn’t return, although it hasn’t been made clear if that was what inspired the fourth wall-breaking in the screenplay, or if it was just another indication of the property’s innate sense of prescience.
Resurrections has proven equal parts polarizing and divisive, but it almost definitely would have turned out much worse were it made with a brand new director at the helm.