The first trailer for The Matrix Resurrections arrived last week, and fans are curious as to how the film will continue the story of Neo and Trinity. While there likely won’t be any substantial answers ahead of its release in theaters and on HBO Max on Dec. 22, director Lana Wachowski has at least explained why she decided to bring back the two leads, played by Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss.
The original trilogy’s finale, 2003’s The Matrix Revolutions, saw both characters meet their end, which makes the prospect of them headlining Resurrections all the more interesting. During a screenwriting panel for the International Literature Festival Berlin, Wachowski opened up about why she wanted to bring the characters back, per Screen Rant.
“My dad died, then this friend died, then my mom died. I didn't really know how to process that kind of grief,” said Wachowski, who detailed how the death of her parents impacted the decision to revisit these characters. “I hadn't experienced it that closely. ... You know their lives are going to end and yet it was still really hard. My brain has always reached into my imagination and one night, I was crying and I couldn't sleep, and my brain exploded this whole story. And I couldn't have my mom and dad, yet suddenly I had Neo and Trinity, arguably the two most important characters in my life.”
The Matrix Resurrections is the first in the series to not be co-directed and co-written with Lana’s sister Lilly, who admitted last month that she found the idea of revisiting the franchise “expressly unappealing,” per the Wrap. She added that it felt like “going backwards,” reflecting on her transition as a trans woman and the loss of their parents. “[It’s] like I was going to go back and live in these old shoes in a way, and I didn’t want to do that,” she said.
Lana, meanwhile, suggested in Berlin that she has a completely different outlook on coming back to The Matrix. “It was immediately comforting to have these two characters alive again, and it's super simple,” added Lana Wachowski. “You can look at it and say: 'OK, these two people die and OK, bring these two people back to life and oh, doesn't that feel good.' Yeah, it did! It's simple, and this is what art does and that's what stories do, they comfort us.”
How the film will explain the resurrection of Trinity and Neo remains to be seen, and there are already plenty of other questions the trailer has raised. Like, hey, what’s the deal with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as a notably younger Morpheus? Where is Laurence Fishburne?