We've got some more casting updates for The Matrix 4. The sci-fi sequel is gearing up to film this year and will bring back original stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss as Neo and Trinity, respectively. However, it looks like another, far more obscure, character from the original trilogy may be getting back in on the action this time around as well. Meanwhile, another actress has boarded the growing ensemble in the form of Erendira Ibarra.
First up, let's go over the possibly more interesting and unexpected of these two. According to a new report, actor Lambert Wilson, who starred in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, says his character The Merovingian is in the script for The Matrix 4 and that he's in negotiations to return. However, some of his prior commitments could get in the way, in terms of scheduling. Should things work out, this would make for something of an unexpected return, as The Merovingian was not exactly one of the more beloved, or at least not one of the most talked about characters from the franchise.
For those who may not recall, The Merovingian, also known as The Frenchman, is an old, powerful program that resides within the Matrix. The character described itself as a "trafficker of information" and behaved quite a bit like a crime boss. He and his wife Persephone, played by Monica Bellucci, run a smuggling ring that provides a safe place for exiled programs within the Matrix. One might assume that, if this is indeed true, it may well open the door for Bellucci to return as Persephone as well. But that's mostly speculation at this point.
Elsewhere, it was revealed that Eréndira Ibarra has been cast in an unspecified role in the sequel. Ibarra previously worked with the Wachowskis on their Netflix series Sense8. Other confirmed cast members include Max Riemelt Berlin Syndrome, Jessica Henwick Iron Fist, Neil Patrick Harris How I Met Your Mother, Toby Onwumere Empire and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Aquaman. Jada Pinkett Smith is also on board to reprise her role as Niobe. Details on the roles are being kept under wraps, but it's heavily rumored that Abdul-Mateen II will portray a young Morpheus. It's also suggested that Henwick will be playing a young character who will be quite similar to Neo.
Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the original trilogy with her sister Lily Wachowski, is returning to the director's chair. Lily Wachowski isn't involved, so far as we know, for reasons that remain mysterious. Lana Wachowski co-wrote the screenplay alongside Aleksandar Hemon Sense8 and David Mitchell Cloud Atlas. Plot details are currently being kept under wraps but we'll be sure to keep you posted as any further information on the project is made available. The Matrix 4 is set to hit theaters on May 21, 2021. This news comes to us via Allocine.
Hundreds of film crew members in Germany contracted to work on “The Matrix 4” are threatening legal action against Germany's Studio Babelsberg after their work on the Warner Bros. tentpole was terminated due to the coronavirus outbreak shutting down production. According to Variety, terminated crew members from “The Matrix 4” and the video game adaptation “Uncharted” have formed a working group to demand financial aid from the studio. Both films were in preproduction but never started filming in Germany. “The Matrix 4” was gearing up for a Berlin shoot when production was shut down by Warner Bros.
Studio Babelsberg CEO Charlie Woebcken said to Variety in a statement that it was impossible to say “when, if or to what extent” the production of “The Matrix 4” and “Uncharted” would begin. The production shutdown forced the studio to terminate all of its employment agreements with independent crew members. The terminated employees are now hoping to reach an agreement with the studio and are also appealing to Germany's federal government for help.
Germany’s Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media BKM announced March 27 a financial aid rescue package for productions shut down by the coronavirus pandemic, but the “Matrix” and “Uncharted” crew members are unlikely to be eligible for that money since neither projects made it to the filming stage. BMK said to Variety that other financial aid funds might be able to help these crew members, including a $55 billion aid package “aimed at self-employed workers and small businesses.”
“We are in constant discussions with the affected film crew members and our longstanding U.S. partners and are making every effort to find solutions,” Woebcken said to Variety. “Like all companies in the film industry worldwide, Studio Babelsberg is also affected by the current crisis and the associated delays and cancellations.”
“The Matrix 4” shut down production after wrapping filming in San Francisco. Lana Wachowski is returning to the franchise as writer and director, while actors Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are reprising their roles as Neo and Trinity, respectively. Warner Bros. has already set a May 21, 2021 release date for the tentpole, although that date is now in question given the production stop.
Easter weekend is always a holiday, with kids home from school eager to enjoy movies: last year saw three family films open in the top nine, as well as wide-appeal “Captain Marvel” and “Shazam!” This year, folks are watching movies from home.
But 21 years ago, Easter weekend broke box office rules. First, it was a ballsy move for Warner Bros. to greenlight the Wachowskis’ original and complex science-fiction actioner “The Matrix” in the first place, much less release the R-rated movie opened on that family holiday.
But the risk paid off. The eye-popping movie starring Keanu Reeves ended up blowing away all previous grosses for the holiday weekend without counting Wednesday opening results. All told, “The Matrix” took in nearly $68 million for its first five days in adjusted gross. Even the three-day result was among the ten-best in box office history.
And it wasn’t the only film that had a lasting impact that weekend. Disney’s “10 Things I Hate About You,” a high-school romantic comedy loosely based on Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew,” scored some $21 million for its first five days.
Both “Matrix” and “10 Things” still have passionate followings decades later. What sets them apart from many similar titles with cult reputations is that they were successes from the start — on Easter. Memories can be fleeting: I knew “Matrix” was a success, and “10 Things” did OK, but it’s fun to review old records.
Today, “The Matrix” would be next to impossible to produce, unless an A-lister like Christopher Nolan or James Cameron demanded it. But Warners production executive Lorenzo Di Bonaventura banked on the Wachowski siblings, giving them a high-end budget, based on their script for Sylvester Stallone hit-man film ”Assassins,” and their directing debut with kinky indie heist thriller ”Bound,” which was a modest success for Gramercy $7 million.
While the Wachowskis were the geniuses behind “The Matrix,” Warners entrusted the production to their reliable nuts-and-bolts action producer Joel Silver “Lethal Weapon”. Rooted in multiple influences, “The Matrix” drew from evolving theories on machine/human interaction as the internet was entering daily life, Hong Kong genre films martial artist choreographer Yuen Woo-ping was a crucial collaborator, and Japanese Manga plots and characters.
Key to its success was casting Keanu Reeves to play computer programmer Neo. Coming off a five-year stretch of underperforming films, Reeves was not the studio’s first choice. But even his less successful films revealed an athletic edge that enhanced his credibility to audiences, which he has maintained with...