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The Matrix 4 release date, first footage, title, cast and more news

The Matrix 4 first look
(Image credit: Warner Pictures)

The Matrix 4 has an official title. As announced at CinemaCon 2021, it will be called The Matrix: Resurrections and the first footage was revealed to conference attendees. We've got a way for you to watch some of that footage now, with or without the games played by Warner.

The Matrix 4 will open in theaters and on HBO Max at the end of the year. The fourth installment in The Matrix franchise has been a long time coming — 18 years have passed since The Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions were released in 2003. That's basically an adult's entirely life. 

The Matrix 4 is shrouded in secrecy, and director Lana Wachowski has kept a tight lid on the plot. However, some details and rumors have emerged. For one, Laurence Fishburne won't be returning as Morpheus, though the current theory is that Watchmen star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is playing Young Morpheus. Priyanka Chopra is also joining the cast in an unknown role, as are Jonathan Groff and Neil Patrick Harris. The latter has called The Matrix 4 filming "intimate." 

Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne Moss are confirmed to be returning. From reports of the footage shown at CinemaCon, Reeves is reprising his role as Neo, who has hazy memories of his "past life." 

Earning global box office sales of more than $1.6 billion, the first three Matrix films have had an indelible impact on pop culture, spawning video games and an anime movie as well as being quoted and spoofed in countless other forms of media. (Also, who hasn’t tried the backward-leaning, slow-motion bullet-dodge move IRL?) 

With the movies’ high box office earnings and effect on the public consciousness, it’s surprising we haven’t gotten a new installment sooner, but better late than never? Since we know you’re just as excited as us about this news, here’s everything we know so far about The Matrix 4. 

The Matrix 4 release date

The Matrix 4 is scheduled for release on December 22, 2021 concurrently in theaters and on HBO Max. 

Warner Bros. committed to releasing all of their 2021 movies on HBO Max, with each one streaming for 31 days before leaving the service. 

The Matrix 4 first footage and trailer release date

Warner's made a new site for The Matrix 4 where you can have some fun (if you like interactive websites) and see a bit of the new trailer. We've got everything you need to skip The Matrix 4's interactive site and just watch some footage.

The first trailer is coming out Thursday, Sept. 9.

The Matrix 4 title

The Matrix 4 official title is The Matrix: Resurrections. It was announced at CinemaCon 2021. 

"Resurrections" seems to refer to the involvement of both Neo and Trinity, who are seen in the first footage shown to CinemaCon attendees. 

The Matrix 4 cast

Original trilogy stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss from the original trilogy will reprise their respective roles as protagonist Thomas A. Anderson (aka Neo, aka The One) and Trinity.

Most recently, Reeves has starred in the big-budget action movie franchise, John Wick, as the titular ass-kicking antihero, and played a version of himself in the charming romantic comedy Always Be My Maybe. Meanwhile, Moss joined the Marvel/Netflix universe as tough-as-nails Jessica Jones lawyer Jeri Hogarth, a character who also made appearances in sister shows Daredevil, Iron Fist and Defenders.

(Image credit: Ronald Siemoneit/Sygma/Getty)

Laurence Fishburne told Vulture that he wasn't asked to reprise his role as Morpheus. "I have not been invited," he said. "Maybe that will make me write another play. I wish them well. I hope it’s great."

Another original film star who is not returning is Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith. He was reportedly approached to reprise the role but scheduling conflicts precluded his involvement.

There are several cast members who will be back: Jada Pinkett Smith as Niobe and Lambert Wilson as The Merovingian.

And The Matrix 4 is adding quite a few new faces: Priyanka Chopra, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, Jonathan Groff, Toby Onwumere, Jessica Henwick, Max Riemelt, Eréndira Ibarra, Andrew Caldwell, Brian J. Smith, Ian Pirie, Michael Sommers, Lavish and Ellen Hollman. All of their roles are undisclosed.

The Matrix 4 Priyanka Chopra role

As for what Priyanka Chopra will be doing in the movie, she told Variety that "I can’t say much, but she’s something you don’t expect. What I can say is I finished filming and it was the first movie I did after lockdown and I’ve never felt safer on a set."

Which makes us think her character will be in some sort of hermetically sealed chamber or pod. But since she says her role is something we 'don't expect,' we're thinking it's not one of the pods that humans such as Neo were stuck in.

The Matrix 4 plot

When the first film was released, at the height of the Y2K scare, it fed on people’s fears for the future by thematizing the relationship between technology and the “real world.” Although our world did not end in the year 2000 (for better or worse), people’s fears and curiosities around technology have only increased, with theories that we’re all living in a simulation becoming increasingly popular in just the past few years. 

The plot of the Matrix films — humans being used as an energy source for sentient machines and existing in a simulated world, “our” world, called the Matrix — undoubtedly encouraged such philosophizing, and the plot possibilities for the fourth film are ripe for even wilder ideas based on how the world has changed in the past two decades. 

When we last left The Matrix in 2003 with The Matrix Revolutions, the machines were at war with the humans of Zion, and it was up to Neo to make a deal to save all existence. This led to a climactic battle between Neo and Agent Smith, the latter of whom caused a potentially greater threat than the machines. Neo sacrificed himself to eradicate Smith and reboot the Matrix, creating a temporary peace in Zion. 

Unfortunately, little is known about the plot of the fourth film right now except that it’s “set in the world of The Matrix.” The CinemaCon footage revealed that Neo is now going by his original name, Thomas Anderson. He is shown talking to a therapist about his dreams, which are actually memories of his journey as Neo. Thomas meets Trinity, then is offered a red pill by a new Morpheus (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). It appears that The Matrix 4 is all about the resurrection of Neo and a reboot of his journey as The One.

The Matrix 4 title

The Matrix 4 writer and director

Lana Wachowski of the Wachowskis, the sister team that wrote and directed the first three Matrix movies, will return to write and direct Matrix 4. Joining Wachowski on writing duties will be novelists Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell, both of whom wrote for Wachowski’s short-lived but cult-hit Netflix show Sense8. Lana’s sister, Lilly, will allegedly not be returning for reasons unknown, but it’s safe to say the film is still in good hands. 

Kelly Woo

Kelly is a senior writer covering streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.