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Drew Goddard is great, but his Matrix needs to be special to avoid being exactly what Resurrections warned against

A fifth Matrix movie is happening against all expectations and Resurrections’ rather bland box office performance (admittedly affected by a day-and-date release on HBO Max). Moreover, the Wachowskis won’t be penning nor directing it. Drew Goddard is an amazing filmmaker which can crack a killer pitch, but what are the chances of actually getting the creators’ deeply personal universe and not falling into the pitfalls that The Matrix Resurrections warned audiences about?

The news arrived through an official Warner Bros. Discovery press release (via Variety), so this isn’t something that’s being rumored. It’s happening for real, and chances are solid that it’ll get made sooner rather than later, as Goddard is quite an effective and diligent screenwriter.

Nowadays, Goddard is better known as the man behind The Martian’s Oscar-nominated adapted screenplay and the director of The Cabin in the Woods, which is arguably one of the coolest modern horror movies around. Moreover, his TV credits include a plethora of Lost episodes (including some of the series’ best) and cracking the original Daredevil series for Marvel and Netflix. Like the kids say: He’s got the juice.

But how much juice do you actually need to get a Wachowski-less Matrix sequel right? Some might argue that Reloaded and Revolutions weren’t super great (or say they straight-up sucked), and 2021’s Resurrections seemed ‘alright’ to most critics and viewers if you look at the data available. From that perspective, The Matrix isn’t this pitch-perfect movie series that needs to be protected at all costs. It’s, however, a grand story that feels intimately connected to the original architects.

“Drew came to Warner Bros. with a new idea that we all believe would be an incredible way to continue the Matrix world, by both honoring what Lana and Lilly began over 25 years ago and offering a unique perspective based on his own love of the series and characters,” Warner Bros. Motion Pictures president of production Jesse Ehrman said in a statement. In fact, Lana Wachowski will be overseeing the project as an executive producer (no word about Keanu Reeves though). Sounds fine, right?


The Matrix Reloaded
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

That’s the thing. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, a movie which I have no strong feelings about and actually did reasonably well with critics and audiences, also had Steven Spielberg’s blessing and was overseen by the longtime Indiana Jones producer Kathleen Kennedy at Lucasfilm. And yet, a common criticism was that James Mangold (who’s a perfectly fine director) was no Spielberg, which instantly rendered the well-meaning fifth installment ‘strange’ when put alongside the other four movies. It wasn’t a matter of quality (Kingdom of the Crystal Skull already tarnished that according to most), but of visual language and pacing clearly shifting in the latest installment. Plus, its box office wasn’t anywhere near Disney’s expectations, probably due to a massive generational gap.

No matter what you think about the Matrix sequels, they undoubtedly feel special, different, and closely linked to Lana and Lilly Wachowski’s own experiences, and while the universe asks to be further explored and expanded under the right lens, it’s simply hard to imagine anyone else capturing the sensibility that shaped its very foundations. I’m a huge Drew Goddard supporter, and even I have reservations about this. Good luck, I guess?


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