It’s been almost 20 years since the prophetic messages of The Matrix last hit the screens. During this time, we have seen the world change before our eyes.
AI guides search algorithms, social media landscapes, stock prices and everything else – at least metaphorically, a large percentage of the human race has taken the proverbial blue pill. So it only makes sense that Keanu Reeves would be thrilled to see the beloved franchise again.
The 57-year-old actor has played everything from prostitute to police officer, devil’s advocate to exorcist and expert hitman. The Matrix Neo/Thomas Anderson stands out a bit from the others.
As the subject of countless essays, analytical and otherwise, “The One” is a concept that has been compared to everything from AI “singularities” to Jesus Christ, all in the same breath.
Here is the most recent trailer for the 4th Matrix movie, just to let you know:
From what journalists and fans have gathered, the film serves as a conduit for an older, more experienced Thomas Anderson to help Carrie-Ann Moss’ Trinity. Keanu calls himself a “dynamic reverse of the trilogy”.
“Where in the trilogy,” Keanu tells Uproxx’s Mike Ryan, “Trinity is trying to support and wake up Thomas Anderson, now Thomas Anderson is in that position and role for Trinity.”
Keanu also explored the strange but familiar simulation theory that everything we experience is, in fact, unreal and that an unknown entity is behind the universe. This entity is said to be tinkering with what amounts to a laboratory experiment – just on a cosmic scale.
In the interview, Keanu and Mike explored the idea that most people today wouldn’t share too many doubts about simulation theory. A “maybe” at most – and how this suspension of disbelief was spurred on by the film itself.
“As the star trek communicator for the phone,” Keanu muses. Ultimately, he sees movies as “a tool, or a mechanism, to help us understand the world we find ourselves in.”
QAnon and Red-Pill
Although primarily American in origin, the QAnon and Red Pill movements have quickly gained momentum across the internet – fleeing from the controversial 4chan forum to the wider recesses of the internet.
Redpiller’s agenda is, well, nebulous. For the sake of brevity, he posits that society operates on a subset of “hard-to-swallow truths” – many of which are closely tied to gender and status.
Generally, redpillers believe that society is played against most men, that women are inherently manipulative and should be “dealt with” with careful self-improvement and attraction tactics, among other problematic notions.
So what does this have to do with The matrix?
The name redpill refers to an iconic scene from the first Matrix movie. In this one, Morpheus by Laurence Fishburne offers Thomas Anderson a choice:
“You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland and I show you how far the burrow goes rabbit.
It’s probably nonsense that the Wachowski sisters, who created the films, encoded a deeply misogynistic message into the scene. However, it’s worth exploring the relationship between the film and the movement itself – and what it means for humanity.
“The idea of the mechanism is that you take this pill and you are able to see the nature of reality,” Keanu explains. “So escape a simulation of a reality. So I could see how appropriate this is for a lot of prospects. I mean, I think, just hang on to the idea that it came from The matrix.”
There’s an interesting note here – about how the red pill – blue pill dichotomy can influence so many people, because of the universality of the idea.
In the wings
With so many The matrix Set in the form of an abstract discussion, it’s easy to forget that the series is a very real sci-fi action flick – and with that comes some pretty fun on-set stories.
One of the most recent highlights came out this week when Keanu starred on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show. The host asked the actor about the “craziest” stunt in the film – and Keanu had an answer up his sleeve.
“Jump[ing] of a building,” he says enthusiastically. The building in question was approximately 46 stories tall and, most impressively, the entire scene was shot without the use of CGI.
Why? “Because it’s Lana Wachowski,” he replied, “and it’s The matrix, and you need natural light, and you really want to do it.
Real is right. Keanu also explained how Carrie-Ann, who is also in the scene, had to do about 19-20 takes over two days to get it right. That’s a lot of time spent jumping off a building!
“By the time you get there [to the stunt], I mean my heart lifted a little, but after the first time, you can’t think of the fear. You have to face it, absorb it, then be there and do. And that’s what we’ve done.
The Matrix Resurrections is set to release on December 22, 2021.
(Image sources: Warner Bros. Entertainment)