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SYFY WIRE The Matrix

The Matrix: Writer Zak Penn says Wachowski sequel just one of two Matrix projects at WB

By Benjamin Bullard
Keanu Reeves in The Matrix (1999)

News that we’d be getting a fourth installment in the genre-defining The Matrix series pretty much melted the internet when the word came down from Warner Bros. back in August. But that sequel, from co-creator Lana Wachowski and returning Keanu Reeves as Neo, apparently isn’t the only Matrix project that the studio could move on.

Writer Zak Penn, who’d been working on some kind of Warner Bros. Matrix project for years before the announcement of the new Wachowski sequel, took to Twitter this weekend to clarify that the new movie isn’t simply an evolved version of his project, but that it’s a completely separate thing. In other words, all the reports we’ve been getting all this time about Penn’s Matrix project appear to still be on target — and they reflect a project we still know virtually nothing about.

That last bit is especially notable: “Lana Wachowski is directing a sequel that i did not work on, but cant wait to see. Neither of them are reboots.” Earlier reports about the creative team for the announced sequel indeed don’t mention Penn as part of the writing team, which includes award-winning novelist Aleksandar Hemon, Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell, and Wachowski herself.

A veteran sci-fi writer with credits that range from X-Men to The Avengers to SYFY’s own Alphas series, Penn himself has long maintained that whatever it is he’s been up to in the Matrix playground won’t emerge (if it ever does) as a reboot. So his latest remarks fall right in line with the longer arc of his history on WB’s other mystery Matrix project — at least what little is known of it.

We know far more, though, about what we might as well start unofficially calling Matrix 4. Not only is Reeves back on board, but so is Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity, with the other half of the Wachowski creative duo, Lilly Wachowski, evidently sitting out any credited involvement in this new sequel. Original Matrix trilogy concept artists Geof Darrow and Steve Skroce (who provided storyboards for the earlier films) also are returning to lend the sequel what we assume should be a franchise-familiar look.

We don’t yet know when we’ll be re-entering The Matrix with Reeves and Moss, but we know, at least in theory, that the sequel isn’t the only point of entry that Warner Bros. might offer us. If the studio shares more news of Penn’s other Matrix project, we’ll be sure to follow the white rabbit and share every detail we know.