'Matrix 4' release date, trailer, cast, and more for the Wachowski sequel

Keanu Reeves will return as "the One" in a new Matrix film, and he won't be alone.

The Matrix 4 Keanu Reeves

If your Kung fu is starting to get a little rusty, you’re in luck. We’re about to jack into the Matrix all over again when Matrix 4 (official title unknown) hits theaters in 2021. Sixteen years after the original trilogy came to a somewhat confusing close, one half of the Wachowski creative team — and some key members of the original cast — will return for a sequel we never saw coming.

Matrix 4 was first revealed on August 20 by Variety, and since then there’s been a steady trickle of news and rumors about the movie being written and directed by Lana Wachowksi.

Here’s an official statement from WB Picture Group chairman Toby Emmerich, via Variety:

“We could not be more excited to be re-entering The Matrix with Lana … Lana is a true visionary — a singular and original creative filmmaker — and we are thrilled that she is writing, directing and producing this new chapter in the Matrix universe.”

Exciting stuff, right? If you’re as eager as us to return to Zion, read on for a full breakdown of everything we know about Matrix 4, from the official release date to trailer news, to the latest casting details.

Remember, the answer is out there.

Jake Kleinman contributed to this article.

morpheus the matrix
'The Matrix'

When is the Matrix 4 Release Date?

The Matrix 4 release date is officially set for May 21, 2021, which, as fans were quick to point out, is the same day John Wick 4 hits theaters.

How is it possible that Keanu Reeves can star in two big-budget action movies releasing on the same day? Well, it’s possible this means the original Neo will have a reduced role in Matrix 4, suggesting the movie could focus more on new characters like the one played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.

Then again, maybe one particularly wild fan theory is correct and Matrix 4 and John Wick 4 are actually the same movie. Unlikely? Yes. Impossible? Probably also yes, but you have to admit, that would be pretty damn cool.

Is there a trailer for Matrix 4?

Not yet. As far as we know, they haven’t even started production. So don’t expect a trailer for a good long while. Production should begin in February 2020, so perhaps a very brief teaser trailer could drop soon afterward.

Neo and Trinity in 'The Matrix'.
Neo and Trinity in 'The Matrix'.

Who’s in the cast of Matrix 4?

The initial announcement only revealed that the original stars Keanu Reeves (Neo) and Carrie-Ann Moss (Trinity) would return in those roles, also noting that it was “unknown” how the character of Morpheus, originally played by Laurence Fishburne, would be handled. Variety said he might be “recast for a younger take,” whatever that means.

Since then, a number of new cast members have been revealed. The list includes Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jessica Henwick, Neil Patrick Harris, Jonathan Groff, and Toby Onwumere. Jada Pinkett Smith is also reportedly in talks to return as her character Niobe from the first two sequels, Reloaded and Revolutions. The rest of the specific roles are a mystery, though Abdul-Mateen II and Henwick are reportedly lead characters.

Who else is working on Matrix 4?

Aside from Lana Wachowski, Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell are helping out on the script, both of whom previously contributed to the Wachowski’s Netflix series Sense8. (Mitchell also wrote the novel Cloud Atlas, which the Wachowskis adapted into the 2012 movie.)

What’s the story of Matrix 4 ?

Now that’s a real good question. Based on what little we know, it’s really up in the air as to what story lies in store for Matrix 4.

The question surrounding the returning actors and their characters opens up all sorts of questions and possibilities for the story of Matrix 4. It appears to be a continuation, but based on the sci-fi/Buddhist nature of the mythology, are we in for a literal reboot of the saga? Is it possible for the characters who enter and exit a simulated reality engineered by machines to reincarnate?

This was partially established in the role of the Oracle, whose original actor Gloria Foster died between the second and third films. (Tony winner Mary Alice replaced Foster for the final movie.) The character’s physical change was written into the script, with her “termination code” being leveraged against her.

Where can I watch the original Matrix movies?

The trilogy comes and goes from Netflix, so check in every month to see if you can stream the movies. If you need to watch them right now, you can purchase them via your preferred digital storefront, including iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, etc.

Physical media is another option. Packaged collections of all four movies (including the anime anthology The Animatrix, which is a must-watch for any Matrix fan) are available on DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K Blu-ray.

Media via Warner, Movieclips, Warner Bros. Pictures