Red Pill/Blue Pill

Matrix 4 trailer reveals the return of an underrated old villain

Two powerful enemies from the original trilogy could be pulling all the strings.

The Matrix trilogy gave us some of cinema’s most iconic villains with the formidable Agents, and Smith, in particular. Yet even after The Matrix Revolutions rebooted the system, there is still one program that has always survived. Introduced in The Matrix Reloaded, this nefarious character acted on his own terms with a keen, survival instinct.

With The Matrix Resurrections gearing up to change our perceptions of the simulation forever, could the Merovingian be plotting a grand scheme behind the scenes? His actions within The Matrix Online (an online multiplayer video game that continued the plot of the original trilogy) are a strong indicator of what could be in store.

The Merovingian and the Matrix

The Merovingian in The Matrix Online.

Warner Media

Among the Blue-Pilled roaming the Matrix, the Merovingian operated in the shadows. While the exact date of arrival isn’t known, the infamous “Frenchman” is described to be “the oldest of us” by the Oracle herself. Derived from the Merovingian Dynasty, the namesake is likely drawn from the same dynasty that ruled between the 5th and 8th centuries.

Looking to affirm his control within the simulation, the Merovingian, as per The Matrix Online, is an “operating system” that specializes in data trafficking. Providing safe haven for exiled programs, this acclamation of power has afforded him a form of social currency that makes him revered among programs in a Matrix criminal underworld of sorts where every program becomes corrupt — absolute power can do just that.

It is even possible the Merovingian is capable of more than meets the eye. In The Matrix Reloaded, he seemingly changed the routes of the Chateau, causing Neo to end up in the French Alps. Obsessed with the idea of causality, in The Matrix Online he sought to replace the Oracle by attempting to seek out a “Kill-Code” that would obliterate her from the simulation entirely. Unable to fulfill this quest, these actions put the Merovingian up against the Architect, another puppet master within the Matrix.

The Merovingian vs. the Architect

The Architect

Warner Bros.

Created by the machines to understand the nature of humans and keep the Matrix humming along, the Architect has overseen multiple iterations of the simulation until their demise. In The Matrix online, he is the one to officially end the truce Neo brokered between man and machine, after the discovery of the secret second human city New Zion.

The Matrix Resurrections trailer never shows the Architect directly, but it’s been widely theorized that Neil Patrick Harris’ “The Analyst” is a red herring for Architect’s true form. After all, if the Architect's primary goal is to maintain control over the Matrix, keeping Neo happily sedated is the easiest way to make that happen.

But is it possible that the Merovingian is also hiding in plain sight in The Matrix 4 trailer? We never see his face either, but there’s reason to believe he could play a major role in the new movie.

The Merovingian in The Matrix Resurrections

See the similarities?

Warner Bros.

It was heavily implied in The Matrix Online that the Merovingian was responsible for the murder of Morpheus, who was technically slain by a program simply called “The Assassin.” The Frenchman’s obsession with finding a way to destroy the Oracle could easily explain how he managed to do the same to Morpheus.

Portrayed in a youthful form by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in the Matrix 4 trailer, Neo’s former mentor and friend appears sporting an outfit eerily similar to how the Merovingian dresses in The Matrix Revolutions, it seems his appearance is meant to do more than just to reawaken Neo’s true purpose.

Another image from the Matrix 4 trailer clearly shows a hand with a gaudy ring on one finger, which seems reminiscent of the flashy jewelry worn by the Merovingian. Could this be the Frenchman revealing his true form later in the movie?

Is that you, Frenchman?

Warner Bros.

As revealed by The Matrix Online, both the Architect and the Merovingian played major roles in the events that followed Revolutions. So if they’re both back in Resurrections, then it’s likely Neo is only a pawn in their battle over the future of the simulation.

Then again, if the original trilogy taught us anything, it’s that you should never underestimate the One.

The Matrix Resurrections premieres December 22 in theaters and on HBO Max.

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