In 1999, the Wachowskis changed the face of Hollywood forever with their seminal sci-fi film The Matrix and its sleek vision of a dystopian future and its game-changing “bullet time” technology. Now Lana Wachowski could be gearing up for another cinematic game-changer with her new filming style for The Matrix 4, which series newcomer Jessica Henwick said will “change the industry again.”
In an interview with Comicbook, Henwick teased that Wachowski has another game-changing filming style up her sleeves with The Matrix 4, which is only fitting after the powerful impact that the first three The Matrix films left on the industry, from their “bullet time” technology to the Hong Kong-inspired action. According to Henwick:
“There are definitely moments on set where Yahya [Abdul-Mateen II] and I look at each other and we just go, ‘Matrix 4.’ Those pinch me moments. Yeah. Lana [Wachowski] is doing some really interesting things on a technical level in the same way that you know, she created a style back then. I think she’s going to change the industry again with this film. There’s some camera rigs that I’ve never seen before that we’re using. That’s probably all I can say for that.”
While it’s hard to tell what Wachowski is up to with just vague descriptors like “never-before-seen camera rigs,” Henwick’s description matches fellow The Matrix 4 actor Neil Patrick Harris’ recent statement that the director, who is going solo this time around, has “shifted visually from what she had done” stylistically.
What could it be this time around? It’s hard to tell whether Wachowski will be inventing a whole new filmmaking technique or whether she’ll be expanding with new cutting-edge technology like 3D filmmaking, which James Cameron has a pretty tight handle on, or high frame rates like Ang Lee or Peter Jackson have been tinkering with. We do know from Harris that The Matrix 4 will be “ambitious” and feature plenty of wirework, which was a technology that the first film helped to revolutionize.
The Matrix 4 has resumed filming in Berlin with new COVID-19 safety measures in place. Production for The Matrix 4 began in San Francisco in February and moved to Berlin in March, but was forced to halt due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Matrix 4 is being directed by Lana Wachowski, who co-wrote the script with David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon. Original franchise cast members Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Jada Pinkett Smith are all set to return, with new cast members including Priyanka Chopra, Jessica Henwick, Neil Patrick Harris, Toby Onwumere, Brian J. Smith, Eréndira Ibarra, Andrew Caldwell, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
The Matrix 4 is currently scheduled for theatrical release on December 22, 2021.