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Warner Bros. reportedly planning 'Matrix' reboot: how the original movie changed film industry

Warner Bros. is reportedly looking into bringing back the ultra-successful 'Matrix' movie series in some form. The original 1999 film changed the movie industry.

'The Matrix' stars Keanu Reeves (l.) and Hugo Weaving (r.).
Warner Bros.
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Movie audiences may be returning to the Matrix. 

Studio Warner Bros. is reportedly looking to return to the world of the Wachowski siblings’ massively successful science fiction movie trilogy. 

Hollywood Reporter writers Borys Kit, Kim Masters, and Rebecca Ford write that the studio “is in the early stages of developing a relaunch” of the property but that “it’s still not clear what shape the project will take.” 

The original “Matrix” movies star Keanu Reeves as Neo, who is a computer programmer and, once he encounters Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and his crew, discovers that the world he is living in is not what he thought it was. Carrie-Ann Moss and Hugo Weaving co-star.

The first film was the best-reviewed of the trilogy, though the second movie, 2003’s “The Matrix Reloaded,” remains the highest-grossing of the three after the first became a phenomenon and drew public interest.

The first “Matrix” movie is now lauded for influencing the sci-fi movie genre and for its innovative action scenes and special effects. 

IGN writer Sean Finnegan wrote of the first movie that “The Matrix” “forever changed what the collective moviegoer knew was possible in the cinema…. [The movie] innovated a number of cinematic techniques that would later become mainstays in Hollywood action filmmaking. In short, it pretty much changed everything about the way movies are made.”

Mr. Finnegan writes that some of the most memorable aspects of the movie include its famous use of “bullet time,” “the iconic slow motion cinematic technique that the filmmakers used to highlight a character’s heightened perception in the Matrix,” and the movie’s themes. “[The] philosophical ideas that 'The Matrix' poses … add an incredible amount of depth to what can otherwise be understood and certainly enjoyed on purely a surface level,” he writes. “ ‘The Matrix’ is a beautifully shot movie.”

Toronto Sun writer Steve Tilley also praised the film’s combination of intriguing ideas and innovative action scenes. “ ‘The Matrix’ was a valuable reminder that brawn and brains don’t have to be mutually exclusive,” Mr. Tilley wrote.

Tilley also notes that the emphasis that those behind the scenes of “Matrix” put on preparing for stunts in the movie influenced the industry.

“Producer Joel Silver was so determined to hire Chinese stunt choreographer Yuen Woo-Ping that he gave into Yuen’s unusual demands, including six months of training with the actors and stunt performers – virtually unheard of for an American film,” Tilley remembers. “This ignited a trend of lengthy rehearsal periods for stuntmen (and in some cases, actors) that changed the way we look at fight scenes in movies.”