When I first heard about this other day, it was being reported that a Matrix sequel was being considered, which was probably inevitable. I thought that the ending of Revolutions left it very up in the air about a potential sequel, and that Warner Brothers would eventually come back to the franchise at some point. The Oracle seemed to indicate that Neo was still floating around the matrix, somewhere, and that we'd probably see him again. So I wasn't too surprised by the news that WB were looking at continuing the (lucrative) story. Plus, the story had a lot of religious motifs as well, and the biggest one was Neo sacrificing himself to beat Agent Smith, which parallels Jesus sacrificing himself to save humanity. And what did Jesus do after he sacrificed himself? He was resurrected. So, like I said, I was always expecting a trip back to the matrix, and that a return would be in keeping with the themes of the original trilogy. But the newest reports are saying that WB is looking to reboot The Matrix entirely, which would be a disaster. The original trilogy worked so well because of the sense of wonder and exploration that the movies evoked from audiences, all while delivering some phenomenal action, but a reboot would be totally devoid of that palpable sense of discovery that the original trilogy had.
Here's where I get confused though. It's being reported that a potential reboot would headline Michael B. Jordan, that's if WB gets what they want. Many have presumed that he would be playing a younger version of Morpheus in a side-qual type thing, but if that's true, that would still be set in the current iteration of The Matrix movies, or maybe not. I suppose he could be playing a young Morpheus in a new set of movies, it's hard to tell at such an early stage of development. But for me, The Matrix movies begin and end with Neo. I've said that The Terminator movies and Predator movies are bigger than Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I don't think The Matrix movies are bigger than Neo. The T-800 was simply one of many machines that Sky-Net built. Dutch was just a guy that found himself in the cross hairs of a Predator, but Neo is basically cyber Jesus. Neo is the beginning and the end of the matrix. While Keanu Reeves was out doing press for John Wick 2, he was asked about returning to the matrix and he said “The Wachowskis would have to be involved. They would have to write it and direct it. And then we’d see what the story is, but yeah, I dunno, that’d be weird, but why not? People die, stories don’t, people in stories don’t." And so far it doesn't look like the Wachowski's are being recruited to work on the prequel/reboot/whatever, neither is Joel Silver, and going by his comment I'd say that Keanu probably wouldn't be too enthused about returning either.
The Wachowski's have certainly made a ton of money for WB, with the three Matrix movies grossing over $1.6 billion at the box office, but all their efforts thereafter have been extremely disappointing and costly failures for WB. Speed Racer, Cloud Atlas, and Jupiter Ascending have all failed to find the mark in a big way, and some would even say that they missed the mark with Reloaded and Revolutions as well. So maybe WB are ready to put their faith in different writers and directors this time around. I really don't hold much interest for exploring anything in the past either, there was the animatrix for that. My interest would be solely in seeing Neo, and a continuation of the story, rather than a full-blown reboot. The original trilogy doesn't even feel that old, and I enjoyed Reloaded, and even Revolutions quite a lot too. I think WB would be fools to even attempt to continue this story without Keanu Reeves, or even worse, rebooting the entire franchise. My cynical 'spidey sense' also tells me that this project would be PG when the original Matrix were all about noncomformity. Anyone remember the other noncomformist Keanu movie that was remade into a more palatable PG action movie just a couple of years ago without breaking any waves? Point Break of course! Even if WB were to greenlight an R rated matrix movie, I don't see it being able to recreate the lightning in a bottle that was The Matrix trilogy. Better off just leaving well enough alone.