I think if you were to ask any fan of The Matrix, they would argue that this movie is a classic. Despite being nearly 20 years old, the original film not only holds up extremely well, but has a terrific story, amazing action sequences, and it’s just damn good. So let’s discuss why it does not need a reboot.
Hollywood sure has a fascination for taking old things and giving it unnecessary face lifts, don’t they? From Disney classics to reboots of comic book franchise films, you’d be hard-pressed to find an original story that isn’t either a sequel, prequel, or remake out there. And don’t get me wrong, not all reboots are bad. For thousands of years we have been retelling stories. But I really feel like The Matrix is a series that could be damaged by a reboot.
Before I go too deep into this, I will say that it hasn’t been announced if this will be a complete remake, with Neo as our main character, or if this will be a movie to branch off of the originals, but EITHER WAY, I’m not happy. Here’s why.
We Don’t Need A Complete Remake
Let’s start with a bit of a history lesson. For those unfamiliar with The Matrix, or maybe too young to remember 1999 clearly, this is for you. You may be familiar with the term Y2K. The Y2K bug may be one of the most amusing moments in more recent history to look back on. You see, back in the earlier years of technology, a massive amount of people weren’t sure what would happen when we transitioned from 1999 to the year 2000. There was quite a bit of hysteria. Would the computers of the world shut down? Would major systems fail between December 31st, 1999 and January 1st, 2000!? The Matrix came out at the right time to play off this fear.
Unlike some classics that can be retold or modernized, if you take The Matrix out of that time period, where people were gathering supplies and building bomb shelters just to escape “the end” the year 2000 would bring, it looses some of it’s more powerful meaning. That would be like everyone being warned about The Blair Witch Project being faked before people found their seats. Spoiler: the reason it was so terrifying is because audiences thought people actually died looking for the Blair Witch!
Of course we know now the world didn’t end in 2000, but people watching The Matrix at release were unsure or frightened of what was to come. Removing that context makes a complete remake of the original film irrelevant. It’s 2017! We may still be able to talk about machines taking over the world someday, but not in the same way as during Y2K.
We Don’t Need A Sequel
So this one, of course, is much more up for debate, but I’m going to list why I don’t think The Matrix needs a sequel either. If you watched The Matrix Revolutions, the franchise closes itself out very well. A war between human and machine has been won by the humans. Neo made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the survival of the human race this time around. Which makes me fear that a continuation of the series will have a gimmicky feel.
“Hey guys, turns out Neo lived,” would ruin what his character is about: being the only one to end the war and him needing to decide to make that ultimate sacrifice.
“Hey guys, we were joking! The machines won and the story is starting over again,” would make it so that we will never feel satisfied with the ending because no one would ever win the war!
“Hey guys, we made it to the surface of the Earth…now what,” is the only option in my mind that seems viable, and even still, I don’t think we need to see what happens after the war. Humanity is free! Right? Right?!
We Don’t Need A Prequel
The only thing, in my opinion, that would make sense would be to have a prequel. And do we really need one? Throughout the three original Matrix movies, we are told all about the story of “The One”. That there have been multiple people considered to be “The One”. That every time the humans felt they had found “The One”, this person failed in ending the war between machines and humans. So. Say it with me. We would already know the ending.
They’ve all died! And if “The One” died without ending the war, everyone else died too! And the world reset and the machines tried again. It would literally be a never-ending cycle of knowing what the outcome was because the original movies did an amazing job in explaining themselves.
The Matrix is an outstanding film. And it’s the first movie in an amazing trilogy. I will continue to watch those three movies probably for the rest of my life. But I really don’t think we need a new version.