New ‘Matrix’ Movie in the Works With Drew Goddard Writing, Directing

Warner Bros. is heading back into The Matrix, and this time Drew Goddard is leading the charge.

Goddard, the fan-favorite writer-director whose credits include The Martian, The Cabin in the Woods and World War Z, has been tapped to write and direct a new Matrix feature for the studio, Warners announced Wednesday.

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This will be the first The Matrix film not to directly involve creators Lana and Lilly Wachowski, though Lana Wachowski will act as an executive producer on the new installment.

Plot details are being kept hidden on the Nebuchadnezzar, though the studio said Goddard approached the company with a new take to extend the franchise.

“Drew came to Warner Bros. with a new idea that we all believe would be an incredible way to continue the Matrix world, by both honoring what Lana and Lilly began over 25 years ago and offering a unique perspective based on his own love of the series and characters,” said Warner Bros. Motion Pictures president of production Jesse Ehrman in a statement. “The entire team at Warner Bros. Discovery is thrilled for Drew to be making his new Matrix film, adding his vision to the cinematic canon the Wachowskis spent a quarter of a century building here at the studio.”

Released just over 25 years ago, The Matrix swept the imaginations of audiences with a mind-bending story, envelope-pushing special effects and a defining performance from Keanu Reeves. Co-written and co-directed by the Wachowskis, the film revealed how our world was a simulated reality with humans actually being used as batteries for intelligent machines and how one messiah-like figure named Neo was chosen to lead a rebellion. Introducing the idea of “bullet time” as a special effect concept, the movie earned Oscars for best visual effects, editing, sound and sound editing. The movie, grossing $467 million worldwide at the time, became a pop culture touchstone for years afterwards and made Reeves a $20 million player.

The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions were released back to back in 2003 to mixed reviews and uneven box office. Reloaded grossed $741 million, reflecting intense interest in the franchise, while Revolutions made $427 million, showing the growing disappointment of what audiences felt was visual effects being prioritized over story.

Still, Matrix loomed large over pop culture, and Lana Wachowski returned to the franchise in 2021 with The Matrix Resurrections. That one, however, seemed like the end of the line for Neo as the movie grossed only $159 million worldwide amid a day-and-date release on streaming and pandemic challenges in theaters.

The studio clearly has other plans.

Goddard has the genre cred to tackle something such as The Matrix. He began his career writing on the ’90s hit series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and later worked on shows like Angel, Alias and Lost. He created Netflix’s Marvel show Daredevil and was an exec producer on the acclaimed dramedy The Good Place, which dealt with fantasy-like worlds that may or may not be heaven and hell and featured an architect figure.

On the feature side, UTA-repped Goddard wrote the monster movie Cloverfield as well as horror-genre blending Cabin in the Woods, on which he also made his directorial debut. And he earned an Oscar nomination for penning The Martian, the hit space drama directed by Ridley Scott that starred Matt Damon.

“It is not hyperbole to say The Matrix films changed both cinema and my life,” said Goddard in a statement. “Lana and Lilly’s exquisite artistry inspires me on a daily basis, and I am beyond grateful for the chance to tell stories in their world.”

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