Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
[flagged] Keanu Reeves will return as Neo in new ‘Matrix’ film (latimes.com)
85 points by pseudolus 57 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 95 comments

I wish Hollywood studios would create more new original stuff. There was a meme circulated around a few weeks back with a movie theater sign with Childsplay, Toy Story 4, Godzilla, Aladdin and Men in Black on it with the title, "The 90s called and want their movies back."

I get that older movies with established franchises can be secure bets to bring in money, but there's a lot of diminishing returns. I feel some people just see these releases in the theaters because there's nothing else released.

Lots of original movies are released - probably more than ever. It is just that the public prefers names they know, so the sequels/prequel/reboots/adaptions generate more money and attention.

Just look at all the attention this announcement gets. You don't get a HN thread because some studio announce they will film an original story from an unknown screenwriter.

>Lots of original movies are released - probably more than ever. It is just that the public prefers names they know

In the 80s and 90s we had bladerunner, the original matrix of course, we had alien and a significant amount of mainstream, big name fiction. Yes, retro movies have always existed but alongside the creation of entirely new genres, in particular in science fiction. We had Gibson alongside others creating the entirely new cyberpunk subgenre that influenced many of these original movies.

What exactly is the equivalent of this today? Yes we have some new stuff, I liked Ted Chiang's Arrival for example, but is there a big new future oriented wave of genuinely new fiction? I don't see it at all.

Annihilation, Dark City, Riddick Chronicles, Babylon A.D., Guardians of The Galaxy, Fast and Furious, Hummingbird, Transporter, Crank, Hardcore Henry, Revolver, Lucy, Ghost in The Shell, Now you see me, Passengers, Transcendence, Maze Runner, Limitless...

I think we've had a good run; I also think it's easy to be biased and not see it because of some nostalgia-effect of sorts. If you are f.e. 30+ you might more easily dismiss a movie as Limitless or Lucy as uncredible; both are based on a common myth that we only utilize a low percentage of our brains capacity, as an example, so they are that: unrealistic. But I think that's an unfair comparison because of an inherent bias that when you think about a movie like The Matrix you don't see it with the same critical lens because you perhaps had less knowledge of the world in your earlier years. #JustAFewThoughts

> But I think that's an unfair comparison because of an inherent bias that when you think about a movie like The Matrix you don't see it with the same critical lens because you perhaps had less knowledge of the world in your earlier years.

Nah, the worst BS explanation in The Matrix was just as immediately triggering, even though I was younger. The difference is that:

(1) the rest of the movie contradicted the nonsense explanation (in part because it wasn't the actual concept, but a revision added in narration only without revising the rest of the film (or the sequels) around it in response to test audiences confusion with the explanation that the creators originally had in mind), and

(2) the narration providing it was given to a character that, while set up as the “wise mentor”, it was pretty critical to the entire series was unreliable narrator.

The 80s and 90s are a 20 year period. So you shouldn't compare it to "today", you should compare it to another 20 year period. And it is not even 20 years since the end of the 90's.

>And it is not even 20 years since the end of the 90's

it's 2019 mate, the original matrix movie actually is 20 years old as of last month, doesn't feel like it to me either but here we are.

But of course the point isn't to haggle about a year or two, really this cultural stagnation in mainstream fiction has been going on since I'd say at least the mid 2000s. The wave of marvel movie reproductions has been happening for a while, the first Iron Man came out in 2008 and ever since then it seems mainstream cinema has moved more and more to generic, established aesthetics and stories.

My point is if you look at the last 20 years you will also find a lot of good movies. If you don't like Marvel or Star Wars movies, watch something else, there is plenty to chose from.

Yeah if you look at movie marketing, the spending is focused on the big, safe "tentpole" movies. If you don't seek out movies to your own taste, it might seem like the blockbusters are the only ones getting produced.

This is a common, modern, signal-to-noise problem. There's more media than there's ever been. In absolute terms, there's more good media, too! It's just not very large percentage of the total media available.

Not sure, you might be right about the quantity, but what about the quality?

I think it's a matter of phases. There will be a glut of retreads, people will yearn for something new. Something new and good will come out and be wildly successful. This will inspire a glut of novel stuff much of which will be mediocre. People will turn back to the tried-and-true including retreads of successful recent innovations. Rinse, repeat.

I'm deliriously happy. If you'd showed 15 year old me the slate of Marvel movies released in the last 10 years, I'd have freaked out. The kids these days don't know they're born.

No, it is always the same. People say they want something new and original, but they will actually go and see something they already have a relationship to.

I'm pretty sure lost of people here who are critical of a Matrix sequel will go and see it anyway, if nothing else just to be able to complain.

If we reframe the discussion a tiny bit, The Matrix is a terrible example of an original story. Its almost the exact same category as Star Wars. Classic heros journey, pastiching tons of other familiar works they decided were influencial (in this case sci fi, cyberpunk, philosophy, religion, anime, hong kong action, karate..) all wrapped in a very tightly defined worldbuilding bow. These kinds of movies resonate and last precisely because of how derivative and unoriginal they are. They are giants standing on the shoulders of other giants.

None of that is intended to diminish the movie in any way.

It's not really Star Wars (which isn't quite original either; borrowed heavily from WW2 and various Sci-Fi/Fantasy blends), but more Simulation and Simulacra (I think the creators even talked about that book being one of their influences).

I mean, all stories tend to follow a Hero's Journey. It's difficult to create a good/entertaining story that doesn't.

I said it's like star wars in that they are both heavily deravitive pastiches, collages of past pop culture remixed. I defined their category as: hero journey, pastiche, over the top world building. I didn't say the matrix was derived from star wars. They are akin to each other, in that they exhibit the same properties.

That reference is the book in the movie where Neo puts his stash: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6R94keJcHk

Many perceive movies from their youth as the most original, since it was the first time they met the ideas and tropes.

When they see a newer films rehashing the same tropes, they consider them unoriginal, without realizing that the "original" film was also just recycled ideas.

> there's a lot of diminishing returns.

is there? I feel that these remakes are making way too much money for way too little "original effort". People, despite what they say, still go to watch it.

> but there's a lot of diminishing returns

Disney disagrees. Have a look at the box office of their live action remakes:

- Beauty and the Beast: https://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=beautyandthebeast20...

- Aladdin: https://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=disneyfairytale2201...

- The Lion King: https://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=lionkingliveaction....

Why wouldn't they keep making the same movies over and over with billion dollar returns like that?

The '90s were twenty years ago. It's not that long, but about the same amount as time between the original Star Wars and The Phantom Menace. Or between the Batman movie with Adam West and Tim Burton's Batman. And it was only 34 years from the silent version of Ben Hur to the Technicolor classic.

Think about this, since it's the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. When that festival happened, rock and roll[1] music wasn't even 20 years old.

[1] https://www.knkx.org/post/we-agree-was-first-ever-recorded-r...

True and the mind boggles how much they are spending on trash, and how much they are raking in.

Just Disney projected hitting 7 billion dollar blockbusters this year. Look at the titles - Aladdin, Lion King, Toy Story 4, Star Wars, Frozen 2, Avengers End Game, Capt Marvel. There is nothing new there.

Calling these blockbusters "trash" is just elitist bullshit. They are good movies. While I myself prefer Tarantino to Frozen, I would not want a 10 year old kid to see Once upon a time in Hollywood, and you are stolid if you do.

> There is nothing new there.

I would say there are no new stories and there haven't been for a long time.

What is the Iliad if not a superhero movie? You have the world's greatest warrior, Achilles, a demigod, unbeatable except for his one super-weakness. Sound familiar?

Something I find interesting about all the recent superhero movies is that the battles are staged very much like ancient battles - soldiers in formation fighting hand to hand. This of course gives the heroes the opportunity to be heroic on the field. And again it's just like the Iliad.

I wish Hollywood studios would create more new original stuff.

One the other hand there are now more Not-Hollywood studios releasing more original stuff than ever before and it's easier than ever before to actually see those films (although perhaps not at the cinema).

Globally I feel this era (last 20 years) is not good soil to innovations. Change in tech made people somehow focus on visuals. Change in medias (TV shows becoming premium quality) took some from hollywood. Also the new generation has .. no grit.

It's a cycle, 90s kids are in their 30s now, with money to spend on 90s fashion, movies, etc. in 2019

I remember the same arguments in the 90's, everything was a remake of something from the 70's.

The trend to do ever more sequels, prequels, reboots, other stories in the same universe etc has a really awful side-effect that everything is always explained. There is no mystery in any of these things that won't eventually be explained in full and therefore no gaps left for the imagination of the viewer to fill in. The original Matrix film in my opinion would be significantly more interesting if all the loose ends hadn't been conveniently tied up in subsequent films.

Imagine if we hadn't seen how Anakin became Darth Vader? As a kid I imagined a much more terrifying journey that turned him to the dark side. The prequels could never live up to that.

Edit: ...and on the other hand, imagine a "Duel" prequel where we get to see the truck driver's backstory. Consider how dramatically this would reduce the stature of the original film. (p.s. If you haven't seen "duel" you should).

When Steven Spielberg created Close Encounters of the Third Kind, he showed the interior of the spacecraft which he now regrets. There is something to be said for capturing the imagination of the audience and leaving them wanting more.

Also, midiclorians.

I didn't know he said this. An interesting comparison point with books, although they're more detailed than films, they also dont touch the same part and leave us dreaming more.

It's a deeply interesting subject IMO.

I think it taps into existential crysis in a way, the nature of post ww2 youth oriented culture, immature notion of art and even the ubiquitous computer era we're in.

As you say, sometimes, things don't need an explanation, they're as great as they can be. It's more magic than logic and it's exactly right. It's a normal reflex to want to dig more but if you forget to make the explanation a good story with its own sense of magic/appeal.. you just killed your subject.

So many movies did that, even gore movies reboot trying to explain the jail time of a serial killer.

I really believe that the computing era gave this notion that more facts and logic equals better. Before people did entertainment for it and made it good enough to fulfill its duty, with a form of art. It can be an action movie, an adventure thing.. it didn't have to be PhD level of truthiness.

And the existential crysis.. so much of reboots feel like a desire at reliving virginal moments of our childhood. It's slightly (if not more) backward, it's better to take a leap of faith and create new instead of making our own little inception sublevel jails.

I'm curious to see how this will pan out. I think the Matrix trilogy is a good example of a movie franchise that probably should've ended after the first movie, but perhaps the Wachowskis can pull a (white) rabbit out of their hat.

I actually like all three parts. Sequels are hard, and considering how a lot of new shows fail miserably in S2, I really think they were awesome. But it is just my view.

But the ending is logical and complete (that zion gets eternally created and destroyed). There were a lot of unanswered questions at the end of first and second films (I feel terrible watching Neo and trinity die. but still..).

I would stop after the second but then you would need a different ending.

I heard the original idea was, a single prequel and a single sequel.

Instead studio supposedly wanted to cash-in, so there was anime-prequel anthology, a short prologue film two sequels themselves and a companion game.

And I do think there is an excellent ~2 hour movie hidden somewhere in some ginormous edit combining all of the matrix-sequels material, instead of what we got, that was still good and entertaining, but not living up to the hype :)

The whole 2003 meme of making a 3-5 hour movie and splitting it into 2 parts was pretty much a horrible idea, and thankfully hasn't really caught on.

It was much better, than a season of nothing on netflix which should be 3 hours max instead of 10-12.

>perhaps the Wachowskis

*Wachowski, only one of them is doing the movie (Lana)

You're right, I stand corrected.

Given the hidden meaning of the whole series, I wouldn't be surprised as to how Neo would still be alive in the movie.

Spoiler Alert:

In fact, Morpheus was in charge (by the Machines) to search for people in the Matrix who thought something was wrong. He would then offer them a chance of waking up in the "real world". But this real world turned out to be yet another Matrix designed by the Machines to deceive those people into thinking that they're actually fighting the Machines while in fact, they were still in another Matrix! It was a perfectly designed illusion. This idea gets more serious when you realize how absurd it is for the Machines - that basically took over the world - to need human brain power to operate. Then again, maybe this whole Matrix is not designed by the Machines and only follows a script written by humans to predict possible future scenarios. I'd be willing to watch the next Matrix film!

Plot twist: Machines didn't take over, but some other entity did (aliens, other humans or maybe even some other weird and abstract concept of something) and the Matrix is indeed just some decoy to hide all the other meta layers, which in the end result in the truth that basically everything is a simulation, including the concept of said entity taking over something to run this simulation in the first place ... or they pull off the super disappointing "everything was just a dream" meme. Sounds like fun to watch in any case!

The machines using human brains for computation or something would make a lot more sense than the bioelectricity and a form of fusion that the movies go with.

All of Zion is working on the search, the story just focuses on the group that finds "the one".

Mice. Searching for The Question. We already know 42 is the answer.

So... a mashup with 1984 or Equilibrium?

If only they "unmade" the sequels, pretended they never happened and just did a proper sequel, keeping to spirit of original Matrix...

what sequels? I don't remember no sequels /s

Those Matrix sequels people keep discussing must be some sort of déjà vu.

It really is just as well some creators have the commitment to keep true to their original vision. I mean, imagine how much Star Wars could have got screwed up if anyone had tried to extend it beyond the original Trilogy?

Whoa, déjà vu... A glitch in the matrix

I feel quality storytelling has tailed off in Hollywood.

The aim is to produces movies with the broadest appeal, ideally in other markets beyond the US. While that makes business sense, having to ensure a movie can translate to many languages and cultures has the effect of overly simplifying dialog and focusing on visuals and action sequences.

Making a clever, deep, challenging and insightful movie with originality that can also be slotted into many target markets is a reach too far and so we end up digging around well known franchises and opting for the same old predictable stories.

The big screen is too big now. The future of engaging storytelling is increasingly going to need to come from other places.

It probably will have something to do with Neo electrocuting Sentries in the "Real World" and the fact that "Real World" is just another matrix.

That is one of my favorite theory, that IRL in matrix is the actual top layer of simulation meant to keep the anomaly contained. Maybe that's the direction they will take? But honestly I'd rather not have Matrix 4 be a thing at all :/

Or maybe this was all a dream and neo and trinity will wake up in their boring lives at the start and for 2h go about their uneventful, shitty lives :D

or it could explore the concept that the world is a simulation all the way down (and all the way up!)...

They might go that route. But Neo doing that is believable even without another matrix.

This is gonna be interesting. The plot has to be good because the innovation in special effects is over.

Although KR is super dedicated to the fighting stuff apparently, so that should be good. Maybe Smith comes back and they just give them a new reason to brawl. I would go see that.

Actually I would prefer an awesome Neo-vs-Smith fight over the "infinite worlds" idea. I don't see what's left to explore in that direction, the transition from one world to another is just the same as going from the Matrix to the real world. Lose your identity and start over, except you'll gradually realize you've never had any real identity outside any of the Matrix-worlds. So, your identity is completely contextual... but maybe there are some things that never change? What is human nature and what isn't? But they kind of did this in the third movie already, where it was revealed the prophecy is a lie. Back to square one for Neo.

Whatever it is, I hope it's not going to be a PC reboot with a female lead or something. Though actually I'd be alright with it if they made it mainly about Trinity.

It might be good. Who would have predicted 10 years ago that a Blade Runner sequel would be outstanding?

It's not even close to outstanding.

I agree, it was a huge letdown for me. The whole film felt like it was built around fan service and visual appeal. Don't even get me started on Jared Leto or the ending "twist", that part was so cringy.

I agree. Tedious, sentimental garbage. It makes the original appear even more remarkable.

I think that once the people running Hollywood realized they can make a consistent profit from running the same stories over and over again, they lost all appetite for risk and for trying out new things.

The end result is endless reboots and sequels at the box office.

> once the people running Hollywood realized they can make a consistent profit from running the same stories over and over again

You mean 1940?

Did anyone at all watching the movie in the cinema at the time think that the character's name was "Neil" but spoken sort of London style "Neeh-ul" with the final "l" more or less silent?

I ask because despite sort of knowing it could not be so I still found myself not 100% certain. On the one hand why would Americans say Neil that way. On the other hand what kind of daft name was "Neo" especially if you're trying to create a solid sense of reality prior to ripping back the curtain?

Certainly kept me guessing anyway...

The character's names are a reference to his messianic destiny in the movie. So:

- Neo is an anagram of "one" because he is "The One" who will change the destiny of mankind

- His first name is Thomas which is a reference to Doubting Thomas: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doubting_Thomas

- His surname is Anderson, which translates as "son of man" which is a reference to Jesus: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Son_of_man_(Christianity)

Not particularly, considering that it is his hacker name and not his "real" name (which is Thomas A. Anderson) and that all of the other characters have similar names (Trinity, Morpheus, Switch, Cypher, etc.)

> On the other hand what kind of daft name was "Neo" especially if you're trying to create a solid sense of reality prior to ripping back the curtain?

Neo is an anagram of One.

It's interesting because I watched the movies just a few weeks ago once again, and I promise you (spoilers ahead) that Neo and Trinity are quite dead :). Let's see how they come back to life... Maybe flashbacks? Maybe a Matrix before Matrix? Maybe a Matrix reboot?

I'm scared and happy at the same time about this news.

It's been my personal opinion that John Wick was just a simulated version of Neo and if he realizes this he can connect the Matrix trilogy with the John Wick trilogy.

At the end of Revolutions, conversing with the Architect, the Oracle predicts Neo's return. Given that Agent Smith's consciousness wasn't destroyed by his apparent obliteration at the end of the first film, and was able to mind upload into human victims, I think there's already an established mechanic for the resurrection of characters "killed" within the Matrix. Additionally, Neo is not a natural born human, but presumably genetically engineered in a repeatable process which could recreate his body.

But Trinity died (and probably Neo too) outside Matrix...

> Let's see how they come back to life... Maybe flashbacks? Maybe a Matrix before Matrix? Maybe a Matrix reboot?

Or a matrix inside the Matrix

The 'real world' is actually the Blue Matrix. Notice how it has a slight blue colour tint, to distinguish it from the inner Green Matrix. It's a theory.

And then we'll need an infinite number of sequels

Yes. What if we are living in the sequel watching Matrix sequel?

By making Neo have some super powers outside of matrix, they opened doors to a lot of potential crazy ideas. Matrix recursion?

There are a lot of "reboots" of various franchises, but in this case it actually makes sense in-universe. :]

>Let's see how they come back to life...




I hope that this new film will be more a technological and philosophical horror, and not attempt to replicate more gimmicky and dated aspects of the films for a sense of nostalgia. The Matrix universe certainly contains many dark and thought provoking themes which could be further expanded on.

Pretty sure that all the way back just after Matrix 3 was released there was a statement from Keanu Reeves in media that he turned down offerings on participating in a fourth Matrix movie. Like forever and he will not talk about it any more. Of course I can't find a resource on that right now because (thanks to nowadays SEO optimizations I guess) the first dozen pages are cluttered with related links on that there will be a fourth movie with Keanu now. Maybe someone else can confirm or debunk this "myth" ...

I think, you may have mistaken his quote on the sequel of the movie "Speed". He said in an interview, that despite having a good working relationship(& chemistry) with Sandra Bullock, he declined the sequel because the movie plot didn't interest him.

Funny I was just thinking how much of the first Matrix captured his time. It was an unquestionnable instant hit. I wonder if they can still grab that mindshare effect.

I’m fine with this. Keanu’s action movies tend to have action that is actually creative and enjoyable to watch. Most fight scenes are really quite boring, but I’m happy to watch John Wick kill people for a few hours.

The Matrix is a good setting for action films. I won’t care terribly if it lacks the philosophical or sci fi aspects

Neo, this is loco!

I wish they had made more of the animated shorts in the animatrix, or a live action equivalent. I'd love to see a continuation of the lore/universe from all kinds of different short stories and perspectives

He's also doing another Bill and Ted:


This is something I'll watch.

big matrix fan but to me it also feels like a period piece, with the matrix itself being designed around the millenium era of human existence (our peak, before AI) and the whole land line/payphone/cellphone thing for example..... it worked at the time the movie was released because that was our reality

weird/hard to go back to that, but jumping it ahead to current day seems weird too. I dunno

Like the last two parts were not enough of a disappointment...

Matrix 4! Good news in this real world dystopia nowadays :)

I think i just saw a black cat pass by... twice...

sad keanu morphs to cool keanu

whoaaaa downvotes.

Will Charlize Theron play his grandma?

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact