'The Matrix Resurrections': Release date, trailer, and everything we know about the sequel

The Matrix Resurrections
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The Matrix Resurrections is nearly here, with a second trailer landing and tickets about to go on sale to one of the biggest movies of 2021.

The Matrix changed the game when it was released in 1999. Despite its first two sequels not living up to fans’ expectations, that hasn’t stopped anticipation from being sky-high for the fourth movie in the action franchise.

The original trilogy starred Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Ann Moss, and Laurence Fishburne as Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus, respectively. In an apocalyptic world, they fought against machines that have imprisoned much of humanity in a simulated reality known as the Matrix. The trademark of the franchise was a slow-motion technique dubbed “bullet time” that other films attempted to rip off, but few could duplicate to the same effect.

Explaining why he wanted to return to The Matrix world, Keanu Reeves told Entertainment Weekly: "We had filmmakers who you wanted to say yes to." Adding: "[we had] material that you wanted to commit to, to give everything that you could to."

What can we expect from another trip inside the Matrix? Here’s everything that we know about The Matrix Resurrections so far.

'The Matrix Resurrections' release date

Warner Bros. has set a Dec. 22 release date for The Matrix Resurrections. As with all Warner Bros. movies in 2021, that release date will be for both movie theaters and a streaming release on HBO Max.

The hybrid release strategy for films has been a big topic for Hollywood over the last year and change, and will continue to be moving forward. However, Warner Bros. has already made a commitment that it will return to exclusively releasing its movies in theaters for a set window (now 45 days) before launching the films on streaming.

The Matrix Resurrections will be the final film that gets the day-and-date release in theaters and on streaming. It will be available on HBO Max for 30 days after its release and is only available to subscribers to the $14.99 HBO Max plan.

What is the plot of ‘The Matrix Resurrections’?

No official details on the plot of The Matrix Resurrections have come out yet, but Warner Bros. debuted the first footage from the sequel at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, the annual convention for movie theater owners, with the trailer for the film being released shortly thereafter (watch below). 

The footage shows Keanu Reeves’ Neo/Thomas Anderson with a therapist (played by Neil Patrick Harris), discussing dreams and feeling that things are not right with the world. Then in a coffee shop, he runs into Carrie-Ann Moss’ character, but the two do not know each other. Neo is taking blue pills daily until he meets a man (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) that gives him a red pill. The footage then shows Neo’s powers and action sequences that fans of The Matrix franchise will be familiar with.

Clearly, what we can gather from this is that Neo and Trinity have lost all memory of the Matrix and need to be woken up once again. What exactly lies in store for them after that we still don’t know, but are looking forward to finding out.

A second trailer, also below, has teased yet more plot details. The new trailer opens with Trinity saying: "A déjà vu is usually a glitch in The Matrix, it happens when they change something".

Who is in 'The Matrix Resurrections' cast?

Original trilogy stalwarts Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss are of course on board to reprise their characters Neo and Trinity. While Laurence Fishburne is sadly absent from the film, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II bore a striking resemblance to a young Morpheus in the trailer. 

Jada Pinkett Smith (Niobe), Daniel Bernhardt (Agent Johnson) and Lambert Wilson (The Merovingian) are also set to come back for the latest sequel.

New additions to The Matrix Resurrections cast include the previously mentioned Neil Patrick Harris, as well as Christina Ricci, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Jonathan Groff, Jessica Henwick and Ellen Hollman.

Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Ann Moss and more are front and center in the official poster for The Matrix Resurrections.

The Matrix Resurrections

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Some individual character posters have also been released that you can check out directly below:

Who is 'The Matrix Resurrections' director?

The original Matrix trilogy was directed by the Wachowski siblings, Lana and Lilly. However, just Lana Wachowski is returning to direct The Matrix Resurrections

Lilly Wachowski recently explained why she chose not to return for the sequel, saying that with all the things that was going on with her during her transition, she wasn’t interested in retreading previous material.

This will be the first feature film that the Wachowskis have not directed as a duo.

'The Matrix Resurrections' reviews

The reviews are in for The Matrix Resurrections. What to Watch's review from Todd Gilchrist gave the movie three stars. With the movie's self-referential nature, he laments that the film doesn't strive to push the industry forward as much as its original. 

Enjoyment of The Matrix Resurrections appears to come down to how on board you are with the film's meta commentary, as other reviewers have praised the choice.

Overall, The Matrix Resurrections has a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 68% Fresh and a Metacritic score of 65.

What to Watch will have its review for The Matrix Resurrections on Dec. 21.

'The Matrix Resurrections' trailers

Just weeks away from the release of The Matrix Resurrections, Warner Bros. has released a brand new trailer that gives us the best look at what the movie will be about. It looks like amid all of the changes to the Matrix that have been made (teased in the "Deja vu" trailer below), Neo's mission will be to reconnect with Trinity. The good news is, as Neo says at the end of the trailer, her still knows kung fu. Watch the full trailer below.

You can also check out the previous trailers for The Matrix Resurrections below.

How to watch 'The Matrix' movies

Before you watch The Matrix: Resurrections, you can catch up with the original trilogy of films on streaming.

The entire Matrix trilogy (The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions) is available to stream on HBO Max. This means that once The Matrix: Resurrections is on the streaming service you can play all four movies back-to-back-to-back-to-back if you really wanted to.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.