Yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Warner Brothers is currently kicking around the idea of a reboot of The Matrix featuring Michael B. Jordan of Creed. And twitter completely exploded with hate and eye rolling. Everyone seems to think this is a bad idea. But in reality, it is absolutely brilliant. Allow me to explain why.
Reboot is a computer term
Reboots and remakes catch a lot of flack in Hollywood. Everyone claims they want to see new ideas, but flock to sequels and live action adaptations in droves. The Matrix can easily buck this trend easily based on plot points already established in the franchise.
Let’s also not forget that rebooting is a computer term that Hollywood co-opted and mangled into the term that we hate today. When you reboot a computer, you are turning it on and off again, but what happens on a technical level is so much more complex than that. First off, turning off a computer clears it RAM, and starts all of its processes, like the OS and background programs, over again.
The Matrix lies heavily on cyberpunk elements, and the entire plot of the movie is based around humans and their perception of a computer program. So wouldn’t a reboot actually make sense in this franchise?
It’s all in canon
The idea of reboots of The Matrix is actually canon in the franchise. In climax of The Matrix Reloaded, which everyone saw but no one admits to liking, the program named The Architect tells Neo that not only is he The One, but the machines were prepared for his ascendance into near godhood inside the Matrix. The Architect also tells Neo the hard truth that not only is he The One, but he is the sixth iteration of The One.
This means there are 5 other tales of The One that are ripe to be explored, already built into the canon of the established movies. In The Matrix Reloaded Neo makes the choice to return to the Matrix to save Trinities life, but the 5 other iterations made the opposite decision to be reinserted into the source code of the Matrix and restart Zion.
As the saying goes though, the journey is more important than the destination. So why don’t we use that journey to explore different iterations of the One? Why not have a One who understands his role as a savior immediately, not wishing to dabble in the Matrix once he transcends? What if that One goes straight to the machine city upon gaining powers to self sacrifice himself to rebuild Zion? What if an iteration of the One is a woman? What if an iteration of the One manifests in The Matrix during the 1800’s?
There are so many possibilities for this story to expand and be fleshed out, and because of the computer simulation framing, it can all be done without stepping on the original trilogies toes. Plus, they could tell the story of one of The One’s iteration and then follow it up with a completely different cast and story following a different The One.
The one downside though…
The one downside with the announcement from Warner Brothers is the possibility that they will be pursuing this version of The Matrix without any input from The Wachowski’s. Which is a damn shame. Sure Jupiter Ascending bombed hard, but Sense8 is incredibly solid Sci-Fi that explored themes that generic space operas and comic book movies refuse to explore.
It is still way too early to tell if The Wachowski’s will be involved, but hopefully they can reach an agreement with Warner Brothers. The world of The Matrix has so many awesome storytelling possibilities, and if handled the right way, could bring the original R-rated franchise back to life.