Keanu Reeves trips back down the rabbit hole in The Matrix Resurrections trailer
"After all these years, to be going back to where it all started… back to the Matrix."
This is the voice of Jonathan Groff in the trailer for The Matrix Resurrections, which dropped early Thursday after teasing out snippets of footage through an interactive fan site. Sure enough, Keanu Reeves' Neo is going all the way back to the beginning, while offering first looks at some buzzed-about cast members.
The trailer opens in a therapist's office where Neil Patrick Harris' character is running a session. Mr. Thomas Anderson seems to have no recollection of the past few years. He doesn't remember how he, the computer programmer known by his alias Neo, learned of the Matrix, the simulated virtual reality used by artificially intelligent machines in the future to keep humans docile while they farmed them for energy. He doesn't remember being liberated from the Matrix or becoming the One, a prophesied hero with the ability to manipulate the world of the Matrix. Nothing of the events that transpired in the previous films, which feature in the Resurrections trailer as dreams Neo had that feel real.
Neo doesn't even remember Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), and vice versa. He's been taking a bounty of blue pills. Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne says he's not returning for the sequel) once told him the red pill would free him from the Matrix, while the blue pill would keep him happily in this fake world.
Fortunately, forces at play are ready to wake him back up. As the Jefferson Airplane song "White Rabbit" begins to play, the trailer shows Priyanka Chopra's character reading a copy of Alice in Wonderland, while Jessica Henwick (Iron Fist) sports a rabbit tattoo. Those who've seen the first Matrix of 1999 will remember Neo received a message to "follow the white rabbit" as the first step in his journey. That ended up being a woman with a white rabbit tattoo.
"If you want the truth, Neo, you're going to have to follow me," Henwick says in character.
Then, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II comes into the picture. We still don't know officially who he's playing, but he's seen sporting a pair of sunglasses similar to Morpheus, and he hands Neo a red pill. There is one thing we do know about him: He knows kung fu! We see the pair sparring with each other in a training session similar to the one from the first film.
"The only thing that matters to you is still here," he says. "I know that's why you're fighting, and why you'll never give up."
"You don't know me," Neo replies. It seems this man does.
Last we saw Neo in 2003's The Matrix Revolutions, he appeared to lose his life after a battle against Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving). The machines, in a truce with the humans, take his body back to their domain, while vacating their attack on Zion, the last human city in this apocalyptic future. However, the Resurrections trailer offers glimpses of the machines working on Neo's body, seemingly keeping him alive and safely plugged into the Matrix.
Lana Wachowski, who co-wrote and co-directed the past movies with her sister Lilly, is now helming The Matrix Resurrections solo. The sequel, coming 18 years after the original trilogy ended, will mark an expansion to the story of Neo and Trinity "that ventures back into the Matrix and even deeper down the rabbit hole," according to an official description. "A mind-bending new adventure with action and epic scale, it's set in a familiar yet even more provocative world where reality is more subjective than ever and all that's required to see the truth is to free your mind."
As Neo once said, whoa!
The Matrix Resurrections also features Jada Pinkett Smith's return as Niobe. The film will be released Dec. 22 in theaters and on HBO Max.