Because everything old is new again, Warner Bros. is currently readying a reboot of one of the greatest action movies ever made: The Matrix. Indeed, THR reports that the studio is in the early stages of developing a reboot of the groundbreaking 1999 action sci-fi film. The studio is in talks with screenwriter Zak Penn to pen a treatment as they work out exactly how this reboot might work, and they already have their eye on Michael B. Jordan as their potential leading man—although a lot of things have to come together first before this actually becomes real.
The report notes that the involvement of the Wachowski siblings is unknown at the moment. Sisters Lana and Lily Wachowski wrote and directed the first Matrix movie and, spurred by its commercial and critical success, got the backing from Warner Bros. to write and direct a pair of wildly ambitious sequels that were shot back-to-back. The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions weren’t as well received either by audiences or critics, but credit where credit’s due—the Wachowskis got ambitious and refused to simply rehash the plot of the first film in its follow-ups, resulting in a pair of films that, while divisive, are certainly different.
THR notes that WB would want the Wachowski siblings—who most recently helmed the feature Jupiter Ascending and are currently focused on their Netflix series Sense8—to at least give their blessing, but a potential wrench is thrown into the equation in the form of producer Joel Silver, who helped put the original trilogy together. THR reports that Silver and the Wachowskis apparently have “a strained relationship,” and while Silver wants to be involved in this reboot (he sold his interest in The Matrix franchise in 2012), the studio sees the blessing of the Wachowski siblings as more important to the fans than the involvement of the producer. Which is to say, if it comes down to including Silver and excluding the Wachowskis or the other way around, WB will likely err on the side of the directors, and thus Silver may not be involved.
While the idea now is to reboot the franchise on the big screen, THR notes that an early idea of turning it into a TV series was nixed in recent months. Moreover, the studio sees how Marvel and Lucasfilm have developed their shared universes as a potential model for expanding the Matrix franchise—the report specifically mentions a young Morpheus movie as an example of how this reboot could expand beyond a simple redo.
First and foremost the studio has to hit upon a story worth telling, and right now it looks like that’ll be up to Penn. He most recently scripted Warner Bros.’ Ready Player One for director Steven Spielberg, but Penn also co-wrote X-Men: The Last Stand, The Incredible Hulk, and came up with the very first draft for Marvel’s The Avengers.