The Matrix Resurrections Synopsis Hints Original Sequels Aren't Canon

The official Matrix Resurrections synopsis hints the original Matrix sequels are no longer canon. After the first Matrix film became one of 1999's most critically-acclaimed and commercially successful movies, two followups moved forward to round out a trilogy. Released in 2003, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions weren't as well-received as the groundbreaking original, ending the series on a whimper. The Matrix Revolutions was a low point for the franchise, grossing just $139.3 million domestically.

This is part of what made The Matrix Resurrections such an intriguing project. In addition to seeing Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne-Moss play their iconic characters again, there was hope The Matrix Resurrections could make up for the Matrix sequels' shortcomings and return the series to its former glory. With the release of the first Matrix Resurrections trailer, audiences are looking over the footage, trying to figure out how the film fits into the larger Matrix story. As it turns out, only the first movie may be required viewing.

Related: Why Matrix 4 Is So Exciting (Despite The Bad Sequels)

Warner Bros. released the official Matrix Resurrections synopsis, which interestingly refers to the film as a "continuation of the story established in the first MATRIX film." The second paragraph sells the movie as a "continuation and extension of the original movie." Read the full synopsis in the space below:

"The Matrix Resurrections" is a continuation of the story established in the first MATRIX film. It reunites Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss as cinematic icons Neo & Trinity in an expansion of their story that ventures back into the Matrix and even deeper down the rabbit hole. 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.

20 years after the first film, the franchise that helped define pop culture at the turn of the century is back for a continuation and extension of the original movie. The Matrix remains in the zeitgeist as a film that has changed the way we look at cinema and reality itself. With its game changing action and visual effects, The Matrix helped pave the way for films to follow.

The "continuation and extension of the original movie" line in particular seems to imply The Matrix Resurrections is not connected to Reloaded and Revolutions. The new film does appear to be something of a soft reboot, with Neo trying to piece together fragmented memories that are (perhaps not so coincidentally) drawn from the first Matrix. It is difficult to piece together too many Matrix Resurrections story details from the trailer, so it will be fascinating to see how the narrative unfolds in the final film. Ignoring the two original sequels has its pros and cons. On one hand, The Matrix Resurrections would disassociate itself from two titles that were poorly received upon release and have a clean slate to work with. However, the Matrix sequels have their fair share of fans that would like to see the films acknowledged in this new continuation.

If The Matrix Resurrections goes this route, it would hardly be the first recent Hollywood legacy sequel to only recognize the original film as canon. The 2018 Halloween movie was a direct sequel to the 1978 original, and Terminator: Dark Fate was a followup to Terminator 2: Judgment Day. This approach has delivered mixed results in the past, so hopefully The Matrix Resurrections turns out for the best. Based on the early footage, the film looks to be a visually-stunning spectacle filled with all the thrilling action and revolutionary special effects The Matrix is known for. Whether the first two sequels are canon or not, The Matrix Resurrections will ideally serve as a springboard to more installments.

Next: Matrix Resurrections Trailer Breakdown

Source: Warner Bros.

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