Keanu Reeves is set to reprise his role as Neo, a rebel leader battling machines, in a fourth installment of “The Matrix” franchise, Warner Bros. said this week.
He will be joined by Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity, a fellow warrior and Neo’s love interest, in the latest sequel for a franchise whose first film was hailed as a revolution in filmmaking when it debuted in 1999.
The movie will be written, directed and produced by Lana Wachowski, a creator of “The Matrix” franchise with her sister, Lilly. Lilly will not be involved in the latest movie, according to news reports, because she is at work on her latest television project, “Work in Progress.”
Toby Emmerich, the chairman of Warner Bros. Picture Group, made the announcement in a news release on Tuesday. “We could not be more excited to be re-entering ‘The Matrix’ with Lana,” he said. The news was first reported by Variety.
Warner Bros. will produce and distribute the film with Village Roadshow Pictures. Grant Hill has been named a producer along with Ms. Wachowski.
The screenplay, written by Ms. Wachowski, Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell, will explore the dystopian universe plumbed in the first three movies. There, humans live in a simulated computer reality, their bodies harvested for energy to fuel the machines. In those movies, Neo led forces against the machines to set humans free.
“Many of the ideas Lilly and I explored 20 years ago about our reality are even more relevant now,” Ms. Wachowski said in the release.
[“A furious special-effects tornado”: Read our 1999 review of the original “Matrix” movie.]
It is no surprise Warner Bros. is returning to “The Matrix” universe. The original film has been praised by critics for its visual aesthetics and novel action sequences. (At the time it was criticized by some as being too violent.) That movie and its two sequels, “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions,” earned more $1.6 billion at the global box office.
More recently, Mr. Reeves has starred in the “John Wick” franchise. He is having a blockbuster year and is currently filming another sequel to “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” the 1989 movie that helped make him a star.
In recent years, Warner Bros. has been seeking a way to revive “The Matrix” franchise. In 2017, The Hollywood Reporter reported that a fourth movie was in development at Warner Bros., with Michael B. Jordan set to star. At that time, Joel Silver, who produced the original movies, was believed to be involved.
Mr. Silver, though, was not mentioned in the announcement on Tuesday. He and Warner Bros. ended their business relationship in 2012. In June, Mr. Silver left Silver Pictures, the company he founded in 1980, to go out on his own.