The Matrix 4 is less than a month away from its theatrical release, and Warner Bros. just dropped a new trailer. The new preview unsurprisingly features Keanu Reeves in one of his signature roles experiencing something that should be familiar to The Matrix fans of all stripes. From cats to Trinity to even his very past, there are glitches all over the new trailer.
The trailer opens on Keanu Reeves in the rain, turning to face a familiar black cat. We hear the voice of Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss) from the original 1999 film telling Neo — after he spotted another black cat which signaled the death knell for most of the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar — “Déjà vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something.” A flurry of constantly shifting images follows to the tune of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit,” referencing the famous tattoo that first leads Neo to Trinity. You can watch the trailer below.
Perhaps what’s most interesting about the trailer is what it doesn’t outright say, but strongly suggests. Many of the images flashing by are from previous films, but are alter and with new actors playing old roles. For example, we see a flash of Keanu Reeves as Thomas Anderson in The Matrix when Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) horrifically seals his mouth shut, but then we see a flash of Jonathan Groff — whose role has not yet been disclosed — in Reeves’ place. We likewise see changes taking place in Neo’s simulated dojo fight with Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), the latter’s torture at the hands of the Agents, the hallway battle to free Morpheus, and more. All the while, “White Rabbit” continues, as do distorted repeats of Trinity’s words about déjà vu.
All in all, it seems like a pretty big hint that the machines have changed things, at a scope dwarfing what they’ve altered before. Rather than just replacing an exit with a wall like they do to trap Keanu Reeves’ Neo and the other heroes in the first Matrix, they may have somehow changed time itself, and thus changed the events of the original trilogy. This could explain why The Matrix Resurrections will apparently find Neo and Trinity living the same lives they lived before being freed, with Neo having no memory of being The One.
Of course it could be a misdirect from a marketing team that has taken pages from the books of Marvel Studios and have learned to blatantly mislead fans in the previews. One popular fan theory suggests The Matrix 4 will reveal that there is a Matrix within the Matrix and that Keanu Reeves’ Neo was never The One. According to the theory, whenever a human plugged in to the Matrix is about wake up, they are plugged into the second Matrix in which they are fooled into believing they are The One and live out the same adventures Neo does in the original trilogy. This, rather than changes in the timeline, could be why Jonathan Groff’s character apparently experiences the same things as Neo in the new trailer.
We’ll know for sure soon enough. The Matrix Resurrections will be released simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max Wednesday, December 22. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Ann Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and more. The new film is directed by Lana Wachowski.