The Matrix 5 Makes No Sense At All

By Jacob VanGundy | Updated

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When The Matrix came out in 1999 I’d never seen anything like it–the sense of style and special effects made it stand out in the action genre even before I was old enough to understand its layers of allegory. While the sequels never landed for me like the original, the core of what made it a special story still existed in the specific style of the Wachowski sisters. The Matrix 5 with a new writer and director risks losing that core. 

The Matrix Deserves More Than Becoming Another MCU

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It’s been announced that The Matrix 5 will be written and directed by Drew Goodard, with Lana Wachowski as executive producer. Seeing a series that’s been so protected turned into just another blockbuster franchise is disheartening. I love the MCU and like parts of modern Star Wars, but it feels like a disservice to treat The Matrix franchise like the next attempt at a corporate cinematic universe.

Did These Guys Not See Resurrections?

The most insulting part of The Matrix 5 is that it flies in the face of what The Matrix Resurrections had to say about soulless reboots and endless sequels. The most recent entry in the franchise, Resurrections was very openly meta and one of its core themes was that corporations rebooting nostalgic properties forever is bad for art. As a fan who sees the specific vision of the Wachowski’s as the universe’s soul, the new movie feels like the exact phenomena Resurrections was so against. 

Resurrections Was An Assault On Reboots And Sequels

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The Matrix Resurrections was a perfect one-off reboot to end the franchise and no matter how good the sequel is, its very existence undoes that. By taking such a strong metatextual stance against reboots and sequels, the film made a compelling argument for ending the franchise, with Resurrections working as an epilogue for the original trilogy. Producing more sequels undercuts that message, even if the sequels are enjoyable. 

Drew Goddard Loses No Matter What


None of this is to say that Drew Goodard isn’t a talented filmmaker, or that The Matrix 5 is doomed to fail. Goddard has been involved with some of my favorite shows and movies, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Cabin in the Woods. I hope that his Matrix movie is great, but its existence doesn’t make sense to me as a fan, and I’d rather see him work on an original property. 

The Matrix 5 puts Drew Goodard in a lose-lose situation. If he imitates the Wachowski style too closely his movie will be called unoriginal, if he deviates too far fans will complain it no longer feels like a Matrix movie. It’s the same problem the sequel trilogy of Star Wars ran into, Abram’s movies were labeled derivative while Johnson’s film was crucified for the changes it made to the universe. 

Let It End

The Matrix has always meant different things to different fans, and I’m sure plenty of fans are excited to see a new director’s spin on the world. For me, this feels like the final nail in the coffin of a franchise that always felt distinct within the world of blockbusters. By turning The Matrix into another cinematic universe and losing the distinctive Wachowski storytelling, the franchise loses what made it special in the first place.