The Matrix Is Becoming A Massive, Immersive Hip-Hop Stage Show

The Matrix will be adapted into a live stage show called Free Your Mind.

By Joshua Jones | Published

You may soon be entering The Matrix. According to Variety, director Danny Boyle is adapting the hit sci-fi film into an immersive hip-hop stage show. Titled Free Your Mind, the “large-scale immersive performance” will feature “hip-hop choreography of hundreds of dancers” and be performed at the Factory International in Manchester in October of next year. The news comes as the studio still has no plans to develop a Matrix 5.

Free Your Mind marks the first time the classic Keanu Reeves sci-fi hit will be adapted into the medium of live performance. So far, The Matrix has been adapted into animation, comics, and video games. The film’s mainstream success had led the studio to make multiple sequels, including the most recent film, The Matrix Resurrections. A collection of nine animated short films titled The Animatrix was released in 2003.

According to the logline of the upcoming stage show, Free Your Mind “combines the hip-hop choreography of hundreds of dancers with the latest immersive design.” The show will take audiences “on a thrilling journey through The Matrix.” The logline also states the production “will stretch across the building’s ultra-flexible spaces” and mentions how it will “respond to them and harness the collective energy of the moment.”

Variety notes that Michael ‘Mikey J’ Ashante will write all new music for the upcoming stage show. The music will be choreographed by Kendrick ‘H20’ Sandy, with playwright Sabrina Mahfouz set to contribute to the script. No word on whether any original actors from The Matrix are involved.

keanu reeves the matrix
Keanu Reeves as Neo in The Matrix (1999)

1999’s The Matrix redefined the science-fiction genre. Directed by The Wachowskis, The film popularized what is known today as “bullet time,” which is when action is progressing in slow-motion while the camera appears to move at normal speed. The Matrix depicts a dystopian future in which machines have taken over humanity and trapped them in a simulated reality.

The Matrix opened to widespread acclaim, earning multiple awards and receiving praise for its use of visual effects. The 1999 film grossed over $460 million at the box office against a production budget of $63 million. It became the fourth-highest box office film of 1999.

The legacy of The Matrix is well documented. In addition to being nominated for numerous Academy Awards, the film also was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 2012. Many projects afterward paid homage to the film’s use of slow motion.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of The Matrix stage show is the addition of Danny Boyle. The director is best known for indie, award-winning works such as Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire. Boyle also dabbled in live performance, directing the stage play adaption of Frankenstein in 2011.

It’s unknown whether the Wachowskis will be involved with the stage play. Lana Wachowski directed the latest Matrix project, Matrix Resurrections, to not great results. The film grossed $157 million worldwide against a production budget of $190 million.

Although Matrix Resurrections was a box-office bomb, it did receive a nomination for Best Visual Effects at the 75th British Academy Film Awards. Here’s hoping the stage play will convince fans to jump back into The Matrix.