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Why the new Matrix movie won't be as bad as everyone thinks

There's a new Matrix movie in the works. At the moment, that's pretty much all we really know about the project—but we still have some thoughts on why the world is ready to jack back in for another adventure. Here are all the reasons that new Matrix flick might not actually be such a bad idea.

​It isn't a reboot

When word first broke about the new Matrix, it was touted as a "reboot." Thankfully, that's not exactly the case. Writer Zak Penn, who's been tapped to put the script together, clarified that he just wants to tell a story in the world created by the original trilogy—and he quickly made it clear he thinks Keanu Reeves is the only person who could play Neo. By not going the reboot route, Warner Bros. avoids any reason to "repilot," so to speak, and won't need to waste a movie on reestablishing the premise. With this approach, they can just pick a corner of this expansive world and tell a story in it.

​The themes are as relevant as ever

It's hard to believe that it's been almost 20 years since The Matrix was released, and though the world is a mighty different place now, some things haven't changed all that much. As technology and AI have advanced, we're as worried as ever about our potential robot overlords. And how about the idea of a small yet fierce resistance fighting back against a corrupt totalitarian surveillance state? For many filmgoers, those themes are as relevant as ever.

​The writer is solid

The studio has turned to veteran screenwriter Zak Penn to put together the story for the new-look Matrix, and if his name seems familiar, it should: he's contributed to everything from The Avengers and X-Men 2 to the upcoming big screen version of Ready Player One, and he created the cult hit Syfy series Alphas. Sure, he has a few duds on his resume—we're looking at you, X-Men: The Last Stand and Inspector Gadget—but there's no question the guy knows how to craft a good story. Considering his sci-fi chops, odds are good he'll be able to come up with a strong idea.

There's still no word on what role, if any, franchise creators the Wachowskis might take. But judging by the messy final two films in the original trilogy, the franchise just might be better off with a new visionary at the helm.

​The world is gigantic

The Wachowskis imagined a future in which humans are enslaved in a synthetic world by machine overlords. There are potentially millions of people fighting battles all over the place, with spaceships and giant killer robot squids—and there's even a framework for how all this could work, thanks to the Wachowskis' Animatrix, an anime home release of short stories connected to the Matrix universe. Seriously, the possibilities are endless.

​It could focus on a young Morpheus

Morpheus was already a seasoned leader in the first Matrix, but he alluded to all kinds of battles and scars from his past. Why not follow some of his early missions in a new saga of Matrix movies, set years before Neo? That's apparently one option being floated at the studio, according to early reports. It would allow Warner Bros. to sidestep some of the high-minded stuff that made the final two films a bit of a mess, and get back to the nuts and bolts that made the first one so much fun. They could play in this world where we already know the rules—and the humans would be even bigger underdogs, considering they'd still be years away from waking up their messiah.

​… starring Michael B. Jordan

Who has the chops to step in for Laurence Fishburne and play young Morpheus? Rumor has it the studio is already eyeing Michal B. Jordan (Creed) for the gig, which sounds like a fantastic idea. Jordan was one of the few good things in the Fantastic Four reboot, and with films like Creed, he's proven he has the action and acting chops for a meaty role like this. He's also a guy on a major career upswing, and you'd think it'd be a perfect marriage for Warner Bros. to lock him in and give him a tentpole franchise of his own.

​You can weave in original characters ala Rogue One

The Oscar-nominated writer of Arrival, Eric Heisserer, doesn't really have a dog in the fight—but he's chimed in to give his two cents about the new Matrix, anyway, and he made some very good points. Heisserer pointed out that Warner Bros. could follow the same playbook Disney used with Rogue One in regards to the Star Wars universe. They could build stories with original characters, but still tether them to some of the players and locations fans are familiar with from the flagship movies. The formula's worked well for Disney, right?

​Effects tech has only gotten better

Depending on how it shakes out, this could be a blessing and a curse. The first Matrix movie absolutely pushed the envelope in regards to special effects, and its two sequels were VFX-drenched insanity. All that tech has only gotten fancier. If they approach it as a technical challenge, a new Matrix could potentially push the creative boundaries of what can be done, visually speaking, with an action movie—but the bar has been set pretty high, so the pressure is on.