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Where Does The Matrix Resurrections Fit Into The Matrix Timeline?

To call Lilly and Lana Wachowski's 1999 action-thriller "The Matrix" a game-changer would be quite the understatement. Not only did it include groundbreaking visual effects for the time and pioneer innovative filming techniques, but it found the perfect intersection between the traditional Hollywood blockbuster and a philosophical, thought-provoking cinematic journey. In doing so, it launched a franchise that absolutely took over the entertainment landscape in the years following its theatrical premiere — spanning comic books, animation, video games, and more.

However, it wouldn't be until 2003 that fans could get their fix of "The Matrix" at the movies. "The Matrix Reloaded" and "The Matrix Revolutions" arrived that year to much fanfare, though it quickly became apparent that neither could live up to the highs of their trendsetting predecessor. Thus, the cinematic tenure of "The Matrix" saga ended there. Considering the mixed reaction to the two sequels, it seemed as though the finale to this sci-fi saga was definitive. That changed in August of 2019 when the fourth film in the series, "The Matrix Resurrections," was officially announced and promised the return of once thought to be dead fan-favorites, Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) (via Variety).

So, where does this new "The Matrix" installment fit into the Wachowskis' sprawling canon? Here's what we know.

The Matrix Resurrections keeps The Matrix story going

As evidenced by various promotional materials, — such as a bundle of trailers and posters – it's apparent that "The Matrix Resurrections" looks to keep the story going beyond its predecessor, "The Matrix Revolutions." In fact, it even seems to honor the massively multiplayer online role-playing game, "The Matrix Online," which arrived in early 2005 and closed down for good on August 1, 2009. It featured the death of Morpheus, as played by Laurence Fishburne, who's noticeably absent from "Resurrections" and has apparently passed the role to Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Given the Wachowskis were heavily involved with the game's creation, it comes as no surprise that Lana has retained its contents as a part of the wider "Matrix" continuum.

To be a bit more precise, "The Matrix Resurrections" takes audiences forward in time by at least a few decades, according to the film's second trailer. It briefly shows a significantly aged-up Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) speaking with Neo, who's somehow only slightly older than he was in "Revolutions." The Merovingian (Lambert Wilson) appears to have suffered the same fate as seen in a clip for "Resurrections" that the @TheMatrixMovie on Twitter posted on December 1, 2021. Therefore, it looks like in the real world, many years have passed between the third and fourth "Matrix" movies, but the lack of visible aging by Neo and Trinity still leaves us with more questions than answers.

Things can tend to get a bit confusing in the world of "The Matrix," oftentimes leaving fans unsure of whether or not what the franchise has shown them is real or not. However, in this case, it's pretty clear that "The Matrix Resurrections" is a sequel to the original trilogy and some of its ancillary media. When it comes to the specifics in the lead-up to its premiere, though, some things have remained vague and will only be answered by the film itself.