In its shameless search for remake inspiration, Hollywood has turned its attentions to seminal sci-fi film The Matrix, it's been reported.
Warner Bros is said to be in the early stages of prepping a reboot of the Wachowskis' original mindbender without the involvement of (and currently blessing from) the directing duo whose creative vision made it such an esteemed modern classic in 1999.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Zak Penn (the man behind the specs of X-Men 2 and Avengers Assemble) is in talks to write the treatment with producers hoping to bag Michael B. Jordan (Creed) for the lead role.
In case you didn't know, The Matrix franchise depicts a dystopian future in which reality perceived by most humans is actually a simulated reality created by sentient machines to subdue the human population. Keanu Reeves plays computer programmer “Neo” who learns this truth and is drawn into a rebellion against the machines, which involves other people who have been freed from the “dream world” - including Moss' Trinity and Fishburne's Morpheus.
Upon its release in 1999, the film became an unprecedented worldwide smash and won four Oscars.
Two sequels - The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions - followed in 2003.
Warner Bros are reportedly thinking about how to expand The Matrix universe in a similar way that Disney and Lucasfilm is doing with Star Wars.
Film premises that shouldn’t have worked but did
Film premises that shouldn’t have worked but did
1/14 1. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Kicking us off is Phil Lord and Christopher Mille’s bizarre animated film about a scientist who creates a machine that transforms water into food. So far, not too crazy, but then the machine gets stuck in the sky and it starts raining food. Everything goes wrong and Flint Lockwood must save the day by flying up to the machine and kicking fried chicken butt. Yeah, a pretty crazy premise, but a fantastic film.
2/14 2. Frank
Michael Fassbender may be one of the most bankable stars of the moment - having starred in the likes of Steve Jobs, X-Men and Macbeth - but in 2014, instead of flaunting his face, producers decided to make him wear a weird papier-mâché mask for the film’s near entirety. The plot see’s Fassbender’s titular character front a rock band, play SXSW and make ‘likeable’ music. It’s all just a bit strange.
3/14 3. Groundhog Day
Almost anything with Bill Murray in it is a win in my book, but when you say the premise of Ground Hog day out loud - a weatherman who must relive the same day over and over again - it sounds quite boring. What transpired was one of Murray’s funniest films.
4/14 4. Star Wars
With Star Wars being so prevalent in pop-culture, it’s hard to imagine a time when no-one except George Lucas knew what a Lightsaber was. Producers must have been shocked when this young director came into the office trying to sell a script about Luke Skywalker, R2D2, Darth Vader, Chewbacca and Stormtroopers. Thankfully, they believed in his vision and now we have one of the best sci-fi sagas of all time.
5/14 5. Incepetion
A dream, within a dream, within a dream. Even those who watched Inception were left confused, let alone those who only heard what the film was about. Christopher Nolan’s final flick, however, was a masterclass in storytelling and one of the best films of the last ten years.
6/14 6. Speed
The high-concept Speed is quite ridiculous really. Keanu Reeves can’t let a bus go below 50 miles per hour or it will blow up. It’s quite amazing how Jan de Bont managed to make his debut 116 minutes long in the first place, let alone making it a decent film in the process.
7/14 7. Edward Scissorhands
Tim Burton is a director who could fill this entire list up. While he may have chosen to reboot numerous films in the past few years (Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the upcoming Dumbo 2) it was his original concepts that set him apart from everyone else. In Burton’s head, the love story of a man with scissors for hands and a young woman made complete sense, while for everyone else - from just the premise - it seemed entirely weird. Luckily, he was given the opportunity to make the film and a cult classic was born, all while Johnny Depp’s ability to play the outsider was solidified.
8/14 8. Mrs Doubtfire
Post-Hook and Aladdin, Robin Williams was on a role. One of his standout performances was as Mrs. Doubtfire, the father-turned-drag-housekeeper. As a premise, dressing your lead male as a woman wasn’t exactly new (see Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie), so the filmmakers ran the risk of it all seeming like an overdone joke. Luckily, Chris Columbus managed to pull off the ridiculous plot (how wouldn’t the kids know it’s their father, really?) leading to one of the funniest films of the 90s.
9/14 9. The Lobster
Like Burton, most of Yorgos Lanthimos’s films could probably feature on this page, but we’ve gone with The Lobster. The film tells of a hotel where residents must find a suitable partner within 45 days otherwise they will be turned into an animal. Try to run away and the other residents will hunt you down with tranquillisers. The result was one of the best love stories of 2015.
10/14 10. Ant-Man
Some comic book superheroes should not be adapted to the big screen (*cough* Howard the Duck *cough*). Ant-Man is not one of them. Against all the odds, Paul Rudd and Peyton Reed managed to make a compelling film about a man who could shrink down in size and control ants. What’s incredible is that - somehow - the film quickly became one of Marvel’s most beloved films. Of course, everyone knew Marvel could pull off weird, having knocked it out of the park with Guardians of the Galaxy the year before.
11/14 11. Beetlejuice
Two ghosts living in their old home want to scare away the alive people who now live there. Unfortunately, the new home-owners can’t see them and so the ghosts have to call upon a deranged Michael Keaton to help them out. Add one of the strangest afterlife scenes in film history and you’ve got a brilliant film.
12/14 12. Forrest Gump
While not an obvious contender like Star Wars or Beetlejuice, when you think about it, Forrest Gump is a weird idea. A below-average intelligent man, sitting on a bench, waiting for a bus, telling strangers about all the famous moments in history where he observed/effected. Thanks to Tom Hanks, Gump was a magical film of love and hope, winning over the hearts of thousands and becoming an instant classic.
13/14 13. The Lego Movie
Another film from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, The Lego Movie shouldn’t have worked. Making a beloved toy into a film; it was all just a bit silly. Thankfully, Chris Pratt’s turn as Emmett (and a catchy song in “Everything is Awesome”) the film was a huge hit with critics and fans alike, and now we have a cinematic universe of Lego movies to come. Awesome?
14/14 14. I’m Not There
“Let’s get Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, and Ben Whishaw to all play Bob Dylan in a single film”, Todd Haynes said. While you would think that would be overkill, the result was stunning, with Dylan himself eventually praising the film in 2012.
Regardless of how you feel about this, just let the news sink in that Hollywood now wants to remake films that were made in 1999...
The Wachowskis' most recent project is Netflix series Sense8 which is returning to the streaming service for a second season this May.
We reached out to their representatives for comment.
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