Warner Bros. unveiled the trailer for Matrix 4 at CinemaCon on Tuesday in front of a closed audience. The official title was also released: Matrix Resurrections
Warner Bros. came with a huge reveal Tuesday at its CinemaCon presentation: Warners showed off clips from its upcoming slate, including the first trailer from the newly titled “The Matrix Resurrections” (Dec. 22) and closer looks at “The Batman” (March 4, 2022) and “Dune” (Oct. 22), as well as footage from James Wan’s “Malignant“, Clint Eastwood’s “Cry Macho“, “The Sopranos” prequel “The Many Saints of Newark” and the Will Smith starrer “King Richard“.
Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution, and Andrew Cripps, president of international theatrical distribution, appeared in a pre-taped video for the presentation. Goldstein noted the studio has put out 13 new films in theaters during the pandemic era and praised theater owners for keeping audiences coming — and then introduced the studio’s upcoming films, perhaps most notably “The Matrix Resurrections“.
Ahead of the presentation, little was known about the fourth “The Matrix” – not even the premise or the title. The film comes from original co-director Lana Wachowski and includes original trilogy stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, who were both heavily featured in a trailer played for CinemaCon audiences but not released online.
The new “Matrix” trailer begins with Neil Patrick Harris talking to Keanu Reeves’ Neo. A near-future San Francisco. It appears that Neo is trapped in a humdrum world, much like his first self in the 1999 movie. He’s just not getting his surroundings.
“Am I crazy?” asks Reeves’ Neo. “We don’t use that word in here,” says Harris’ therapist. Reeves comes in contact with Carrie Anne Moss’ Trinity in a cafe: “Have we met?” she asks Neo. A shot of blue pills spilling into a sink, as Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” song plays. Then a shot of Neo distorting into an old man in the mirror. A younger Morpheus tells Neo “time to fly,” handing him a red pill. Then a lot of jumping, a lot of twists in midair, karate, and all the acrobats we expect from a “Matrix” movie.
The pic, directed by Lana Wachowski, is still slated to come out on December 22. No word yet as to when the trailer will hit social media — this was for the CinemaCon crowd only. Before the trailer rolling, Reeves and Moss appeared in a making-of clip exclaiming how the first movie impacted their lives. Said Reeves: “The first “Matrix” felt like something beyond yourself… You’ll hear the sentence “The Matrix” changed my life.’ I say, ‘Thank you, it changed mine too.”
Keanu Reeves has a lot of movies under his belt, like “John Wick” movies, “Knock Knock“, “The Devil’s Advocate“, “47 Ronin” – which was shot in Hungary, at ORIGO Studios – etc.
The studio also showed off “The Batman” with a sizzle reel. The footage of “The Batman” comes almost exactly one year to the day after the first trailer debuted for the Matt Reeves-directed comic book film, which stars Robert Pattinson as the Dark Knight. The film also includes Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon and Andy Serkis as Alfred, and villains such as Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Colin Farrell as The Penguin, Paul Dano as The Riddler.
Reeves noted the film was partially inspired by “Batman“: Year One, the seminal work from writer Frank Miller, while Pattinson reflected on how this version of Batman is different from those seen onscreen before.
“He’s really working out this rage,” said Pattinson in a featurette. “All the fights seem very personal.”
The Warner Bros. presentation also signaled what appears will be a very big year for Oscar-nominated cinematographer Greig Fraser, who lensed both “Dune” and “The Batman” — creating distinctly different yet epic looks for each.
CinemaCon comes as theater owners fret over the shattering of the theatrical window amid the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier presentations from Sony and MGM saw executives from those studios tout that their films did not go to streaming services and theaters simultaneously. In December, Warner Bros. roiled the industry with the announcement that its entire 2021 slate would debut day-and-date in theaters and on HBO Max, which like Warners, is owned by WarnerMedia.
The move was met with backlash from theater owners and talent, including filmmaker Christopher Nolan, who had a long-time relationship with the studio, and “Dune“‘s Denis Villeneuve.