Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is one of the fresh faces joining “The Matrix” in Lana Wachowski’s upcoming fourth entry, and he told The Hollywood Reporter he was starstruck on set when Keanu Reeves arrived for their first scene together. Reeves is reprising his iconic role of Neo in “The Matrix 4,” while original star Carrie-Anne Moss is also back as Trinity. Both characters appeared to die at the end of “The Matrix Revolutions,” so their resurrections for “The Matrix 4” will most likely drive the plot. No specifics on the storyline have been revealed, nor Emmy winner Abdul-Mateen II’s role in the motion picture.
“I remember Keanu and his first line,” the actor told THR. “I looked up, and there was Keanu, and I said, ‘Oh shit, I’m really in “The Matrix,”‘ It was just Keanu in that voice. And the technology that Lana incorporated and the filmmaking, camera rigs that I’ve never seen before. It’s so ambitious. It was really interesting to be making ‘The Matrix 4’ at a time when the world was so warped and when reality was so distorted. It could creep in a little bit if you let it.”
Jessica Henwick, another new addition to “The Matrix” franchise, shared similar thoughts last October in an interview with ComicBook. “There are definitely moments on set where Yahya [Abdul-Mateen II] and I look at each other and we just go, ‘Matrix 4.’ Those pinch me moments,” Henwick said. “Yeah. Lana [Wachowski] is doing some really interesting things on a technical level in the same way that you know, she created a style back then. I think she’s going to change the industry again with this film. There’s some camera rigs that I’ve never seen before that we’re using. That’s probably all I can say for that.”
Abdul-Mateen II and Henwick aren’t the only new franchise faces in “The Matrix 4.” The two actors are joined by Neil Patrick Harris, Jonathan Groff, Max Riemelt, Priyanka Chopra, and Christina Ricci in the movie. Actors returning to the franchise alongside Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are Jada Pinkett Smith as Niobe, Lambert Wilson as The Merovingian, and Daniel Bernhardt as Agent Johnson. The original trilogy’s cinematographer Bill Pope has been replaced by “Legends of the Fall” and “Braveheart” Oscar winner John Toll, who worked with Wachowski on “Cloud Atlas” and “Jupiter Ascending.”
Warner Bros. originally had “The Matrix 4” on the release calendar for May 21, 2021 before the pandemic forced the studio to bump the sequel at first to April 1, 2022. As for now, “The Matrix 4” is on the calendar for December 22, when it will open in theaters and stream on HBO Max.