Discussing The Matrix Resurrections pre-release is an almost impossible task. The new installment in the game-changing franchise does so many interesting things, and the trailers barely give anything away. In fact, there's a high chance you have no idea what The Matrix Resurrections is actually about.
Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, returning to play Neo and Trinity, are not giving the game away, either. Speaking with GamesRadar+ and Total Film, the duo offer an insight into returning to the Matrix without going into specifics, giving us a wonderful feel for what to expect from Resurrections without saying precisely what's coming next. However, if there's one takeaway, it's that the upcoming movie is anchored by the love between their characters, and, at times, scenes between Neo and Trinity were almost "overwhelming" for the two actors.
Below, read our Q&A (edited for length and clarity) with Reeves and Moss, or listen to the interview on the latest episode of the Inside Total Film podcast.
The Matrix has been part of both of your DNA for so long now. Did you ever image a future for Neo and Trinity?
Keanu Reeves: From that character to what happens now – it was surprising.
Carrie-Anne Moss: I never fantasized what this could have been until I heard that we were doing it. And then I had a few ideas, imagining before the read-through like, "Well, how is [Lana Wachowski] going to do this?" And then, when we had the read-through, I could not have imagined what she created on the page.
Reeves: I think Neil Thomas Anderson just wanted to be with Trinity and have a happy ever after. And that didn't happen. And that feeling is really the main propulsion of the character in Resurrections, he is trying to get back to that.
The love between these two characters is so palpable in the new movie. Did playing that relationship feel different this time around?
Reeves: We had a scene where, I don't want to get too much away, but we're together in the same scene. It was really emotional playing that scene. The yearning, the connection – stated and unknown. There were a couple of times where it was overwhelming.
Moss: It was for all of us – for [Keanu] and me and Lana, and these two characters coming together and not together. You want them together. And then I think how [Lana] layered those scenes with some flashback of the older version. It surprised me how emotional it made me feel, to feel all that history in the editing, the way she edited it, you actually felt the 20 years. That was really well done. I was moved by that.
It’s no spoiler to say there’s a scene in the trailers where Neo watches footage from the first Matrix movie, and there are moments in the new movie that recreate iconic moments. Were you having deja vu on the set?
Reeves: The scene that you're speaking about takes place in a movie theatre. And there are two chairs, and they were the chairs that Morpheus and Neo sat in The Construct from the original film. So and then, to see the images on a screen, it was, again, emotional, it was something promised, and grief and present and just, what the heck is going on?!
Neo and Trinity are back, but you’re playing them slightly differently. Was it challenging having to change how you played these characters?
Reeves: It was fun, thrilling, challenging. Because you have this history, and you have these connections. And the premise of the [new] film, you almost don't know it, but you feel it. Was that your past? You're like going through a photo album. And you're like, "Was that me? Is that me? What does it mean?"
Moss: But also anyone looking back at their life, 20 years ago, we are different. Obviously, the movie is taking that to another layer. But I know, I look back at 20 years ago, and I'm like, "Really? Was that me? I don't remember that. Oh right." Memory is interesting.
Reeves: She speaks about that in the film! Reality, fiction, fiction, reality?
The Matrix has always asked so many questions and been filled with so many ideas – the relationship between man and machine, freedom of choice. What aspect of this script did you find the most interesting?
Moss: The love story for me, for sure.
Reeves: But all of those other things as well. For me, it was the through life, the whole raison d'etre of doing it comes through that, that yearning, that perspective that love, from the characters, from the filmmaker, to the film, to its implications, through all of the layers and things that you're speaking about, all of the sentient aspects of the characters are revolving and thinking about love. And reflecting back, well, what are we doing? How are we doing it? What does it mean? What are the constructs? What's control? What's rebellion? What's freedom? What's true? What's false? But there's also some great Matrix action. And it’s funny. I can't speak for anyone else, but I found it funny.
Looking back on your Matrix journey, what will be the thing you most treasure?
Moss: I think working with Keanu, for me, is just amazing. And something I really treasure. So getting to do that, again, I didn't we would do that again. Those moments for me were very special. And, of course, working with Lana again and all of her incredible team that she surrounds herself with. And then, there's another piece that I am very moved by: when I talk to people, especially people who saw the movie when they were 16 or 17, who were really impacted by it, and are having these deep philosophical questions about what it means and what is The Matrix. I really feel honored to be a part of something that asked those questions.
The Matrix Resurrections is in cinemas from December 22. The sequel is also available on HBO Max in the US from the same date. For more, check out our guide to the best sci-fi movies of all time.