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There’s an odd meta moment early on in The Matrix Resurrections where Neo, stuck in a new version of The Matrix and believing that he is legendary video game designer Thomas Anderson (creator of a trilogy of video games called The Matrix), is summoned to the office of his business partner (Jonathan Groff’s Smith) and told that their studio’s parent company, Warner Bros., is going to make a new Matrix game. The implication is that it’s happening with or without him, a nod to the movie’s ongoing theme about binary choices that aren’t really choices at all.
The other implication, though, is that Resurrections director and series co-creator Lana Wachowski recently found herself in a similar meeting, one where Warner Bros. offered her a non-choice between making a new Matrix and stepping aside so they can make a new Matrix without her. Why else would Smith specifically name Warner Bros. as the one pulling the strings? Well, prepare your shocked face, because you’re about to be shocked.
Yeah, that’s pretty much what happened, though things were apparently a little less antagonistic in real life. Speaking with Collider, Matrix series producer James McTeigue explained that there’s “always talk” about keeping a franchise with so much “potential money making capability” going, but Warner Bros. was never able to land on “the right version” of the story.
So, when Lana Wachowski came back with a new story in mind (and some buddies from Sense8 to help write it), the studio jumped at the chance to make more Matrix. A new Matrix movie almost certainly would’ve happened at some point, then, but the reason it happened now is because Lana Wachowski wanted to make it. So it was a decision driven by her, but that doesn’t mean it was always going to work out that way… thanks to free will and all that. You know, Matrix stuff.
At the very least, this all means that the scene in Matrix Resurrections is just a winky joke about sequels and big studios, rather than Wachowski calling for help. Here’s the real question, though: What would’ve happened to the in-universe Matrix video games if Warner Bros.’ video game branch had actually been sold off? Would Thomas Anderson and Smith be working for Tencent or Microsoft instead?