'The Matrix' Was Originally Supposed to Be a 600-Page Comic Not a Keanu Reeves Film

The Matrix might be over two decades old, but for millions of fans all around the world, the science fiction classic is totally timeless. The film that is partially responsible for the enduring career of Keanu Reeves, The Matrix launched a cultural revolution and kick-started a media franchise that is still going strong to this day. With the fourth film in the series scheduled for release in the near future—after a lengthy delay thanks to coronavirus ( COVID-19) concerns—more fans than ever before are turning to The Matrix to learn everything that they can about the film that inspired it all. 

‘The Matrix’ is one of the world’s most beloved sci-fi films

The Matrix was released in 1999, to immediate critical and commercial acclaim. The film seemed to come out of nowhere, although the talent attached to the project meant that it was highly anticipated right from the start. The Matrix told the story of a dystopian future, in which humanity is unknowingly trapped inside a simulated reality known as the Matrix, where intelligent machines have been designed in order to distract humans—all while using their bodies as an energy source.

The movie featured a star-studded cast, including Reeves as Neo, Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus, and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity. Reeves, already a major Hollywood star by the time he appeared in The Matrix, became even more popular after the film was released – proving to his critics that he was capable of carrying an intensely intellectual action film. 

‘The Matrix’ was originally conceived to be a comic

It might be hard for many fans to envision a world in which The Matrix was not designed for the big screen — but in fact, the Wachowskis, the creators of the film, had originally conceived the story of The Matrix as a comic book. According to The New York Times, directors Lana and Lilly Wachowski felt so strongly about turning their story into a comic book that they hired two experienced comic book artists, who had previously worked on Spider-Man comics, to create a 600-page comic of their original concept. 

Eventually, the Wachowskis decided that their concept needed to be a feature film in order to fully live up to its potential — and the version of The Matrix that fans know today was born. 

The legacy of ‘The Matrix’

When The Matrix was released in the year 1999, fans everywhere praised the inventive storyline and the brilliant performances. It became one of the year’s biggest hits and remained enduringly popular in the years that followed. Two sequels quickly followed, as well as a slew of worldbuilding from books and other supplementary materials. Still, for many years, fans clamored for another feature film — and in 2020, the rumors were confirmed when it was revealed that the original cast would be returning for a fourth film in the franchise.

For now, the plot of the upcoming Matrix 4 film remains a mystery. However, some intriguing details have emerged in recent months, mainly from on-set pictures that reveal Reeves has fully dived back into the character of Neo. Set for a December 2021 debut, Matrix 4 promises to be one of the biggest movies of the year, and one that will not only bring back the mystery of the original Matrix film, but welcome a whole new slew of fans to the franchise. Stay tuned to Showbiz Cheat Sheet for all the latest entertainment news!

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