All together now: Whoa. Days after Matrix madness conquered the internet with the launch of a cryptic website teasing Lana Wachowski's The Matrix Resurrections, the fourth film in the previously dormant franchise unleashed its first full trailer. Clocking in at a whopping three minutes and filled with knowing callbacks, synapse-firing clues and typically stellar action, this sneak peek may just be the thing that resurrects moviegoers' love for The Matrix in the wake of those divisive — and underrated — 2003 sequels. (Watch the trailer above.)
The trailer's cheeky references to Matrix lore start with Wachowski's use of the Jefferson Airplane classic "White Rabbit," alluding to an instruction that Keanu Reeves's digital savior, Neo, received in the opening minutes of the Wachowski siblings' original 1999 blockbuster. (Lana's sister, Lilly, is not involved with Resurrections, telling Entertainment Weekly recently that she wanted to step away from the film industry.) That's immediately followed by another animal-based clue: a black cat is seen entering the frame, giving viewers a serious sense of déjà vu.
But here's something you haven't seen before: Keanu Reeves in a therapy session with none other than Neil Patrick Harris. "I've had dreams that weren't just dreams," says the older, seemingly none-too-wiser version of Reeves's digital savior, Neo, as Harris — who is wearing blue glasses, by the way — looks on smugly. Seconds later, Neo is seen ingesting a blue pill himself, suggesting that he's willfully embracing a machine-made illusion.
But he's about to get a serious wake-up call whether he likes it or not. Neo is visited by some familiar faces in radical new forms. First he follows the proverbial white rabbit to a bookstore, where an Alice in Wonderland-loving clerk — played by Priyanka Chopra, who notably sports red glasses — channels the Oracle in her reactions to Reeves. Enter Morpheus... a younger version of him, anyway. Candyman star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II throws off serious Laurence Fishburne vibes as the one (but not the One) who finally convinces Neo that it's "time to fly."
One red pill later, and we're back in the post-apocalyptic dystopia overseen by those pesky machines with Neo seemingly on a mission to rescue his one true love, Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), from a goo-filled pod. The two have previously encountered each other inside the Matrix, including a run-in at a coffee shop where she asks him, "Have we met?"
Waking Trinity up seems to involve the duo revisiting some of the landmarks from the previous movies, including the rooftop that made "bullet time" famous and the skyscraper that she plummets from in Reloaded. "The only thing that matters to you is still here," Mateen's maybe-Morpheus tells Neo, which implies he won't move on to whatever lies beyond the Matrix until Trinity joins him.
That's a lot to digest, but Twitter is already here with fan speculation and general enthusiasm.
The Matrix Resurrections premieres Dec. 22 in theaters and on HBO Max.