Screenshot: Tron: Legacy / Walt Disney Pictures
The first trailer for the upcoming fourth Matrix film came out last week and looks fine – but if I were to try to explain the premise of Matrix Resurrections based on just this new footage, I’d probably more or less end up describing The Matrix (the original from 1999). Is this thing really a continuation of the plot or is it a reinterpretation of the first movie?
Lana Wachowski is an endlessly inventive filmmaker who has been involved in some of the most original film concepts in decades, so I have no intention of counting them. But do we just go back to the old well when maybe we’d better look for something new? And is that even a worthwhile goal?
All stories are iterative to some degree, and a fresh look at old concepts has spawned some of the best and most beloved creative works in history – but also more than a few unnecessary makeovers. Let’s take a look at some of the major sequels – past, present, and future – to see if we’ve gotten better or worse at turning nostalgia into art.