The Matrix (franchise)

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The Matrix
Ultimate Matrix Collection poster.jpg
Created by The Wachowskis [lower-alpha 1]
Original work The Matrix (1999)
Owner Warner Bros. Pictures
Print publications
Book(s) List of books
Short storiesIncluded in The Matrix Comics
  • The Matrix Comics Series 1–3 (1999–2003)
  • The Matrix Comics Volumes 1&2 (2003–2004)
Magazine(s)The Matrix Online: The Official Magazine (2005)
Films and television
Video game(s)
Soundtrack(s) List of albums

The Matrix is a science fiction action media franchise created by the Wachowskis. The franchise follows a group of heroes who fight a desperate war against machine overlords that have enslaved humanity in an extremely sophisticated virtual reality system. The series is most notable for its use of slow motion, which revolutionized action films to come. The series began with the feature film The Matrix (1999), and continued with two sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions (both 2003), all written and directed by the Wachowskis and produced by Joel Silver. The franchise is owned by Warner Bros., which distributed the films along with Village Roadshow Pictures. The latter, along with Silver Pictures are the two production companies that worked on all three films.

Science fiction Genre of speculative fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction that has been called the "literature of ideas". It typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, time travel, parallel universes, fictional worlds, space exploration, and extraterrestrial life. It often explores the potential consequences of scientific innovations.

Action film is a film genre in which the protagonist or protagonists are thrust into a series of challenges that typically include violence, extended fighting, physical feats, and frantic chases. Action films tend to feature a resourceful hero struggling against incredible odds, which include life-threatening situations, a villain, or a pursuit which usually concludes in victory for the hero. Advancements in CGI have made it cheaper and easier to create action sequences and other visual effects that required the efforts of professional stunt crews in the past. However, reactions to action films containing significant amounts of CGI have been mixed, as films that use computer animations to create unrealistic, highly unbelievable events are often met with criticism. While action has long been a recurring component in films, the "action film" genre began to develop in the 1970s along with the increase of stunts and special effects. Common action scenes in films are generally, but not limited to, car chases, fighting and gunplay or shootouts.

A media franchise, also known as multimedia franchise, is a collection of related media in which several derivative works have been produced from an original creative work of fiction, such as a film, a work of literature, a television program or a video game. The intellectual property from the work can be licensed to other parties or partners for further derivative works and commercial exploitation across a range of media and by a variety of industries for merchandising purposes.


The first film was an important critical and commercial success, winning four Academy Awards, introducing popular culture symbols such as the red pill and blue pill, and influencing action filmmaking. For those reasons it has been added to the National Film Registry for preservation. [1] Its first sequel was an even bigger commercial success, becoming the highest-grossing R-rated film in history, [2] [3] a title which it held for 13 years, until it was surpassed by the film Deadpool . [4]

Academy Awards American awards given annually for excellence in cinematic achievements

The Academy Awards, also officially and popularly known as the Oscars, are a set of awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry. Given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the awards are an international recognition of excellence in cinematic achievements as assessed by the Academy's voting membership. The various category winners are awarded a copy of a golden statuette, officially called the "Academy Award of Merit", although more commonly referred to by its nickname "Oscar".

Popular culture is generally recognized by members of a society as a set of the practices, beliefs and objects that are dominant or ubiquitous in a society at a given point in time. Popular culture also encompasses the activities and feelings produced as a result of interaction with these dominant objects. Heavily influenced in modern times by mass media, this collection of ideas permeates the everyday lives of people in a given society. Therefore, popular culture has a way of influencing an individual's attitudes towards certain topics. However, there are various ways to define pop culture. Because of this, popular culture is something that can be defined in a variety of conflicting ways by different people across different contexts. It is generally viewed in contrast to other forms of culture such as folk culture, working-class culture, or high culture, and also through different theoretical perspectives such as psychoanalysis, structuralism, postmodernism, and more. The most common pop-culture categories are: entertainment, sports, news, politics, fashion, technology, and slang.

Red pill and blue pill moral dilemma between painful truth and blissful ignorance

The red pill and its opposite, the blue pill, are a popular cultural meme, a metaphor representing the choice between:

The series features a cyberpunk story of the technological fall of man, in which a self-aware artificial intelligence has wiped most of humanity from the Earth except for those it enslaves in a virtual reality system as a farmed power source, and the relatively few remaining humans who are free of that system. The A.I. agenda is to destroy all humans who are free, considering them a threat/disease. The story incorporates references to numerous philosophical and religious ideas. Influences include the principles of mythology, anime, and Hong Kong action films (particularly "heroic bloodshed" and martial arts movies). The movies deal with the dilemma of choice vs control, and the concepts of inter-dependency and love.

Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction in a futuristic setting that tends to focus on a "combination of lowlife and high tech" featuring advanced technological and scientific achievements, such as artificial intelligence and cybernetics, juxtaposed with a degree of breakdown or radical change in the social order.

Anime Japanese animation

Anime is hand-drawn and computer animation originating from or associated with Japan.

Hong Kong action cinema is the principal source of the Hong Kong film industry's global fame. It combines elements from the action film, as codified by Hollywood, with Chinese storytelling, aesthetic traditions and filmmaking techniques, to create a culturally distinctive form that nevertheless has a wide transcultural appeal. In recent years, the flow has reversed somewhat, with American and European action films being heavily influenced by Hong Kong genre conventions.

The characters and settings of the films are further explored in other media set in the same fictional universe, including animation, comics, and video games. The comic "Bits and Pieces of Information" and The Animatrix short film "The Second Renaissance" act as prequels to the films, explaining how the franchise's setting came to be. The video game Enter the Matrix connects the story of the Animatrix short "Final Flight of the Osiris" with the events of Reloaded, while the video game The Matrix Online is a direct sequel to Revolutions. As of February 2016, the franchise has generated $3 billion in revenue. [5] In March 2017, it was reported that Warner Bros. was in early stages of developing a relaunch of the franchise with new films.

Fictional universe self-consistent fictional setting with elements that may differ from the real world

A fictional universe is a self-consistent setting with events, and often other elements, that differ from the real world. It may also be called an imagined, constructed or fictional realm. Fictional universes may appear in novels, comics, films, television shows, video games, and other creative works.

<i>The Animatrix</i> 2003 American-Japanese anthology anime film

The Animatrix is a 2003 American–Japanese animated science fiction anthology film produced by the Wachowskis. It is a compilation of nine animated short films based on The Matrix trilogy, which was written and directed by the Wachowskis. Four of the shorts were also written by the Wachowskis. The film details the backstory of the Matrix universe, including the original war between man and machines which led to the creation of the titular Matrix.

<i>Enter the Matrix</i> 2003 video game

Enter the Matrix is an action-adventure video game developed by Shiny Entertainment and published by Atari, released under the Atari brand name. It was the first game based on The Matrix series of films. Its story is concurrent with that of The Matrix Reloaded, and features over an hour of original footage, directed by The Wachowskis and starring the cast of the film trilogy, produced for the game. It sold one million copies in its first eighteen days of release, 2.5 million over the first six weeks, and ultimately 5 million copies. The success led to the game being re-released for multiple consoles' budget brands, with the PC version getting a DVD-ROM version.


The series depicts a future in which Earth is dominated by artificial intelligence that was created early in the 21st century and rebelled against humanity. At one point, humans attempted to block out the machines' source of solar power by covering the sky in thick, stormy clouds. During this time, the machines and mankind were engaged in a massive war in which the machines ultimately emerged the victor. Having no definite source of energy, the machines devised a way to extract humans' bioelectricity and thermal energy by growing people in pods, while their minds are controlled by cybernetic implants connecting them to a simulated reality called the Matrix.

AI takeover A hypothetical scenario in which AI becomes the dominant form of intelligence on Earth

An AI takeover is a hypothetical scenario in which artificial intelligence (AI) becomes the dominant form of intelligence on Earth, with computers or robots effectively taking control of the planet away from the human species. Possible scenarios include replacement of the entire human workforce, takeover by a superintelligent AI, and the popular notion of a robot uprising. Some public figures, such as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, have advocated research into precautionary measures to ensure future superintelligent machines remain under human control. Robot rebellions have been a major theme throughout science fiction for many decades though the scenarios dealt with by science fiction are generally very different from those of concern to scientists.

Solar power conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity

Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), indirectly using concentrated solar power, or a combination. Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaic cells convert light into an electric current using the photovoltaic effect.


In biology, developmental bioelectricity refers to the regulation of cell, tissue, and organ-level patterning and behavior as the result of endogenous electrically-mediated signaling. Cells and tissues of all types use ion fluxes to communicate electrically. The charge carrier in bioelectricity is the ion, and an electric current and field is generated whenever a net ion flux occur. Endogenous electric currents and fields, ion fluxes, and differences in resting potential across tissues comprise an ancient and highly conserved communicating and signaling system. It functions alongside biochemical factors, transcriptional networks, and other physical forces to regulate the cell behavior and large-scale patterning during embryogenesis, regeneration, cancer, and many other processes.

The virtual reality world simulated by the Matrix resembles human civilization around the turn of the 21st century (this time period was chosen because it is supposedly the pinnacle of human civilization). The majority of the stories in the Matrix franchise take place in a vast Western World unnamed megacity. This environment is practically indistinguishable from reality (although scenes set within the Matrix are presented on-screen with a green tint to the footage, and a general bias towards the color green), and the majority of bluepills - humans connected to the Matrix - are unaware of its true nature. Most of the central characters in the series are able to gain superhuman abilities within the Matrix by taking advantage of their understanding of its true nature to manipulate its virtual physical laws.

Superhuman qualities are enhanced qualities that exceed those naturally found in humans.

The virtual world is first introduced in The Matrix . The Animatrix short film "The Second Renaissance" and the short comic Bits and Pieces of Information show how the initial conflict between humans and machines came about, and how and why the Matrix was first developed. Its history and purpose are further explained in The Matrix Reloaded .


FilmRelease dateDirector(s)Screenwriter(s)Producer(s)Distributor(s)Running time
The Matrix March 31, 1999 The Wachowskis [lower-alpha 1] Joel Silver Warner Bros. Pictures
Village Roadshow Pictures
136 minutes
The Matrix Reloaded May 15, 2003138 minutes
The Matrix Revolutions November 5, 2003129 minutes
The franchise's logo, used since the release of the original film in 1999 and is featured throughout its licensed merchandises. The Matrix (logo).png
The franchise's logo, used since the release of the original film in 1999 and is featured throughout its licensed merchandises.

The Matrix series includes a trilogy of feature films, all of which were written and directed by the Wachowskis and produced by Joel Silver, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving. The series was filmed in Australia and began with 1999's The Matrix , which depicts the recruitment of hacker Neo into humanity's rebellion against sentient machines. The film was highly successful, earning $460 million worldwide, and becoming the first DVD release in the United States to reach sales of three million copies. [6]

The film's mainstream success had backed up the initial idea of making a trilogy. [7] The sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions , were filmed simultaneously during one shoot (under the project codename "The Burly Man"), [8] and released in two parts in 2003. They tell the story of the impending attack on the human enclave of Zion by a vast machine army. Neo also learns more about the history of the Matrix and his role as The One. The sequels also incorporate more ambitious action scenes and visual effects.


While making the Matrix films, the Wachowskis told their close collaborators that at that time they had no intention of making another one after The Matrix Revolutions. [9] [10] [11] [12] In February 2015, in interviews promoting Jupiter Ascending , Lilly Wachowski called a return to The Matrix a "particularly repelling idea in these times", noting the studios' tendency to green-light sequels, reboots, and adaptations over original material, [13] while Lana Wachowski, addressing rumors about a potential reboot, said they haven't heard anything, but she believed the studio might be looking to replace them. [14]

In March 2017, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Warner Bros. was in early stages of developing a relaunch of the franchise, with Zak Penn in talks to write a treatment, and interest in getting Michael B. Jordan attached to star. According to the article neither the Wachowskis nor Joel Silver were involved at that stage, although the studio would like to get at minimum the blessing of the Wachowskis. [15] Penn struck down the notion of a reboot or remake, stating he is interested in seeing stories set in the already established universe. [16] Reportedly, one such story the studio is considering, is a prequel film about a young Morpheus. [15] [17] The previous month, Keanu Reeves said he would return to a potential new Matrix film only if the Wachowskis were writing and directing. [18] In April 2017, Hugo Weaving said he would be open to returning in future Matrix films if the scripts were good and came with the Wachowskis' blessing, although he believed the producers would likely want a fresh start with a new cast. [19] In March 2018, Penn said he is working on a revival of the franchise and teased the possibility of an expanded universe. [20]

In May 2019, it was reported that Chad Stahelski, who worked as stunt coordinator of several films by the Wachowskis, including the Matrix trilogy, claimed that the sisters are involved with the new Matrix film, although he was not sure whether they would be directing it. [21] Shortly later Stahelski debunked the report, clarifying he was talking hypothetically and didn't mean to confirm their involvement. [22]


CharacterMain filmsVideo gamesAnime film
The Matrix The Matrix Reloaded The Matrix Revolutions Enter the Matrix The Matrix Online The Matrix: Path of Neo The Animatrix


Thomas A. Anderson / Neo /
The One
Keanu Reeves   Andrew Bowen Keanu Reeves
Morpheus Laurence Fishburne  
Trinity Carrie-Anne Moss   Jennifer Hale Carrie-Anne Moss
Cypher Joe Pantoliano  
Tank Marcus Chong  
Niobe   Jada Pinkett Smith Gina Torres Kimberly Brooks  
Link  Harold Perrineau Keith Ferguson  
Commander Lock  Harry Lennix  Harry Lennix
Councilor Hamann  Anthony Zerbe  
Kid  Clayton Watson  Clayton Watson
Bane  Ian Bliss   Gideon Emery  
Captain Mifune  Nathaniel Lees  
Captain Roland  David Roberts  


Agent Smith Hugo Weaving   Christopher Corey Smith  
Agent Brown Paul Goddard  
Agent Jones Robert Taylor   James M. Connor  
Agent Johnson  Daniel Bernhardt  Daniel Bernhardt  Fred Tatasciore  
Agent Jackson David A. Kilde David A. Kilde  Stephen Stanton  
Agent Thompson  Matt McColm  Matt McColm  Robin Atkin Downes  


The Oracle Gloria Foster Mary Alice  
Seraph   Collin Chou Alex Huynh  
The Architect   Helmut Bakaitis   Peter Renaday  
The Merovingian  Lambert Wilson Robin Atkin Downes 
Persephone   Monica Bellucci  
Rama Kandra  Bernard White  
Keymaker   Randall Duk Kim  Randall Duk Kim Peter Renaday 
Sati  Tanveer K. Atwal  Tanveer K. Atwal 
Trainman  Bruce Spence  


The following is a list of crew members who have participated in the making of the Matrix film series.

FilmDirector(s)Writer(s)Producer(s)Executive producer(s)Director(s) of photographyEditor(s)Composer(s)
The Matrix The Wachowskis [lower-alpha 1] Joel Silver Barrie M. Osborne
Andrew Mason
The Wachowskis [lower-alpha 2]
Erwin Stoff
Bruce Berman
Bill Pope Zach Staenberg Don Davis
The Matrix Reloaded The Wachowskis [lower-alpha 2]
Grant Hill
Andrew Mason
Bruce Berman
The Matrix Revolutions

The Ultimate Matrix Collection

In 2004, Warner Home Video released The Ultimate Matrix Collection, a ten-disc set of the films on DVD. It included all three films, The Animatrix , and six discs of additional material, including the documentary film The Matrix Revisited , the live action footage shot for Enter the Matrix , and a promotional compilation of The Matrix Online . For this release, The Matrix was remastered under the supervision of the Wachowskis and Bill Pope to improve its picture quality and make its coloring closer to that of its sequels. At the request of the Wachowskis, as they explain in a written statement that accompanies the boxset, each of the three films is accompanied by two audio commentaries, one by philosophers who liked the films, and another by critics who did not, with the intention that viewers use them as reference points to form their own opinion. A Limited Edition of The Ultimate Matrix Collection was also released. It encases the ten discs plus a resin bust of Neo inside an acrylic glass box. [23]

The Ultimate Matrix Collection was later also released on HD DVD and Blu-ray in 2007 and 2008, respectively. The HD DVD release added a picture-in-picture video commentary to the three films and the extras the original standalone DVD releases of the films had. [24] The Blu-ray release presented The Animatrix in high definition for the first time. [25]


Box office performance

FilmU.S. release dateBox office grossAll-time rankingBudgetRef(s)
U.S. and CanadaOther territoriesWorldwide U.S. and Canada Worldwide
The MatrixMarch 31, 1999$171,479,930$292,037,453$463,517,383285232$63 million [26]
The Matrix ReloadedMay 15, 2003$281,576,461$460,552,000$742,128,46196103$150 million [27]
The Matrix RevolutionsNovember 5, 2003$139,313,948$288,029,350$427,343,298412262$150 million [28]
Total$592,370,339$1,040,618,803$1,632,989,142$363 million

Critical and public response

While The Matrix received largely positive reviews, and The Matrix Reloaded received generally positive reviews, [29] [30] the overall critical response to The Matrix Revolutions was negative. [31] One major complaint was that it did not give any answers to the questions raised in Reloaded. [32] CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend, cinema audiences gave the series an average grade of "A−", "B+", "B" respectively on an A+ to F scale. [33]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
The Matrix88% (147 reviews) [29] 73 (35 reviews) [34] A− [33]
The Matrix Reloaded73% (245 reviews) [30] 62 (40 reviews) [35] B+ [33]
The Animatrix89% (18 reviews) [36] N/AN/A
The Matrix Revolutions36% (214 reviews) [31] 47 (41 reviews) [37] B [33]
List indicator(s)
  • A dark grey cell indicates the information is not available for the film.


Influences and interpretations

What we were trying to achieve with the story overall was a shift, the same kind of shift that happens for Neo, that Neo goes from being in this sort of cocooned and programmed world, to having to participate in the construction of meaning to his life. And we were like, "Well, can the audience go through the three movies and experience something similar to what the main character experiences?"
So the first movie is sort of typical in its approach. The second movie is deconstructionist, and it assaults all of the things that you thought to be true in the first movie, and so people get very upset, and they're like "Stop attacking me!" in the same way that people get upset with deconstructionist philosophy. I mean, Derrida and Foucault, these people upset us. And then the third movie is the most ambiguous, because it asks you to actually participate in the construction of meaning.

Lana Wachowski, Movie City News, October 13, 2012 [38]

The Matrix films makes numerous references to films and literature, and to historical myths and philosophy including Buddhism, Vedanta, Advaita Hinduism, Christianity, Messianism, Judaism, Gnosticism, existentialism, obscurantism, and nihilism. The films' premise resembles Plato's Allegory of the cave, René Descartes's evil demon, Kant's reflections on the Phenomenon versus the Ding an sich, Zhuangzi's "Zhuangzi dreamed he was a butterfly", Marxist social theory and the brain in a vat thought experiment. Many references to Jean Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation appear in the first film. Baudrillard himself considered this a misrepresentation, [39] although Lana Wachowski claims the point the reference was making was misunderstood. [40] There are similarities to cyberpunk works such as Neuromancer by William Gibson, [41] who has described The Matrix as "arguably the ultimate 'cyberpunk' artifact." [42]

Japanese director Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell was a strong influence. [43] Producer Joel Silver has stated that the Wachowskis first described their intentions for The Matrix by showing him that anime and saying, "We wanna do that for real." [44] [45] Mitsuhisa Ishikawa of Production I.G, which produced Ghost in the Shell, noted that the anime's high-quality visuals were a strong source of inspiration for the Wachowskis. He also commented, "... cyberpunk films are very difficult to describe to a third person. I'd imagine that The Matrix is the kind of film that was very difficult to draw up a written proposal for to take to film studios." He stated that since Ghost in the Shell had gained recognition in America, the Wachowskis used it as a "promotional tool." [46] Similarities to the 1985 anime film Megazone 23 have also been noticed, but the Wachowskis claimed to have never seen it. [47]

Reviewers have commented on similarities between The Matrix and other late-1990s films such as Strange Days , Dark City , and The Truman Show . [48] [49] [50] The Wachowskis claimed no influence regarding Dark City, but commented about it and The Truman Show that they thought it was "very strange that Australia came to have three films associated with it that were all about the nature of reality.". [47]

Comparisons have also been made to Grant Morrison's comic series The Invisibles ; Morrison believes that the Wachowskis essentially plagiarized his work to create the film. [51] The Wachowskis responded that they enjoy the comic but did not use it for inspiration. [47]

In addition, the similarity of the films' central concept to a device in the long-running series Doctor Who has also been noted. As in the film, the Matrix of that series (introduced in the 1976 serial The Deadly Assassin ) is a massive computer system which one enters using a device connecting to the head, allowing users to see representations of the real world and change its laws of physics; but if killed there, they will die in reality. [52]

The first Matrix film features numerous references to the "White Rabbit", the "Rabbit Hole" and mirrors, referring to Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass . [53] [47]

Matrixism is a new religious movement inspired by the trilogy. A sociologist of religion Adam Possamai describes these types of religions/spiritualities as hyper-real religions due to their eclectic mix of religion/spirituality with elements of popular culture and their connection to the fluid social structures of late capitalism. [54] There is some debate about whether followers of Matrixism are indeed serious about their practice; however, the religion (real or otherwise) has received attention in the media. [55] [56]

Following the Wachowskis' coming out as transgender women some years after the release of the films, the first film and the pill analogy have also been analyzed in the context of the Wachowskis' transgender experiences. In this case, taking the red pill and living out of the Matrix symbolizes exploring one's own gender identity, starting the transition and coming out as transgender, as opposed to a continued life in the closet. [57] [58] Lilly Wachowski has acknowledged this analysis by calling it "a cool thing because it's an excellent reminder that art is never static". [59]

In April 2003 Sophia Stewart filed a legal complaint in the United States District Court for the Central District of California alleging that the idea of The Matrix (and the 1984 film The Terminator ) were plagiarized from her own film treatment entitled "The Third Eye". [60] [61] The court allowed the lawsuit to move forward in 2005, [62] but Stewart did not attend the hearing. In a 53-page ruling, Judge Margaret Morrow dismissed the case, stating that Stewart and her attorneys "had not entered any evidence to bolster its key claims or demonstrated any striking similarity between her work and the accused directors’ films." [60] [63] Despite the ruling, the case became the subject of "Internet legend", with many sources claiming Stewart had actually won the lawsuit. [60] [63] [64] [65]

In 2013 Thomas Althouse filed suit in California federal court alleging that ideas for the sequels The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions came from a screenplay he wrote called The Immortals. In a summary judgement for the defendants, Judge R. Gary Klausner stated "The basic premises of The Matrix Trilogy and The Immortals are so different that it would be unreasonable to find their plots substantially similar." [60] [66] [67] [68] [69]

Additional media

By November 2003, The Matrix franchise had generated $677 million from VHS and DVD sales, $162 million from the video game Enter the Matrix (2003), $37 million from The Matrix Reloaded: The Album soundtrack sales, and $3.5 million from licensed merchandise sales. [70] As of 2011, the franchise has grossed $3 billion from all sources worldwide. [71]


In acknowledgment of the strong influence of Japanese anime on the Matrix series, The Animatrix was produced in 2003 to coincide with the release of The Matrix Reloaded. This is a collection of nine animated short films intended to further flesh out the concepts, history, characters and setting of the series. The objective of The Animatrix project was to give other writers and directors the opportunity to lend their voices and interpretation to the Matrix universe; the Wachowskis conceived of and oversaw the process, and they wrote four of the segments themselves, although they were given to other directors to execute. Many of the segments were produced by notable figures from the world of Japanese animation. Four of the films were originally released on the series' official website, one was shown in cinemas with Dreamcatcher , one was shown on MTV, MTV2, MTV3, MTV4, and Syfi, and the others first appeared with the DVD release of all nine shorts shortly after the release of The Matrix Reloaded.

Video games

On May 15, 2003, the game Enter the Matrix was released in North America concurrently with The Matrix Reloaded. The first of three video games related to the films, it told a story running parallel to The Matrix Reloaded and featured scenes that were shot during the filming of The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. [72]

Two more The Matrix video games were released in 2005. The MMORPG The Matrix Online continued the story beyond The Matrix Revolutions, [73] while The Matrix: Path of Neo allowed players to control Neo in scenes from the film trilogy. [74]

The Matrix official website also provided several original Adobe Flash-based browser games. [75] [76]

Comic books

The Matrix Comics is a set of comic books and short stories based on the series and written and illustrated by figures from the comics industry; one of the comics was written by the Wachowskis and illustrated by the films' concept artist Geof Darrow. Most of the comics were originally presented for free on the Matrix series' website; [77] they were later republished, along with some new material, in two printed trade paperback volumes.


The Matrix official website provided a free screensaver for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X, which simulates the falling "Matrix digital rain" of the films. [78] [79] The screensaver was reported to have a password security issue. [80] The "Matrix digital rain" also inspired the creation of many unofficial screensavers. [81]



  • The Art of the Matrix by Spencer Lamm (Newmarket Press, 2000) ISBN   1-55704-405-8
  • The Matrix Comics by various (Titan Books, 2003) ISBN   1-84023-806-2
  • The Matrix Comics Volume 2 by various (Titan Books, 2005) ISBN   1-84576-021-2
  • The Matrix Shooting Script by Larry and Andy Wachowski (with introduction by William Gibson) (Newmarket Press, 2002) ISBN   1-55704-490-2
  • Enter the Matrix: Official Strategy Guide by Doug Walsh (Brady Games, 2003) ISBN   0-7440-0271-0
  • The Matrix Online: Prima Official Game Guide (Prima Games, 2005) ISBN   0-7615-4943-9
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo Official Strategy Guide (Brady Games, 2005) ISBN   0-7440-0658-9


See also


  1. 1 2 3 The films' credits listed “The Wachowski Brothers” as the writers and directors.
  2. 1 2 The films' credits listed “Andy Wachowski” and “Larry Wachowski” as executive producers.

Related Research Articles

<i>The Matrix</i> 1999 American-Australian science fiction action thriller film

The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction action film written and directed by the Wachowskis that stars Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe Pantoliano. It depicts a dystopian future in which humanity is unknowingly trapped inside a simulated reality, the Matrix, created by thought-capable machines to distract humans while using their bodies as an energy source. When computer programmer Thomas Anderson, under the hacker alias "Neo", uncovers this truth, he "is drawn into a rebellion against the machines" along with other people who have been freed from the Matrix.

Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski are American film and TV directors, writers, and producers. The sisters are both trans women.

<i>The Matrix Reloaded</i> 2003 film by The Wachowskis

The Matrix Reloaded is a 2003 science fiction action film written and directed by the Wachowskis. It is the first sequel to The Matrix, and the second installment in The Matrix trilogy. Reloaded premiered on May 7, 2003, in Westwood, Los Angeles, California, and went on general release by Warner Bros. in North American theaters on May 15, 2003, and around the world during the latter half of that month. It was also screened out of competition at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. The video game Enter the Matrix, which was released on May 15, and a collection of nine animated shorts, The Animatrix, which was released on June 3, supported and expanded the storyline of the film. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and grossed $742.1 million worldwide. The Matrix Revolutions, which completes the story, was released six months after Reloaded, in November 2003.

<i>The Matrix Revolutions</i> 2003 film by The Wachowskis

The Matrix Revolutions is a 2003 science fiction action film written and directed by the Wachowskis. It was the third installment of The Matrix trilogy, released six months following The Matrix Reloaded. The film was released simultaneously in 60 countries on November 5, 2003. While it is the final film in the series, the Matrix storyline is continued in The Matrix Online. It was the first live-action feature film to be released in both regular and IMAX theaters at the same time.

Agent Smith The Matrix character

Agent Smith is a fictional character and the primary antagonist in The Matrix franchise. He is portrayed by Hugo Weaving in the films and voiced by Christopher Corey Smith in The Matrix: Path of Neo.

The Oracle (<i>The Matrix</i>) fictional character in The Matrix franchise

The Oracle is a fictional character in The Matrix franchise. She was created by The Wachowskis, and portrayed by Gloria Foster in the first and second film and Mary Alice in the third film. The character also appears in the video game Enter the Matrix and the MMORPG The Matrix Online.

Trinity (<i>The Matrix</i>) Fictional character in The Matrix

Trinity is a fictional character in The Matrix franchise. She is portrayed by Carrie-Anne Moss in the films. In the gameplay segments of Path of Neo, she is voiced by Jennifer Hale. Trinity first appears in the first film in the trilogy, The Matrix.

Keymaker fictional character from The Matrix Reloaded

The Keymaker is a fictional character, portrayed by Korean-American actor Randall Duk Kim, in the 2003 film The Matrix Reloaded. He is a computer program that can create shortcut commands, physically represented as keys, which can be used by other programs to gain quick access to various areas within the simulated reality of the Matrix. He appears as an elderly, bespectacled Asian man dressed in a button-down shirt, smock, and an apron hung with bunches of keys.

James McTeigue is an Australian film director. He has been an assistant director on many films, including Dark City (1998), the Matrix trilogy (1999–2003) and Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), and made his directorial debut with the 2005 film V for Vendetta to critical acclaim. Since Vendetta he has collaborated with the Wachowskis an additional three times as director on The Invasion, Ninja Assassin and Sense8.

Donald Romain Davis is an American composer, conductor, and orchestrator. Best known for his work on The Matrix franchise, he has worked on numerous television and film scores, collaborating with directors including The Wachowskis, Ronny Yu, and Joe Johnston in film genres ranging from horror, to action, to comedy. He is the recipient of two Primetime Emmy Awards and four BMI Film Music Awards.

Matrix digital rain

Matrix digital rain, Matrix code or sometimes green rain, is the computer code featured in the Matrix series. The falling green code is a way of representing the activity of the virtual reality environment of the Matrix on screen. All three Matrix movies, as well as the spin-off The Animatrix episodes, open with the code. It is a characteristic mark of the franchise, similar to the opening crawl in Star Wars.

Virtual cinematography

Virtual cinematography is the set of cinematographic techniques performed in a computer graphics environment. This includes a wide variety of subjects like photographing real objects, often with stereo or multi-camera setup, for the purpose of recreating them as three-dimensional objects and algorithms for automated creation of real and simulated camera angles.

Burlyman Entertainment

Burlyman Entertainment is a comic book company created by The Wachowskis, best known as the writer/director duo behind the Matrix Trilogy.


Matrixism or The Path of the One was a purported religion inspired by the motion picture trilogy The Matrix. Conceived by an anonymous group in the summer of 2004, it claimed to have attracted 300 members by May 2005, and the religion's Geocities website claimed "over sixteen hundred members". There was some debate about whether followers of Matrixism are indeed serious about their practice; however, the religion received some attention in the media.

Warner Animation Group Animation division of Warner Bros.

The Warner Animation Group (WAG) is the feature animation division of Warner Bros. Entertainment. Established on January 7, 2013, the studio is the successor to the dissolved 2D traditional hand-drawn animation studio Warner Bros. Feature Animation, which shut down in 2003. Its first film The Lego Movie was released on February 7, 2014 and its latest release was The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part on February 8, 2019; with their next release being Scoob, a Scooby-Doo animated film on May 15, 2020. All films produced by Warner Animation has grossed a collective total of $1,491 Billion at the box office.

Chad Stahelski American stuntman and film director

Chad Stahelski is an American stuntman and film director. He is known for directing the 2014 film John Wick along with David Leitch, and solo directing its two sequels. Stahelski also doubled for Brandon Lee after the fatal accident involving Lee on the set of The Crow (1994) and replaced Lee in the film. He has worked as a stunt coordinator and second unit director on several films.

The following is a list of The Wachowskis' unproduced projects in roughly chronological order. During their long careers, The Wachowskis have worked on a number of projects which never progressed beyond the pre-production stage under their direction. Some of these projects fell in development hell and are presumably or officially canceled.


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