2019 has been a big year for Keanu Reeves. With a reprised leading performance in “John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum,” a voice acting role in “Toy Story 4,” and a plethora of social media attention through interviews and memes, the fifty-five year old actor has found himself back in the spotlight for the first time in about fifteen years. Fans have affectionately dubbed this resurgent stage in his career, “The Keanussance.”
Happily, the Keanu Reeves fun will not stop anytime soon. Recent announcements from Warner Brothers and Lionsgate respectively reveal that “The Matrix 4” and “John Wick 4” will be released on the same date—May 21, 2021, a day that the Internet is already starting to declare “Keanu Reeves Day.”
Neither of these upcoming films have revealed their plots yet, as “The Matrix 4” is merely in pre-production and “John Wick 4” remains in development. All we really know is that they are each the fourth installments in their franchises, and that Keanu Reeves has been casted in both of them.
The last Matrix film, “Matrix Revolutions” came out in 2003. “Revolutions” wrapped up the science-fiction, reality-bending narrative, and left Neo—the main protagonist played by Reeves—dead. Thus, we are all very curious to see how Reeves returns in “The Matrix 4.” Likewise, it will be interesting to find out what Warner Brothers does with the story given the conclusive nature of “Revolutions.”
Warner Brothers has actually stated that Neo will not be the main character in “The Matrix 4,” and that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II of “Watchmen,” “Aquaman,” and “Black Mirror,” will play the new protagonist. Nevertheless, Reeves will somehow still be reprising his role in the film, as will “Revolutions” co-star Carrie-Anne Moss. Additionally, Lana Wachowski will be back behind the camera, directing a script from Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell.
Compared to the nineteen-year gap between “The Matrix: Revolutions” and “The Matrix 4,” “John Wick 4,” is a much quicker turnaround from the third film in its franchise. Once again, all we know for sure is that Reeves will be back as the titular character. Given the John Wick series so far, the fourth film will likely follow the same James Bond style, action-packed storyline as the last three movies. We can expect lots of gun, knife, and fist fights to happen and for Keanu to give yet another performance that can only be described as “badass.”
Furthermore, although it has not formally been asserted yet, we can reasonably anticipate the return of director Chad Stahelski for “John Wick 4”, as the stuntman-turned-filmmaker has directed all of the Wick movies so far.
Whoever he ends up fighting in the two films, Keanu Reeves will ultimately be going up against himself at the box office that fateful weekend in 2021. Both films are bound to be summer blockbusters, but which movie will fare better commercially is anyone’s pick. “The Matrix 4” is coming off of a classic franchise that redefined the sci-fi genre in 1999. However, the source material is admittedly a little dated, and The Matrix sequels tended to diminish in quality as the series continued. “John Wick 4,” on the other hand, is young and fresh, but it lacks the same longevity and cinematic prestige as The Matrix.
It’s impossible to tell which movie will end up triumphant on Keanu Reeves Day. Most fans will probably end up seeing both, but a lot can happen in the next year and a half. Until then, we can look forward to the dual release and enjoy the Keanussance throughout 2020, as Reeves will appear in movies such as “The Spongebob Movie: Sponge On The Run,” “Bill & Ted Face The Music,” and “Fast & Furious 9.”
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