A reboot of iconic '90s sci-fi movie The Matrix is in its early stages.
According to editors at The Hollywood Reporter, film company Warner Bros. has tapped screenwriter Zak Penn, who has worked on X-Men 2 and The Avengers, to pen a new take on the 1999 movie classic.
The Matrix franchise was directed by the Wachowski siblings, and starred Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Ann Moss. It depicted a dystopian future in which the reality perceived by most humans was actually a simulated one created by machines to subdue the human population. Reeves played computer programmer Neo, aka The One, who is told the truth about his world and is chosen to lead a rebellion against the machines, alongside a group of people freed from the “dream world”.
The film, the fourth-highest grossing film of the year worldwide in 1999, became known for its groundbreaking special effects including its heavily imitated slow-motion "bullet time" effect, which also contributed to it winning four Academy Awards.
It was followed by two less successful sequels - The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, in 2003.
There are few details on what shape the project will take, but sources have told the publication that Warner Bros. are keen to expand The Matrix universe in a similar way to Disney and Lucasfilm which are mining the Star Wars franchise to produce spin-offs such as the upcoming Han Solo movie.
Despite expressing an interest in returning to the franchise, John Wick star Reeves, now 52, is unlikely to be attached to the project, with producers said to be keen on landing Creed star Michael B. Jordan for a lead role.
While promoting the follow up to his hit assassin movie John Wick: Chapter 2, Reeves said he would return for another Matrix movie - but only if the Wachowskis were involved.
"They would have to write it and direct it. And then we’d see what the story is, but yeah, I dunno, that’d be weird, but why not?” he told Yahoo Movies.
The siblings are currently working on a second season of their Netflix show Sense8, and Warner Bros. has made no comment on whether the original helmers have given their blessing to the project.