'The Matrix' Reboot Director: 13 Filmmakers Who Could Actually Get Us Interested

When news hit that Warner Bros. is in the early stages of rebooting The Matrix, the world groaned as one. Is no film safe? Not if it's over 10 years old, it appears.

A reboot of what's almost universally regarded as a terrific, trend-setting film is a genuinely terrible idea, especially since the Wachowskis aren't even involved. But the universe of the Matrix can certainly be mined for more stories. The comics and The Animatrix prove that there are dozens of tales to be told about the nature of reality, of the struggle of man versus machine, of what makes humanity human. While we probably would have been much better off with The Animatrix 2 instead, Warner Bros. surely wants another franchise that they alone control, similar to what Star Wars has done. Thus, a reboot.

There might not be any way to dodge what we have coming at us, but there's a way to mitigate the damage. Here are 12 directors we think could actually give us an interesting take on the film. Here are filmmakers that may actually do the impossible and make us excited about a new Matrix movie.

Jordan Peele pic

Jordan Peele 

Let's be honest – with Get Out's box office, Peele can do absolutely anything he wants for his next film and we'd be there day one. He could announce Follow That Bird 2: Twitcher and we'd be all over it. So why waste it on a reboot? One reason is that he's clearly a sci-fi dork, if the number of Key and Peele sketches set in a sci-fi setting is any indication. And who wouldn't be excited by the idea of him discussing racial identity in The Matrix, a series that still ranks as one of the most ethnically diverse ever created? He'd be a choice that could force people to take notice.

Jeremy Saulnier next movie

Jeremy Saulnier

From Blue Ruin to the blue pill? Saulnier may be known as the creator of unflinchingly brutal revenge thrillers, but take a closer look at his films like Green Room and you'll find that they delve far deeper into humanity than you'd assume, what with all the gore flowing so freely. Saulnier seems to really want to know what makes people tick and what makes them keep moving on even in spite of terrible loss. It's only a matter of time before he makes a big film that explodes him onto the stage of the world-at-large, so Warner Bros would be smart to try and grab him before he does.


Kim Jee-woon

Kim doesn't seem to like to linger in one genre, although he generally prefers them to be of the dark variety. He's made one of the scariest ghost stories of all time in A Tale of Two Sisters, the hilarious spaghetti western homage The Good, The Bad, and The Weird, and the truly twisted I Saw The Devil, but it's his segment from Doomsday Book ("The Heavenly Creature") that shows that the story of Neo would be a story right up his alley. "The Heavenly Creature" is about a malfunctioning robot that attends a Buddhist temple to attain enlightenment, sort of a spiritual I, Robot, and delves deep into the concept of what life really is. Warner Bros. has already worked with him with The Age of Shadows, their first ever Korean-language film, so they could easily tap him for another English-langue one.


Karyn Kusama

The inevitable headlines comparing her work on The Matrix with her other anime-inspired martial arts film (the infamous bomb Aeon Flux) might keep her out of any serious consideration, but one need only look at The Invitation to realize that Kusama can bring a film to a satisfying conclusion like few others. It's got that tense otherworldly feel where we know something's not quite right and are just waiting for the veil to lift, and when it finally does, it absolutely does not disappoint. We know Kusuma knows brutal horror better than most anyone in the industry today, so why not give her a shot at sci-fi?

New Neill Blomkamp Movie

Neill Blomkamp 

I refuse to believe that District 9 was a one-shot. I refuse to believe that District 9 was a one-shot. 

Call me an idealist, but I want to believe that Blomkamp has another amazing film in him, and what better than a return to the themes of robot-human relations? He already knows how to marry digital and physical effects beautifully, he has a sick sense of humor, and since his secret Aliens project imploded, he's probably hankering for another massive sci-fi franchise to call his own.

why Ava DuVernay turned down Black Panther

Ava DuVernay

She might have famously never picked up a camera until she was 33, but she's one of the most exciting directors working today. 13th alone should tell you that she's perfect for this reboot, as few other films have delved deeper into the subjects of mass incarceration, slavery, and inequality – all themes that anyone tackling The Matrix will need to grapple with intensely if they want to make it the least bit topical. She also just wrapped production on A Wrinkle in Time, the upcoming adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's classic time-travelling-novel, which means she already knows how to wrangle big-budget sci-fi with religious undertones. Plus, her friend Oprah stars in it as Mrs. Which, and who would be more perfectly cast as the Oracle?

Ana Lily Amirpour

I'm not saying a director has to have made cannibal movies in order to make a film about a world in which humans subsist on their own dead, but it can't hurt. Amirpour also has the sheer style that a Matrix film needs, an effortless coolness that romanticizes violence in all the right ways. She's worked with Neo himself, Keanu Reeves, in The Bad Batch, a film about misfits forging their own world, and knows how to marry a soundtrack to the film to make it even cooler. She's one to watch.

Sean Baker 

Since both of the famously secretive Wachowskis have now transitioned, it's almost impossible not to see The Matrix as a film about the transgender experience. No one in The Matrix is comfortable in their skins until they take charge of their own lives and make their own identities. Residual self image, indeed. Since there have been few films that even tried to tackle the challenges that trans people face, the director of Tangerine would be a brilliant choice to really delve into that subject. Baker can make a compelling, fantastically shot film on a damn cell phone, so just imagine what he could do with a studio budget.

gareth evans

Gareth Evans 

We all know that The Matrix has some of the best fight scenes ever put to film. It's part of the reason that led its initial popularity, and even now you can likely rattle off every single action sequence in the entire trilogy, so unique and memorable each one is. So if Warner Bros. wants action and memorable fights, they need to hire Evans. In The Raid and The Raid 2 he crafted what are arguably the most kinetic and visceral fights in decades, and the idea of WB offering him all the money in the world to conceive of bigger fights... Well, that's one way to get us excited. Plus, Evans can bring along his longtime collaborator and martial arts superstar Iko Uwais, who deserves more in an American film than getting gobbled up by a space alien while Han Solo gawks.

Nacho Vigalondo

Vigalondo has proven that he will never be accused of telling boring stories with films like Timecrimes and Colossal. He also clearly doesn't mind messing with his audience's heads. His work defies categorization in the best way, amazing genre mixtures that jump from one tone to another at his whim. Nothing is ever at is seems in a Vigalondo film, so him at the helm of this epic story could make for something special.

Sion Sono 

The Hollywood Reporter famously called him "the most subversive filmmaker working in Japanese cinema today," so who better to take down the Matrix than a director with no regard for the system? One of his most recent films, Tokyo Tribe, is as manga as a live action film can get, a necessity for someone working in The Matrix. He could inject a level of manic humor to the proceedings that would completely change the tone of the sometimes-dour original. Think about how much fun his red pill characters would be having in the world of their own creation!

Wachowskis interview

The Wachowski Sisters 

Here's a crazy idea. Have them do it again.

Remember one thing – the Matrix rebooted at the end of Revolutions. Everyone was offered the chance to leave, but how many people were really going to do so? Do you have many acquaintances who would be excited about living the rest of their days in a sunless wasteland, eating grey muck and dancing in the dirt? Given the choice between that kind of freedom and captivity, we'd have way too many Joey Pants staying behind. Even the Oracle knows this, as is evident when she states that we haven't seen the last of Neo.

Think what you want of the Wachowski's later work, but there's no denying that they have a vision unlike anyone else, and while they probably wouldn't want to retread the same ground, a new take on the material may be the only thing that makes fans interested. The fact that they're apparently not involved in the production at all is an enormous red flag, and while having them on as producers would be one thing, having them try another crack at it could make for something stunning. We'll just have to see for ourselves.