'The Matrix 4' Hopes To Resume Filming In July; Cast Signs 8-Week Extension In Wake Of Shutdown

Warner Bros. is looking to restart The Matrix 4 by early July. Production on the highly anticipated fourth installment of the sci-fi franchise was halted in March due to industry-wide coronavirus shutdowns, but recent cast extensions suggests that the studio is hopeful that shooting can begin this summer.

Variety reports that the cast of The Matrix 4, which includes original Matrix stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, have all signed eight-week extensions that keep the actors on hold until at least July 6. This suggests that Warner Bros. is hopeful filming can restart July, after production was halted in mid-March out of abundance of caution for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.The Matrix 4, which is directed by Lana Wachowski and comes more than 17 years after the third Matrix film, had begun filming in February in San Francisco and was intended to move production to Berlin in mid-March. However, filming never began in Europe after the pandemic shut down productions worldwide.

This news comes on the heels of reports that TV and film production is slowly beginning to resume overseas. Productions in New Zealand and Prague have begun to "safely" resume, which means that other countries could soon follow. These reports are likely why Warner Bros. has set the Matrix 4 start date for July, as things are looking better in Europe than they are Stateside.

The Matrix 4 is being directed byLana Wachowski, who co-wrote the script with David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon. Original franchise cast members Keanu ReevesCarrie-Anne Moss, and Jada Pinkett Smith are all set to return, with new cast members including Priyanka ChopraJessica HenwickNeil Patrick HarrisToby OnwumereBrian J. SmithEréndira IbarraAndrew Caldwell, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. It's still unknown if original series star Laurence Fishburne will return, but Abdul-Mateen is rumored to be playing a younger version of Fishburne's character Morpheus. Plot details remain heavily under wraps.The Matrix 4 is set for a May 21, 2021 release date, but who knows if the film will make that date.