'The Matrix 4' Style Has "Shifted" From The Original Trilogy, According To Neil Patrick Harris

It can't be overstated how wildly influential the style of the original The Matrix films were. From their revolutionary tech (bullet time!), to their pioneering of Hong Kong-style action in Hollywood, to those sleek leather jackets that everyone and their mother started wearing, the Matrix films' visual identity defined a generation. But times change, and 17 years have passed since The Matrix films were on the cutting edge. So naturally, they would shift gears with The Matrix 4, as teased by Neil Patrick Harris, who plays a "small part" in the highly anticipated film.

In an interview with SiriusXM's The Jess Cagle Show (via The Hollywood Reporter), Harris revealed new details about the fourth film in The Matrix series, which will be directed by Lana Wachowski and feature the return of Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss. While discussing Wachowski's approach to such a highly anticipated film, Harris teased that she has "shifted visually" from the original films:

"I think she has a great inclusive energy and her style has shifted visually from what she had done to what she is currently doing."

As to what that shift entails, we don't know and Harris didn't reveal more details. But he did say that The Matrix 4 will be "ambitious" and feature plenty of wirework, which was a technology that the first film helped to revolutionize.

"I've always wanted to be a lead in a big giant action movie with wires and stuff," Harris said. "And this is not bad for me, but it's certainly tangential and fun for me to be able to play in the sandbox a little bit."

The Matrix 4 has resumed filming in Berlin with new COVID-19 safety measures in place, which Reeves praised in an interview with the Associated Press. "There's some really thoughtful, effective protocols in place, and the rhythm of filmmaking has not been really impacted or interrupted, in the sense of filming," Reeves said. "That's because of the hard work and organization, and again the thoughtfulness that has gone into the protocols."

Production for The Matrix 4 began in San Francisco in February and moved to Berlin in March, but was forced to halt due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Matrix 4 is being directed by Lana Wachowski, who co-wrote the script with David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon. Original franchise cast members Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Jada Pinkett Smith are all set to return, with new cast members including Priyanka ChopraJessica Henwick, Neil Patrick Harris, Toby OnwumereBrian J. SmithEréndira IbarraAndrew Caldwell, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.

The Matrix 4 is set for a April 1, 2022 release date, delayed from its original May 21, 2021, date after the COVID-19 pause.