The Matrix: Resurrections Will Be Rated-R, Thankfully

Sometimes, no news is good news. Other times, the most obvious news imaginable is even better. This ought to be considered an ideal example of the latter, as we can now definitively confirm that "The Matrix Resurrections" will be rated R for "violence and some language." For anyone who may have held reservations about a fourth entry in the wildly influential sci-fi saga potentially feeling watered down or lacking the same magic as the original, rest assured that this suggests that "Resurrections" can hopefully join the Wachowski sisters' original "Matrix" trilogy as yet another steadfastly uncompromising and visionary-friendly installment from one of the most idiosyncratic filmmakers currently in the business.

It's comforting to know that as much as things may change — Lana Wachowski will be operating without her sister Lilly on this outing, neither Laurence Fishburne or Hugo Weaving seem likely to reprise their famous roles, and it's fair to wonder how relevant the themes of the original will hold up over two decades later — we can still rely on "The Matrix" to add a shot of adrenaline-fueled, adult-oriented action entertainment as a countermeasure to the usual blockbuster fare.

"We're All In"

The news that "The Matrix Resurrections" will receive an R-rating comes courtesy of Film Ratings. For comparison's sake, "The Matrix" was given its MPAA rating back in 1999 for "sci-fi violence and brief language." "The Matrix Reloaded" earned its R, on the other hand, for "sci-fi violence and some sexuality." Long live that wonderful, bizarre, and extremely horny rave scene! Finally, "The Matrix Revolutions" received its R rating for "sci-fi violence and brief sexual content." Should we read into the fact that the "sci-fi" disclaimer to the violence has apparently been dropped for "Resurrections"? Well, between how arbitrary MPAA ratings can be and the fact that the incredible trailer boasts a wealth of high-concept, fantastical action from beginning to end, I'd lean towards "no."

Some related news regarding "The Matrix Resurrections" comes courtesy of Deadline, as WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff sat down for an interview about their remaining slate of films for this year and how the simultaneous release between theaters and HBO Max affects the possibility of sequels. Questions about a "Dune" sequel understandably dominated that conversation, but there was also a tidbit about future collaborations with Lana Wachowski. Though Sarnoff leaves enough wiggle room for interpretation into whether she meant Wachowski in general or specifically more "Matrix" sequels, she said, "Anytime Lana wants to make a movie, we're all in." 

Perhaps tellingly, current expectations are that "Resurrections" will be the very last Warner Bros. film to open under the new day-and-date release with HBO Max. It's anyone's guess — except maybe Neo himself — as to what the future of "The Matrix" will look like afterwards.

"The Matrix Resurrections" is due to release in theaters and HBO Max on December 22, 2021.