For the last few years I’ve been dying on one hill. This hill of course is the “John Wick and The Matrix are part of the same universe” hill. The grass is pretty green I like to think, or maybe it’s the red pill, or is it the blue? I don’t remember anymore. But what I do know is I’d like to plead my case on why I believe Matrix Resurrections and John Wick 4 are bound to do a little crossover karate.
Let’s state the obvious, Keanu Reeves is the star of both franchises. That’s the main link, the clear cut one. But also don’t tell me that the new poster for Matrix Resurrections, coming out on HBO Max and in theaters December 22nd, doesn’t have Neo looking identical to John Wick. Look closely. That’s John. I can hear you rolling your eyes, he was shooting both movies, it’s okay he has a beard and long hair in both. I see your point, but I raise you a few more arguments.
Not only does Laurence Fishburne play Morpheus in The Matrix, he also plays the Bowrey King in John Wick 2 and 3. Weird? Maybe. But you know who’s also in John Wick and The Matrix? The keymaker. Blink and you’ll miss the connection. John Wick 3 has a scene where John gets stitched up by a doctor, who is played coincidentally by Randall Duk Kim who is also the keymaker in Matrix 2. Now tell me that isn’t just a bit weird.
The dialogue crossover is also notable. Callbacks to Matrix are hidden throughout the Wick franchise. The “guns, lots of guns” line, bam, it’s in Wick. Why call back to a world that’s not part of your story? Think on it.
Spoiler alert. I’d also like to point out that John Wick begins with John mourning the death of the woman he loved. Matrix 3 has Trinity, Neo’s love, dying and Neo mourning her as the film ends. Wink wink, nudge nudge. John Wick perhaps begins as Matrix 3 ends, putting Neo back in a simulation? Could be.
Also a mild spoiler alert in this little piece of trivia… At the end of John Wick 2, Winston, played by Ian McShane stops the entirety of Central Park with one phone call. How is that possible? Not everyone in that park is in on the John Wick assassin payroll. How would Winston have the power to stop an entire park? What do I think you ask? Well, Winston is a program in the Matrix, some have even said the creator. Also, isn’t it odd that while John goes to all out war in every scene of those films the general public doesn’t seem to even bat an eyelash at the sudden blood spray occurring within feet of them? Programs maybe? All part of the simulation? To me the answer is….yes.
Follow the white rabbit with me on this one. The John Wick universe is a program where Neo is plugged in. He’s seeing old friends, being bombarded by agents who are assassins in this coding of the Matrix. He’s invincible still though, he’s Neo no matter where they plug him into. I get goosebumps just imagining this scenario, as odd as it may seem.
Regardless of your stance or not, it is a bit strange isn’t it? Neo is the one true warrior of the Matrix and John Wick is the boogeyman icon of his universe. Both invincible, both wanted so badly by the bad guys and both surrounded by the same cast of characters. There’s something undeniable about imagining Neo getting plugged in and waking up as John Wick. It’s almost a missed opportunity if there isn’t at least a nod and wink to the idea that John Wick is a simulation. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but when they announced that John Wick 4 and Matrix Resurrections were to come out on the same day originally my eyes did bug out of my head (what do you see first? Is one a book end for the other? So many panic filled questions about what order to watch the films in). But we are far from the joint release date and Matrix Resurrections will be the first viewing no matter what.
There is also something to be said about Matrix Resurrections not being a sequel or a prequel in a way. And the fact that Morpheus is young and not played by Fishburne (maybe because he’s hooked up as the Bowery King in the other simulation, eh?) has me raising an eyebrow. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I am a movie theorist. There are so many more connections between the films that are undeniable no matter what side of the simulation fence you are on.
At the end of the day we are getting a new Matrix and a new John Wick. Both franchises have a special place in my heart. I will forever be trying to plant that seed of crossover in everyone’s minds though. Just imagining the scenarios of how to introduce the two universes could fill road trip conversations. I am thankful for Keanu and the worlds he’s taken us to. And let’s just say, if John in fact answers the phone and finds himself suddenly on a ship being unplugged from that program…well I will be buying ad space on a local billboard all around town to say “I told you so”.
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Writer. Geek. Final Girl.