'The Matrix' Relaunch Writer Teases Expanded Universe of Movies

Fans have known about Warner Bros.' intentions to relaunch The Matrix franchise once again, breathing more life into the Wachowski Sisters' groundbreaking cash cow. But there's been few developments on that front.

But screenwriter Zak Penn might have revealed insight into their lofty ambitions, possibly teasing a shared universe set in the world where humans are pitted against machines.

While speaking with ScreenRant, Penn spoke about how he wants to revive The Matrix — not reboot it.

"I’ve been working on Matrix right now. Which is in…a phase right now," said Penn. "That’s a franchise I desperately want to see brought back and, I can’t go in to too much detail, but I’ve been harassing Warner Bros. for years to try to get it going again so that’s one thing I’m working on and I’ve been working on a bunch of other things too."

Ahead of the premiere of his new film Ready Player One, Penn addressed the similarities between the two properties and their virtual worlds.

"I think OASIS (the virtual space in Ready Player One) is similar," Penn said. "Both the Matrix and OASIS are similar in that they are brilliant ideas for universes… When it came out about Matrix, people were like ‘Oh no, there going to reboot Matrix’ I was like, Why, I’m not insane. I mean, The Matrix is still one of my favorite…they’d re-release The Matrix and people would go see it."

Penn makes it clear that he's not rebooting the beloved franchise, but what else could he possibly do? It sounds like he'll explore a different corner of the universe established in the Wachowskis' movies, expanding the series into a possible shared universe.

Whether it will be in the style of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or perhaps even the Star Wars franchise, with side-story spinoffs, remains to be seen, but there is a precedent to flesh out the world where machines harvest humans for energy and put their consciousness into a virtual world.

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The animated spinoff The Animatrix presented an anthology of stories, the video game Enter the Matrix explored the story of Niobe and Ghost, while The Matrix Online MMO explored the world after Neo's sacrifice.

We'll see if Warner Bros. decides to move forward with Penn's plans for the revival of The Matrix, and what shape those plans will take in the future. Hopefully Keanu Reeves gets involved in some form or fashion...