The Matrix Resurrections Star Sacrificed Shang-Chi Role for the Sequel

Thanks to having starred in projects like Game of Thrones and Iron Fist, actor Jessica Henwick has been afforded opportunities to join a number of exciting franchises, with Henwick recently confirming that she previously had auditions for both The Matrix Resurrections and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, though she was told she had to pick one audition over the other, ultimately securing a role in The Matrix sequel. While neither part was guaranteed, she recalled to Entertainment Weekly that the decision about which project to pursue felt like a moment lifted straight from the original The Matrix.

"It was a red-pill/blue-pill moment for me," Henwick recalled to the outlet in regards to deciding which project to audition for. The actor didn't reveal, however, which role in Shang-Chi she was auditioning for.

While the sequel sees the returns of original stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, Henwick is one of the newcomers to the franchise, noting that her character Bugs feels like "the audience's eyes" on this latest outing.

Given that the original trilogy of films explored a world in which robots had enslaved humanity, forcing the human race to exist either underground or in vats of goo while their minds believed they were living an actual life in "the matrix," the look and feel of the adventures were largely grim and dour. Henwick did note, however, that this new sequel will offer "a new tone" and "a new look" for the series, which even feels "joyous."  

The film is described, "From visionary filmmaker Lana Wachowski comes The Matrix Resurrections, the long-awaited fourth film in the groundbreaking franchise that redefined a genre. The new film reunites original stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in the iconic roles they made famous, Neo and Trinity."

The film also stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (the Aquaman franchise) Jessica Henwick (TV's Iron FistStar Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens), Jonathan Groff (Hamilton, TV's Mindhunter), Neil Patrick Harris (Gone Girl), Priyanka Chopra Jonas (TV's Quantico,), Christina Ricci (TV's Escaping the Madhouse: The Nellie Bly StoryThe Lizzie Borden Chronicles), Telma Hopkins (TV's Dead to Me), Eréndira Ibarra (series Sense8Ingobernable), Toby Onwumere (TV's Empire), Max Riemelt (series Sense8), Brian J. Smith (series Sense8Treadstone), and Jada Pinkett Smith (Angel Has Fallen, TV's Gotham).  

The Matrix Resurrections hits theaters and HBO Max on December 22nd.

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