When it came to surprise franchise revivals, one of the biggest was The Matrix with stars Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Jada Pinkett-Smith returning back into the fold with writer and director Lana Wachowski, who initially shared duties with sibling Lily Wachowski during the original trilogy. With the core quartet returning for The Matrix Resurrections, we find Neo (Reeves) and Trinity (Moss) possibly reincarnated, experiencing shades of their past lives as their original characters died in 2003’s Revolutions.
Smith’s Niobe was initially introduced in the second film, The Matrix Reloaded, in 2003, and her character ended up surviving through the trilogy. “I love The Matrix, and I love the story, and I love what it offers to the world, but sometimes you show up for people to be part of the journey,” Smith told Entertainment Weekly. “For Lana, I wanted to show up in that way.” The actress revealed they “went through a couple different versions of Niobe” before deciding on the elder version in the new film.
Niobe offered a cryptic line about her time while plugged in during the trailer. “It’s so easy to forget how much noise the Matrix pumps into your head. Something else makes the same kind of noise: war.” Smith recalled receiving a phone call from Lana despite Lily’s refusal to take part. “We had a beautiful conversation where she went into great detail about her personal journey [with the story],” she said. “I was so touched and so moved by why this world opened up for her again.”
Smith broke down how she connected with the script and trusting Wachowski’s process. “The concepts are always really deeply layered,” Smith says. “So, the thing about when you’re reading a script, you will get a layer or two, but then once I see the complete movie, and I have visuals — because I am a very visual person — I’m sure I’m going to see all of the hundreds of layers that I wasn’t able to actually grasp reading the script. You’re like, ‘I don’t quite understand what that is or what that looks like, but I know that’ll come.” For more on Wachowski’s personal journey leading up to The Matrix Resurrections, you can go to EW. The film is available in theaters and HBO Max on December 22.