2. THE HUNGER GAMES TO RECEIVE PREQUEL MOVIE SET 64 YEARS EARLIER (Photo by Murray Close/Lionsgate)This week s news about The Hunger Games sort of deserves some mathematical assistance. You may not remember how many Hunger Games had taken place prior to the first film s narrative, but it s much easier to recall that The Hunger Games: Catching Fire depicted the 75th competition, and that s made easier by remembering that every 25th iteration of the Hunger Games (called Quarter Quells ) follow special rules. It was announced this week that author Suzanne Collins will publish an untitled Panem novel on May 19, 2020 that will be set 64 years before the events of The Hunger Games (in other words, 10 years after the games started, in world). Lionsgate was likewise quick to move forward with plans for a prequel based on that forthcoming novel. Online sources also quickly produced articles about the film, such as this one asking if The Hunger Games is still revelant in 2020, and this one listing other possible prequel ideas.3. THIS WEEK IN MARVEL: KEANU REEVES, AVENGERS: ENDGAME RERELEASE, AND BLACK WIDOW (Photo by Netflix)Some weeks, Marvel Studios could swallow half of The Weekly Ketchup if we let them, so it helps to just bunch their stories together. Let s start with the story that you ve probably already seen crawl across your social media, which is that Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige remarked that they frequently talk to Keanu Reeves about joining almost every new project, and they re still looking for a role for him. This begs a few questions, like what
ry, as George Lucas would once again journey to a galaxy far, far away with Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace. There was no question that this would be the movie event of the —Hold up. Before a single podracer would fire up that May, a little oddity dropped on March 31. It was too early to be a summer movie, too late to be a holiday movie – clearly no one knew what to do with this dystopian sci-fi action flick that was part Blade Runner, part anime, and part Intro to Existentialist Philosophy 101 (and it starred the dude from Point Break?) It was The Matrix, and it would explode like a neutron bomb, stealing little Anakin Skywalker’s thunder on its way to becoming the movie of 1999, a genre-bending instant classic with a powerfully iconic style that is still recognizable (and mimicked) today. It would be followed up by two mega-sequels in 2003 – The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions – that wouldn’t reach the heights of the original, but opened up a vast and intricate world that fans still obsess over.Now, 18 years and several animated shorts and MMORPGs later, Neo and Trinity are back in The Matrix Resurrections. With the release of the first official trailer, here’s what we know about our imminent future…Only One of the Wachowskis Is Returning to Direct(Photo by Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images)Ever since their 1996 directorial debut, Bound, Lana and Lilly Wachowski have been a double act. The siblings not only co-directed the entire original Matrix trilogy, but also Speed Racer, Jupiter Ascending, and Cloud Atlas (they also co-produced V for Vendetta and created the Netflix series Sense8). However, Matrix Resurrections will see Lana fly solo behind the camera for the first time. At this year’s CinemaCon, Lilly cited exhaustion from multiple projects, her transition, and the death of their parents for sapping her creative energy. I got out of my transition and was just completely exhausted because we had made Cloud Atlas and Jupiter Ascending, and the first season of Sense8 back-to-back-to-back,” said Lilly. “We were posting one and prepping the other at the exact same time. So you re talking about three 100-plus days of shooting for each project, and so, coming out and just being completely exhausted, my world was like, falling apart to some extent even while I was like, you know, cracking out of my egg. So I needed this time away from this industry. I needed to reconnect with myself as an artist and I did that by going back to school and painting and stuff. Neo and Trinity Are Back(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures) Despite the minor complication that Neo and Trinity both die in Revolutions, original stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are returning for the fourth go-round (here’s a hint: The movie is called RESURRECTIONS). It’s also been reported that Jada Pinkett Smith will be reprising her role as Niobe, a Zion rebel and hovercraft captain, and Lambert Wilson will be returning as mysterious computer-based crime lord The Merovingian (though neither show up in the trailer). Notably absent are original stars Laurence Fishburne (who played Neo’s mentor, Morpheus) and Hugo Weaving (who played the villainous Agent Smith, a security program that eventually goes rogue). Weaving was actually interested in coming back, but scheduling conflicts made it impossible. As for Fishburne, there may be more behind the decision to not have him return…Is That Young Morpheus ?(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)One of the reasons Fishburne may not be back is that Morpheus as we know him is gone. In fact, the character is killed during the Matrix Online – an MMORPG that ran from 2005-2009 and is considered canon. Candyman star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is rumored to be playing either a young version of Morpheus (perhaps beaming in from another timeline to alter the future) or simply Morpheus with a newer, younger look. Note that in the trailer, Abdul-Mateen is clearly wearing very “Morpheus”-like pince-nez sunglasses, and there s a call-back to the dojo fights between Neo and Morpheus in the first film. Also, on the website WhatisTheMatrix.com, there were quick teaser shots of what looked to be computers “creating” Abdul-Mateen out of nothing – so maybe he’s not what he seems at all, even if Abdul-Mateen himself took to Instagram seemingly to confirm what everyone was thinking.