The Matrix is one of the most successful franchises there is, and everyone knows that Keanu Reeves as Neo is one of the most iconic roles ever too. It would be fair to say that if Keanu Reeves wasn’t properly famous before, seeing him as Neo definitely changed that. The Matrix was first released on March 31, 1999, and had a whopping collection at the box office of around $463m. The sequel turned the heat on as The Matrix Reloaded was released on May 15, 2003, and earned almost $739m.
Neo sacrificed himself to destroy Smith – something that Smith couldn’t predict or prevent because he couldn’t understand the concept of free will. The Matrix was rebooted a seventh time, but the game had changed. Humans could now leave the Matrix and programs within the Matrix can evolve. A child program called Sati served as proof that programs within the Matrix can reproduce, something that is functionally useless and could only be explained by programs like her parents learning how to form emotional attachments – how to love.
Now it has been revealed that The Matrix 4’s title is possibly Matrix Resurrections, which would be more than appropriate for Neo’s return and follows the trend of the previous two sequel names, but it also hints that Neo’s return might not last forever. At the end of Matrix Revolutions, Neo bartered his own life for peace between humans and machines – albeit a temporary peace. Rather than allowing Agent Smith to consume everything, Neo made a deal with the Source that would save the world, at a price: Neo would have to enter the Matrix and allow himself to be assimilated by Smith, killing his form in the Matrix as well as his physical body in the real world.
It is pretty clear that The matrix franchise follows and uses a lot of Christian theology – from the themes of love, free will, and self-sacrifice to the biblical names like Zion and Nebuchadnezzar, the Matrix trilogy contains many obvious parallels to Christian theology. Now, the Matrix series has decided to introduce the biblical concept of resurrections. We know that Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are returning, and The Matrix 4 is taking place after Matrix 3, it is much possibly confirmed that Neo and Trinity will both be resurrected. But while the title Matrix Resurrections would connect the series to biblical themes, even more, it also implies that Neo’s return might not last.
Neo has always been regarded as the One and has been compared to other Christ figures in fiction like Harry Potter, Aslan, and Superman. Each of those characters has died and been resurrected, but the archetype has been used in popular fiction so often that it’s become a predictable trope. The Matrix 4 could subvert the trope and include an aspect of Christian theology that’s rarely included in popular fiction alongside resurrection: ascension. Neo sacrificed himself to save humanity. This very factor is the reason why he was granted resurrected. Now he may move on to some sort of elevated plane of existence in Matrix Resurrections. And that, with no possible doubt, will definitely be exciting to watch.
Neo’s story could end for good by the time the credits roll in The Matrix 4. He’s fulfilled his purpose and risen to the challenge of becoming the One, breaking the endless cycle of control in the real world and within the Matrix, and sacrificing himself to do so. Neo’s return in Matrix 4 obviously means there’s some sort of unfinished business for him to take care of, but now there are a limited number of satisfying ways that Neo’s arc can end.
It wouldn’t make sense for Neo to die again or live out a life in the Matrix, but he arguably doesn’t belong in the real world, either. Instead, there might be another place for Neo to go, departing the established realities within The Matrix series and ascending to a new reality.
It is doubtful that we will see Reeves as Neo in action again in the Matrix Resurrections considering he ever ascends the usual plane of existence. But if we are going to see the Matrix ascend into a new reality, we can expect a threat of such sort, because a Matrix movie does not conclude properly without Neo’s class apart action.