The Matrix 4 Trailer Breakdown: Neo, Trinity, Morpheus, and...Smith?!

The Setting: Is this the Matrix or Machine Heaven?

This trailer is so disorienting, it’s unclear where this Matrix movie even takes place. These movies have always been multi-setting stories, between the big simulation, smaller programs, and the real world, but this movie’s setting is particularly vital information since it’ll explain what’s going on in some of the weirder parts of the trailer.

Our first glimpse of Neo’s life after the events of The Matrix Revolutions reveals he’s back in a simulation as Thomas Anderson, but is it the Matrix we know and love? Maybe. This idyllic city by the sea doesn’t really look like the dystopian, sprawling Mega City from the original trilogy.

You may have also noticed that the signature green tint is gone. There’s actually an explanation for that. When the Matrix was rebooted at the end of Revolutions, it came back online without the greenish hue, with Sati creating a beautiful, otherworldly sunrise (not unlike the one shining down on the bridge in the first picture) in tribute to Neo.

But there’s also the possibility that this is a completely different simulation all together. I’ve gone on about this in other articles, but I have a few theories as to where this movie takes place: 1) it’s set in the same version of the Matrix as the first three movies but rebooting the simulation meant tweaks to the city, 2) this is a completely new version of the Matrix created as a successor to the one from the original trilogy, 3) this isn’t the Matrix at all and is instead a separate digital world.

Hear me out on that last point: we watched Neo die in Revolutions, not as himself but after being assimilated by Smith. Becoming one with Smith allows the Machines to send a kill signal from the real world, deleting the rogue program once and for all. But where do programs go when they’re deleted? Reloaded refers to a vague place called “the Source,” which seems to be the central mainframe of the Machines. Programs marked for deletion are supposedly absorbed by the Source.

Since Neo died only after he turned into a Smith while in the Matrix, and his real-world body died in the Machine City, what if Neo’s digital form has somehow become stuck in some sort of “machine heaven” inside the Source? This theory doesn’t necessarily track with other shots of real-world Neo later in the trailer, but it could be a possible explanation for why there’s a different version of Morpheus in this movie and why Jonathan Groff’s character tells Neo at the end of the trailer that he’s going “back to the Matrix.”

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