The Matrix (series)

The Matrix (series)

The "Matrix" franchise comprises three science-fiction/adventure films written and directed by the Wachowski brothers and produced by Joel Silver. The first film "The Matrix" was released in March, 1999. After the film's success, two sequels were greenlighted, titled "The Matrix Reloaded" (May, 2003) and "The Matrix Revolutions" (November, 2003). The characters and settings of the Matrix fictional universe are further explored in other media, including animation, comics, and video games.

The series depicts a complex science fiction story incorporating many philosophical elements. Other influences include cyberpunk, mythology, anime, Hong Kong action films (particularly "heroic bloodshed" and martial arts movies), simulated reality and philosophy of mind. Though not directly, key concepts of several beliefs are touched upon, including Buddhism, Christianity, Gnosticism, Hinduism, Judaism, Jainism, Islam, and Atheism.

"The Matrix"

The series began with 1999's "The Matrix". The film, directed by the Wachowski brothers and produced by Joel Silver, was highly successful, earning $460 million worldwide and beating "" for the Academy Award for Visual Effects. In addition, by 2000, the DVD release of the film reached three million sales, the first DVD release in the United States to do so." [ "Press release - August 1, 2000 - The Matrix DVD: The first to sell 3 million"] . URL retrieved 26 July 2006.]


The movie's mainstream success led to the greenlighting of the next two films of the trilogy, "The Matrix Reloaded" and "The Matrix Revolutions". It took a number of years and several iterations of scripts before the final films were approved. The two sequels, which tell a continuous story rather than being stand-alone episodes, were filmed simultaneously and released six months apart. The trilogy is known as "The Matrix Trilogy".

In acknowledgment of the strong influence of Japanese anime on the "Matrix" series, "The Animatrix" was produced in 2003. This is a collection of nine animated short films intended to further flesh out the concepts, history, characters and setting of the series. The "Animatrix" project was overseen by the Wachowski brothers, but they wrote only four of the segments themselves and did not direct any of them. Many of the segments were produced by notable figures from the world of Japanese animation. Four of the films were originally released on the series' official website, one was shown in cinemas with "Dreamcatcher", one was shown on MTV, MTV2, MTV3, and MTV4, and the others first appeared with the DVD release of all nine shorts shortly after the release of "The Matrix Reloaded".

Box office performance

Additional media

On 15 May, 2003, the game "Enter the Matrix" was released in the United States concurrently with "The Matrix Reloaded". The first of three video games related to the films, it told a story running parallel to "The Matrix Reloaded" and featured scenes shot during the filming of "The Matrix Reloaded" and "The Matrix Revolutions". But the plot was specifically intended for the game.

Over a year after the cinematic release of the final film, "Revolutions", Warner Home Video released "The Ultimate Matrix Collection", a 10-Disc DVD set of the films. It included the three films, "The Animatrix", and six discs of additional material. A Limited Edition of the collection encases the ten discs, as well as a resin bust of Neo, inside a Lucite box.

Two more "Matrix" video games were released in 2005. The MMORPG "The Matrix Online" continues the story beyond "Revolutions", while "" allows players to control the series' protagonist Neo in scenes from the film trilogy.

In addition, several comics and short stories based on the series – one written by the Wachowskis, the others by guest writers – were released on the official website. Many of these have since been collected in two printed volumes of "The Matrix Comics".

Reputation and influence

While the first movie was extremely successful, both critically and popularly, the quality of the sequels is still a matter of debate. Some fans and professional critics believe they exceed the quality and conceptual heights of the first film, while others found the later films disappointing. [ [ Rotten tomatoes review of Matrix Revolutions] ] "The Matrix Reloaded" was well received by critics, currently holding an average rating of 73% (Certified Fresh) on Rotten Tomatoes. However, the reaction of some fans to this sequel has been mixed.When "The Matrix Revolutions" was released, one complaint was that it did not give clear cut answers to the questions raised in "Reloaded" but rather raised new ones. [ [ New York Metro review of Matrix Revolutions] ] The "Matrix" series has also inspired a new religious movement called Matrixism: The path of the One.Jordison, Sam (2005). "The Joy of Sects: An A-Z of Cults, Cranks and Religious Eccentrics: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sects But Were Afraid to Ask", pp 127-9, Robson Books. ISBN 1861059051] [Bouma, Gary (2007). Australian Soul, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521673891] cite web | author= Morris, Linda | date=May 19 2005 | title= They're all God Movies| publisher= NPR|url=| accessdate=2006-08-05] [cite web|url=|title= Matter of faith|author=Moscaritolo, Maria|publisher= News Limited Australia|date=12 June 2006|accessdate=2007-04-24] [citejournal|journal=Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions|pages=103–112 |volume =10|issue =4|id= ISSN|1092-6690 |year= 2007 |publisher= The Regents of the University of California|title=Perspective: New New Religions: Revisiting a Concept|author=J. Gordon Melton|url=|doi=10.1525/nr.2007.10.4.103] The religion was conceived by an anonymous group in mid-2004Possamai, Adam (2005). "Religion and Popular Culture: A Hyper-Real Testament", Peter Lang Publishing Group. ISBN 90-5201-272-5 / US-ISBN 0-8204-6634-4 pb.] cite web | author= Jordison, Sam | date=April 8 2006| title= Everything you always wanted to know about sects| publisher= "The Scotsman" | url=| accessdate=2007-05-04] and by November 2004 it claimed to have attracted upwards of 300 members. [cite web|url=|title= When movies inspire a religion|author=Frishberg, Manny|publisher= JTNews|date=26 November 2004|accessdate=2008-06-19] Current reports indicate that there are now approximately 16,000 followers of Matrixism worldwide. [cite web|url=|title= Behind Matrixism|author=Kotelawala, Himal|publisher= The Sunday Times Sri Lanka|date=14 June 2008|accessdate=2008-06-19] Even though Matrixism has grown substantially and its Geocities website (username: matrixism2069) has received significant attention in the mediacite web | author=Kasriel, Alex | year=2006 | title= The joy of sects| publisher= "The Sun" | url=,,5-2005590116,00.html | accessdate=2007-06-03] cite web | date=24 May 2007 | title="Nieuw geloof" | publisher="Esquire Magazine Netherlands" | url= | accessdate=2007-06-14 |quote= English translation: "Because there is nothing more fun than discussing a film, 1400 fans of the film have set up a new religion, Matrixism (not to be confused with Marxism). Just like their hero Neo from The Matrix, they release themselves from The Matrix with a red pill."] [citejournal|title=Matrixism -"The Path of the One"|journal=Esquire Magazine UK|publisher= Zinio |date= January 19, 2007|url=|quote="The 1,400 worldwide "Matrixists", or "Pathists", cite the three Matrix films as their religious texts. Like Matrix hero Neo, they choose to free themselves from the Matrix"] some still debate whether Matrixists are serious about their beliefs.



* "The Art of the Matrix" by Spencer Lamm (Newmarket Press, 2000) ISBN 1-55704-405-8
* "The Matrix Comics" by various (Titan Books, 2003) ISBN 1-84023-806-2
* "The Matrix Comics Volume 2" by various (Titan Books, 2005) ISBN 1-84576-021-2
* "The Matrix Shooting Script" by Larry and Andy Wachowski (with introduction by William Gibson) (Newmarket Press, 2002) ISBN 1-55704-490-2
* "Enter The Matrix: Official Strategy Guide by Doug Walsh (Brady Games, 2003) ISBN 0-7440-0271-0
* "The Matrix Online: Prima Official Game Guide" (Prima Games, 2005) ISBN 0-7615-4943-9
* "The Matrix: Path of Neo Official Strategy Guide" (Brady Games, 2005) ISBN 0-7440-0658-9


* "" by Matthew Kapell and William G. Doty (Continuum International, 2004) ISBN 0-8264-1587-3
* "Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy and Religion in "The Matrix" by Glenn Yeffeth (Summersdale, 2003) ISBN 1-84024-377-5
* "Matrix Warrior: Being the One" by Jake Horsley (Gollancz, 2003) ISBN 0-575-07527-9
* "The "Matrix" and Philosophy: Welcome to the Desert of the Real" by William Irwin (Open Court, 2002) ISBN 0-8126-9502-X
* "More Matrix and Philosophy" by William Irwin (Open Court, 2005) ISBN 0-8126-9572-0
* "Like a Splinter in Your Mind: The Philosophy Behind the "Matrix" Trilogy" by Matt Lawrence (Blackwell, 2004) ISBN 1-4051-2524-1
* "The Matrix" (British Film Institute, 2004) ISBN 1-84457-045-2
* "Matrix Revelations: A Thinking Fan's Guide to the Matrix Trilogy" by Steve Couch (Damaris, 2003) ISBN 1-904753-01-9
* "Beyond the Matrix: Revolutions and Revelations" by Stephen Faller (Chalice Press, 2004) ISBN 0-8272-0235-0
* "The "Matrix" Trilogy: Cyberpunk Reloaded" by Stacy Gillis (Wallflower Press, 2005) ISBN 1-904764-32-0
* "Exegesis of the Matrix" by Peter B. Lloyd (Whole-Being Books, 2003) ISBN 1-902987-09-8
* "The Gospel Reloaded" by Seay Garrett (Pinon Press, 2003) ISBN 1-57683-478-6
* "The "Matrix": What Does the Bible Say About..." by D. Archer (Scripture Union, 2001) ISBN 1-85999-579-9
* "Journey to the Source: Decoding Matrix Trilogy" by Pradheep Challiyil (Sakthi Books 2004) ISBN 0-9752586-0-5
* "Exploring the Matrix: Visions of the Cyber Present" by Karen Haber (St. Martin's Press, 2003) ISBN 0-312-31358-6
* "Philosophers Explore The Matrix" by Christopher Grau (Oxford University Press, 2005) ISBN 0-19-518107-7
* "The Matrix Cultural Revolution" by Michel Marriot (Thunder's Mouth Press, 2003) ISBN 1-56025-574-9
* "The Matrix Reflections: Choosing between reality and illusion" by Eddie Zacapa (Authorhouse, 2005) ISBN 1-42080-782-X
* "The One" by A.J. Yager & Dean Vescera (Lifeforce Publishing, 2003) ISBN 0-97097-961-4

ee also

* The Matrix
* The Matrix Reloaded
* The Matrix Revolutions
* The Animatrix
* Collective Unconscious
* Cyberpunk fashion
* Lucid Dreaming
* The Meatrix
* Religion and the Internet
* Subconscious mind
* Simulated reality


External links

* [ Official site for the series ]
* [ The Matrix multiple screenplays by Andy & Larry Wachowski]
* [ The Matrix Reloaded October 27, 2001 draft screenplay by Andy & Larry Wachowski]
* [ The Matrix Revolutions October 27, 2000 draft screenplay by Andy & Larry Wachowski]
* [ Categorized directory of links at the Open Directory Project]
* [ The Many Meanings of "The Matrix"] , Larry Wachowski in a dialogue with Ken Wilber.
* [ The Matrix Narrative Chronology]
* [ Matrixism: The path of the One (official website)]

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