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‘The Matrix 4’ filming shuts down due to coronavirus pandemic

Published Mar 16th, 2020 6:09PM EDT
Matrix 4 filming
Image: Warner Bros/Village Roadshow Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock
  • The Matrix 4 filming has been suspended indefinitely as a result of the continued spread of the coronavirus.
  • Filming had been set to continue this week in Berlin, Germany, where the film production had relocated from San Francisco, but Warner Bros. decided to err on the side of caution and press pause for the time being. It’s not known at this point whether the pause will impact the Matrix 4 2021 release date.
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We may have to wait a little longer to return to the Matrix.

Per Warner Bros.’ orders, production on The Matrix 4 — the long-awaited sequel to the original Matrix trilogy — is being brought to a halt as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the globe. Shooting had moved in recent days to Berlin, Germany, from San Francisco, where members of the public captured and shared via social media scores of scenes and special effects as well as posed for selfies with lead actor Keanu Reeves. And while the movie is set to be released in 2021, it’s not clear at the moment whether or not this interruption will impact the release timetable.

According to press reports Monday, Warner Bros. decided to err on the side of caution and pause filming indefinitely. Word of the pause also comes the same day as Germany, where Matrix 4 filming had been set to get underway as planned this week, decided to seal its borders to close off five of its European neighbors — Austria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.

That measure went into effect Monday morning in Germany, where the country’s interior minister said during a news conference over the weekend that the deadly virus is moving “rapidly and aggressively” throughout the country. “We must assume that the peak of this development has not yet been reached,” that minister, Hosrt Seehofer, said. “So the situation is very serious.”

Luckily, no one on the Matrix 4 crew seems to have tested positive for the virus. The cast includes Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett Smith, and newcomers to the franchise like Priyanka Chopra, Jessica Henwick, Neil Patrick Harris, Erendira Ibarra, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, rumored to be portraying a young version of Lawrence Fishburne’s character Morpheus.

The film is being produced by director Lana Wachowski and Grant Hill, who also executive-produced Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions.

Warner Bros. ordering a pause to the filming follows similar halts brought to other pictures in its stable as the coronavirus continues to show no signs of slowing down. King Richard, which had been filming in Los Angeles, along with Baz Luhrmann’s untitled Elvis Presley biopic that had been shooting in Australia, have both hit pause, along with other Warner Bros. productions like Fantastic Beasts 3 and The Batman.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.