Neo and Trinity! The red pills that those unpleasant internet dudes keep going on and on about (incorrectly)! Very cool outfits of the cyberfuture! It’s all coming back around again with a fourth Matrix installment, officially a go at Warner Bros. Lana Wachowski will direct and is co-writing the film alongside Aleksandar Hemon (Sense8) and David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas). Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are also back on board. Now, we have no idea what it will be about because the Wachowskis are legendarily quiet about content until it’s ready to be seen. And really, who needs spoilers? We’ve watched the growth and flowering of Wachowski World from the time of Bound, through Speed Racer, and up to the unfairly maligned – and also quite extravagantly weird and wild – Jupiter Ascending and the fact is that we are here for every new twist and turn in the spaced out journey. At the moment, Lilly Wachowski seems to have no involvement in this, but we assume she’s going to be hovering around doing… something? Cameras roll in 2020, so you’ll probably get to re-enter the Matrix sometime in 2021.
If you saw Julianne Moore’s appearance with Billy Eichner on his show Billy on The Street, you’ll recall him saying, “For a dollar she’ll do something understated!” And that is how the moviegoing public generally thinks of the Academy Award-winning actress. But we also know she has range, and it’ll probably come in handy when she stars in the upcoming Jill Soloway (Transparent) film Mothertrucker. Moore will play Instagram-famous personality Joy “Mothertrucker,” America’s lone female ice road big rig trucker. Joy is also the subject of Amy Butcher’s memoir of the same name, about the relationship formed between them when Butcher went to Alaska to ride along on a dangerous drive. The book will be published by Amazon in early 2022, probably around the same time as the film’s release. Meanwhile, the role of Amy is still in the casting process, but expect one of the current crop of young A-listers to attach herself soon.
Is the HBO series Euphoria good or bad? Is its dominant narrative revolving around a group of cisgender female and trans femme teenagers progressive? Or does it engage in exploitation when its characters suffer in grand, frightening ways? Does its harrowing depiction of drug use, sexual violence and other trauma make it honest or irresponsible? Sometimes it’s difficult to sort out. But we do know that its cast, led by the impressive Zendaya, is giving it their all, and the dreamily hazy music video qualities it possesses make it seem highly attractive even as it depicts a fairly brutal vision of adolescence. And now there’ll be a season two – thank goodness, because all its story lines ended in cliffhangers – so when we gather up our courage to dive back into the relentlessly grim teenage tragedy, it’ll probably already be waiting for us. We’ll be on board in the anticipation of a hopeful, if not necessarily happy, ending for these kids. They deserve it.
The classic Stephen Sondheim musical Merrily We Roll Along is the story of friends whose show business careers span 20 years. When the action begins they are middle-aged, successful, estranged and unhappy. And then the story moves back in time, little by little, ending with a powerfully moving final act that sees them all headstrong young comrades full of hope and belief in the power of that friendship. Well, who better to film this sort of years-spanning saga than Richard Linklater, the man who shot his adolescent epic Boyhood over the course of 12 years with the same actors, allowing his main character to grow up before the audience’s eyes. This time, though, the shooting schedule – already in progress – will last two decades, and twentysomething stars Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hanson), Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart) and Blake Jenner (Glee) will shoot the beginning of the film sometime in the late 2030s, when they’ve reached actual middle age, for a theatrical release sometime close to 2040. Now let’s hope that there are still theaters in 2040 and that climate change has been adequately addressed so that there’s still an audience