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Take the red pill, and the rabbit hole could lead to a Matrix spinoff (Update)

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While original reports claimed 'The Matrix' was being rebooted, writer Zak Penn took to Twitter Friday to clarify he's instead working on a spinoff project set within the Matrix universe.

Get ready to re-enter The Matrix.

That’s right, friends. Buckle up and put on your sunglasses, because Neo and friends are coming back … maybe. According to a new report from The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. is “in the early stages of developing a relaunch” of the 1999 hit film, which helped catapult Keanu Reeves into stardom. As per the Reporter’s sources, Zak Penn is “in talks to write a treatment.”

Updated 3-17-2017 at 4:50 p.m. PST by Ryan Waniata: While news of the film’s potential reboot ran rampant after THR’s report, Zak Penn took to Twitter Friday to clear things up. “Can’t comment yet except to say that the words ‘reboot’ and ‘remake’ were from an article.” Penn tweeted. “Do I want to see more stories set in the universe of the matrix? Yes. Because it’s a brilliant idea that generates great stories,” Penn continued. Though nothing official has come from the studio, it appears Warner Bros. is looking to play around more in the Matrix sandbox, potentially creating more stories within that cinematic universe similar to X-Men spinoffs like ‘Logan,’ and ‘Deadpool,’ according to Penn. This is good news for fans of the groundbreaking franchise who were angered to hear it might be reworked.

While few details are yet available, Michael B. Jordan could become the new face of the franchise, and it seems as though Joel Silver, the producer of the original film, went to Warners with the idea of a remake. That said, Silver sold his interest in all his films four years ago to the tune of about $30 million, so it’s unclear to what extent (if at all) he’d be involved in a new version.

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As it stands, the writers and directors of the original Matrix trilogy, Lana and Lilly Wachowski, are said to be uninvolved in the potential reboot, and the extent to which they’ll be included has yet to be determined. That said, the Reporter notes, “Warners would want the two filmmakers to give at minimum a blessing to the nascent project.”

While The Matrix may not have anticipated its own runaway success, it’s since solidified itself as a cult favorite in the science fiction genre. In 1999, the compelling plotline and (then) never-before-seen special effects made the film the highest-grossing R-rated movie of the year in North America, and the fourth-highest grossing film of the year the world over. The Matrix also was the recipient of four Academy Awards.

And although Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions didn’t meet with as much critical acclaim, they certainly have their place in the sci-fi canon.