'The Matrix 4' Announced, Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss Return Despite Neo and Trinity's Apparent Deaths

At the end of The Matrix Revolutions, the third in a trilogy that began with 1999's The Matrix, both Neo and Trinity sacrifice their lives to create peace between the robots and the last human city, Zion. On Tuesday, it was announced that both of the actors—Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss—will return to the roles, despite being dead, in The Matrix 4.

On Tuesday, Variety announced the new Matrix sequel, which will be written and directed by Lana Wachowski, who created the original movie with her sister, Lilly Wachowski. Also contributing to The Matrix 4 script are Sense8 actor Aleksandar Hemon and author David Mitchell, whose novel Cloud Atlas was previously adapted to screen by the Wachowskis.

"Many of the ideas Lilly and I explored 20 years ago about our reality are even more relevant now," Wachowski said in the announcement. "I'm very happy to have these characters back in my life and grateful for another chance to work with my brilliant friends."

Carrie-Anne Moss and Keanu Reeves in "The Matrix." The duo will return for "The Matrix 4." Warner Bros. Pictures

In The Matrix Revolutions, Neo and Trinity flew to the Machine City to convince the robots to halt their attack on Zion. Trinity was killed in the crash-landing, impaled by rebar. Neo soldiers on, convincing the robot leader "Deus Ex Machina" to accept peace with the humans. In exchange, Neo defeated the invasive, replicating Agent Smith virus infecting the Matrix. When we last saw Neo, his body was being carried away by the machines.

But hope for Neo's survival remains at the end of the trilogy. After a tenuous peace agreement was reached between robots and humans, the Oracle (Mary Alice, in a role originated by Gloria Foster) contemplated the future.

"Will we ever see him again?" a program in the body of Sati, a little girl, asked the Oracle of Neo.

"I suspect so, someday," she responded.

Since it was revealed in the second movie, The Matrix Reloaded, that there have been many Neos, it's possible Reeves could play a new iteration of the character. And while the return of Trinity would be a little harder to explain, Neo has demonstrated the ability to undo even grievous bodily damage, pulling a bullet from her body and reviving her in Reloaded. Neo and Trinity may be dead, but in the digitized world of The Matrix, there are many opportunities for resurrection.

It's as yet unclear what The Matrix 4 will mean for the Matrix movie reported to be in development in 2017, which was planned to star Michael B. Jordan, from a script by Zak Penn (Ready Player One). Since Warner Bros. is likely to prefer a sprawling Matrix franchise to a one-off, it's not necessarily the case that The Matrix 4 has superseded other plans for the series.

The Matrix 4 is expected to begin filming in 2020.