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This Forgotten Matrix Video Game Might Predict The Plot Of The Matrix 4

When the first "Matrix" movie did slow motion cartwheels into theaters over 20 years ago, it arrived with an air of mystery surrounding it. Questions fired through the cultural dialogue too quickly to dodge. What was a Matrix? Why was everything tinted green? Why, if he had never won a Kids Choice Award, was Keanu so gooey in the trailer? These narrative riddles, and others, could only be unpacked by going to see the film, or by unwillingly having someone from work who saw it over the weekend explain it to you the following Monday.

So it's in keeping with tradition that the fourth live action "Matrix" film has kept its plot cards close to the storytelling vest. Directed by Lana Wachowski, the sequel has been in active development for nearly two years, and with fewer than five months remaining before its scheduled December 22 release date, Warner Bros. has yet to so much as announce its official title. Any news of an official plot synopsis is, at this point, still just silly business.

Even so, some fans think that they've got the plot of "Untitled Fourth Matrix Movie" pegged, theorizing that the movie's story has already been told. It all comes down to the "Matrix" franchise's meteoric canonical expansion in the mid-2000s, and the same era's insatiable hunger for MMORPGs.

Behold, the glorious possible future of the Matrix franchise

"The Matrix Online" is still remembered by fans as an ambitious addition to the "Matrix" mythos. In 2005, the MMO was released to decent reviews, inviting players to exchange a paltry subscription fee for the opportunity to take up arms as a red-pill-devouring escapee of the digital prison created by the Machines.

The game took place in the years following the events of the third "Matrix" movie, with mankind and the Machines enjoying a tense but largely congenial coexistence. Players could side with the good and true people of Zion, the nefarious digital overlords, or the very French grey area of the Merovingian. Importantly, "The Matrix Online" also featured a continuous real-time story, released bit by bit in chapters. The first section of the story saw the game's factions tangled in a race to find the remaining fragments of Neo's code, scattered throughout the digital world in the wake of his (spoiler alert) alarmingly messianic death at the end of "The Matrix Revolutions." This, along with cryptic hints that Neo and Trinity's bodies had never been turned into Gerber Pod Person Food by the Machines, hinted at the potential for the characters' return.

All of this fits pretty beautifully with what we know about "The Matrix 4" so far, with Carrie-Anne Moss and Keanu Reeves both returning for the sequel. Additionally, "The Matrix Online" unscrupulously killed off Morpheus, which would explain Lawrence Fishburne's absence from the film. Could it be that Lana Wachowski is planning a sequel that you had to play four years of an MMO to understand? It might seem narratively impenetrable, but keep in mind, she also helped make "Cloud Atlas."