Why Neo Looks So Different In The Matrix 4

The new trailer for The Matrix: Resurrections replaces Neo’s classic clean-cut look with a beard and long hair. Here’s why the change is significant.

Footage from the upcoming Matrix: Resurrections sequel reveals that the series’ main protagonist Neo looks completely different in the new movie. Considering that the film is being released nearly two decades after the last entry, this discrepancy in appearance might seem perfectly reasonable. However, it turns out that there are other, more complicated reasons behind Neo’s new style, besides Keanu Reeves’ advancing years.

Although plot details about the new movie are far from concrete, current information indicates that Neo has no recollection that he is The One. The trailer showcases a conversation between Neo, referred to as “Thomas”, and a therapist played by Neil Patrick Harris. Further footage reveals that Neo dismisses recollections of his past as just dreams before he is awakened to his true purpose by a new Morpheus-like character played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.

Throughout the onscreen action, Reeves’ character appears significantly older – depicted with long hair and a beard. This is a huge contrast between the short-haired, clean-cut Neo seen throughout the first three films. But, beyond the passage of time, there are both narrative and practical factors that explain why Neo might look so different. In fact, given the implied context around the movie, his new appearance acts as a perfect visual metaphor, identifying him as a messiah-like figure in perfect keeping with the film’s religious undertones. note: Spider-Man No Way Home 2021 kompletter film deutsch

Neo’s new hair and make-up designs share clear similarities with Jesus. Like the Judeo-Christian representation, Neo is seen bearded with long hair, inviting direct comparison between the two. This link is made even more obvious by the title of the new film – “Matrix: Resurrections” not only implies a return from the grave for Neo, but echoes biblical stories of Jesus rising from his tomb. Considering the ever-present religious allegories that ripple through the original trilogy, this physical representation suggests that there is more of the same to come from The Matrix, cementing Neo’s role as a pseudo-God figure.

On a practical level, however, Neo’s distinctive appearance may well owe more to scheduling issues than a deliberate religious inference. For instance, it was widely reported that The Matrix 4 was being produced alongside another Keanu Reeves vehicle – John Wick 4. The similarities between Reeves’ John Wick character and the new Neo are striking, suggesting that filmmakers were forced to choose between a bad wig for Reeves in the next John Wick installment or keep his long locks for “The Matrix: Resurrections 2021 kompletter film deutsch“. Either way, whether out of artistic sensibility or necessity, it’s clear that there is a stark divide between the character’s present and past appearance.