The Matrix Resurrections was supposed to provide cult fans with a semblance of closure but, it seems, the movie’s troubles extend well beyond its borderline horrendous storyline.
Why are The Matrix Resurrections producers suing Warner Bros?
As reported by The Verge, production house Village Roadshow Films approached the Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, to file a lawsuit against WarnerMedia over the ‘rushed’ release of the fourth Matrix instalment.
Since news of the movie’s filming made the rounds in 2020, speculation has been rife on its release schedule. However, we now know that, in part, The Matrix Resurrections may have been forced into a late 2021 release date by Warner.
At least, this is what Village Roadshow alleges in its lawsuit. The production house is accusing its chief distributor of short-handing their agreement. For one, Village Roadshow claims the fourth Matrix was initially scheduled for release in 2022 but, Warner insisted on a late 2021 premiere.
Warner also ensured that the title dropped at a time when they were still running their ‘Project Popcorn’ initiative, a dual release tactic where blockbusters premiered in theatres and simultaneously on HBO Max.
Not only was Warner sacrificing theatre ticket sales — these were limited in some regions due to strict COVID-19 protocols — but the loss in cinema sales would greatly benefit HBO Max’s subscription base.
This, according to Village Roadshow, was Warner’s “clandestine plan to materially reduce box office and correlated ancillary revenue generated from tent pole films that Village Roadshow and others would be entitled to receive in exchange for driving subscription revenue for the new HBO Max service.”
Similarly to Scarlett Johansson’s gripe with Disney, which she won, by the way, Matrix franchise producers argue that zero benefit was accrued by itself or the talent (Keanu Reeves et al) in the dual release. Instead, Warner skirted all accountability from the flop, while, on the other hand, Village Roadshow and the cast “inflicted serious harm to the entire Matrix franchise.”
From what we understand, the lawsuit also involves certain gripes with the contractual agreement between the two parties that extends over 91 titles. Warner, on the other hand, termed the lawsuit “a frivolous attempt by Village Roadshow to avoid their contractual commitment to participate in the arbitration that we commenced against them last week. We have no doubt that this case will be resolved in our favour.”