There’s nothing Hollywood loves more than a sure—profitable—thing, and remaking popular movies allows film studios to mine their archives for projects people already love. In recent years we’ve seen everything from Ghostbusters and Batman, to Rocky, King Kong, and Beauty and the Beast reimagined and the trend isn’t stopping anytime soon. In fact, according to the blog Den of Geek, there are 116 remakes in the works.
Tuesday, the Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Warner Bros. is planning to reboot the popular film franchise, The Matrix, and many on social media have mixed feelings about it. While most have called for studios to invest their resources into developing new narratives, others have questioned the reasoning behind tinkering with the Wachowskis’ classic films in the first place.
An original masterpiece called Get Out made $113M on a $4M budget and Warner Bros is rebooting The Matrix. Spend that money on new ideas!
— Travon Free (@Travon) March 15, 2017
Hollywood has gone from an industry that would make/distribute THE MATRIX to an industry that will reboot THE MATRIX…
— Scott Mendelson (@ScottMendelson) March 15, 2017
— Joe Bloggs (@J0EBL0GSS) March 15, 2017
But Hollywood is about making money, and if Warner Bros. insists on remixing The Matrix, they could use it as another opportunity to push the envelope and do so in an innovative, and inclusive, way. Though the studio is apparently eyeing Michael B. Jordan to helm the project, I have another idea: pick a Black woman.
When it comes to action films, Black women are rarely front and center, though we definitely should be. The success of Hidden Figures–which has surpassed X-Men: Apocalypse, and Star Trek Beyond at the domestic box office–proves that a project that features Black women in the lead can be profitable. Additionally, shows like The Walking Dead and Luke Cage demonstrate Black women can kick ass and hold their own alongside their male counterparts.
The Matrix is about a lowly computer hacker who’s actually “The One” who will save humanity from annihilation, and who better to save the world from itself than a Black woman?
Here in the U.S., Black women are the most educated group, we’re starting more businesses than others, and we’re more engaged in our communities and politics than everyone else. And not for nothing, if I was ever in a bind, I’d call on my sisters first to help me figure it out (and set folks straight).
With women and people of color making up the majority of moviegoers and Black women’s ability to galvanize sisters around a project (see: Hidden Figures), a well-written and directed Matrix reboot with a Black woman at the center will be hit. Never mind how awesome it would be to see Danai Gurira, Florence Kasumba, Simone Missick, or Janelle Monáe leading the rebellion, seeing a badass Black woman rescue humanity on screen would be a welcomed change.
Rebooting The Matrix with the same ole trope of a man–any man–leading the charge would do little to excite moviegoers to give it a try. But continuing the narrative and pushing it forward through the help of an unlikely heroine would make people wonder what the reboot is all about. Besides, seeing how women comprise half of the population and women of color are half of that, it’s about time for us to be the one who saves the world.
Britni Danielle is the Entertainment/Culture Director of EBONY. Follow her on Twitter @BritniDWrites