'The Matrix': 25 years on and a new viral conspiracy emerges

The Matrix: 25 years on and a new conspiracy emerges
The Matrix: 25 years on and a new conspiracy emerges Copyright Warner Bros.
Copyright Warner Bros.
By David Mouriquand
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25 years since the premiere of the first Matrix film, and new theories and conspiracies are being discussed. This is the one going viral at the moment...


Following news that Warner Bros. has confirmed a fifth entry into the sci-fi series is on the way - just in time to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the premiere of The Matrix – eagle-eyed fans have uncovered a strange coincidence, which is getting conspiracy theorists hot under the collar.

Indeed, aficionados of Neo, Trinity and The Merovingian have latched onto a blink-and-you'll-miss-it detail in the original 1999 movie, which appears when Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) is interrogating Neo (Keanu Reeves).

In it, we see Neo’s passport. 

As we all know, he was born Thomas A. Anderson. 

No major revelations there. However, his passport has an expiry date of 11 September 2001 – the day of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre.

The evidence
The evidenceWarner Bros. - YouTube

The screengrab of the passport has gone viral after being posted on Reddit, leading many to come up with the following theories:

  1. It’s a glitch in the Matrix – what a bizarre Easter egg in hindsight!

  2. Considering the film was released two years before the tragic 9/11 attacks, this just goes to show that time is a flat circle – as Nietzsche would have us believe in his doctrine of eternal recurrence.

  3. We’re all stuck in the Matrix and our lives are nothing more than an algorithmic construct that occasionally cries out for us to wake up to the simulation we’re slaves to.

  4. Neo actually stands for “Nine Eleven Orchestrated”. (No joke - this one was doing the rounds rather heavily.)

  5. People have way too much time on their hands.

Just think what they’d say or concoct if they realised that a year prior to The Matrix ’s release, the Coen Brothers’ cult classic The Big Lebowski got there first - as we can clearly see that The Dude writes the date 9/11 date on his check, a precise 10 years before the terrorist attacks (since the film is set in 1991).

That one will really bake your noodle...

The Dude abides
The Dude abidesPolyGram Filmed Entertainment - X

25 years since its release, the first Matrix film continues to spark debate, philosophical conversation and even scientific discourse. For instance, a physics professor claimed last year to have found evidence that we are living in a "virtual reality simulation".

Physicist Dr. Melvin Vopson established a parallel between the way the universe is ordered and the patterns one might find in a computer programme.

Speaking to Mail Online, Vopson said: "My studies point to a bizarre and interesting possibility that we don't live in an objective reality and that the entire universe might be just a super advanced virtual reality simulation.”

While he admitted that he didn't have “definite proof”, Vopson remained confident that his theory could raise some valid questions about the simulation hypothesis - the theory proposed by Oxford University philosopher Nick Bostrom, which proposes that what humans experience as the world is actually a simulated reality, such as a computer simulation in which humans themselves are constructs.

Make of that what you will. And try to remain calm. 

The Matrix Resurrections
The Matrix ResurrectionsWarner Bros.

Elsewhere, the recent news of a fifth film being in development, following the disappointing The Matrix Resurrections in 2021 (both critically panned and a flop at the box office - grossing just $159 million worldwide with a budget of $190 million), has led fans to threaten a boycott.

They’re upset that the new film will not be directed by creators Lana and Lily Wachowski.

Indeed, the upcoming sequel will be the first film in the series not to be directed by one or both of the Wachowski siblings - although Lana is still attached as an executive producer.

“If it ain’t Wachowski I will not watchski,” posted one rhyming fan on X, while as another added: “I was fine with a new Star Wars without George Lucas, but a new Matrix without either of the Wachowski sisters feels deeply sacrilegious."

Plot details have not yet been revealed, but Warner Bros. Motion Pictures president of production Jesse Ehrman has teased that the story will build on the fantasy world without straying too far from what originally made the series a success.


A release date or official cast list has yet to be announced.

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