Re-enter the Matrix
Lana Wachowski is getting the band back together for a fourth rage against the machines in Matrix 4 – though her sister and co-creator Lily seems to be steering clear of the project.
Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss will reprise their roles as the series’ central characters Neo and Trinity, though as yet there is no word on a return for Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus. The original Matrix was released 20 years ago in 1999, kick-starting a trilogy which culminated in 2003’s The Matrix Revolutions – a box office hit that nearly tripled its budget but fared less favourably with critics.
Cinematographer John Toll, known for his work on Braveheart, Iron Man 3 and the pilot of Breaking Bad, is said to be in the final round of negotiations to shoot the movie.
Tom Holland can’t catch a break
Elsewhere in Hollywood, Tom Holland has had something of a big week. After doubt was cast over the future of his role as Spider-Man amid a breakdown in communication between Sony Picture and Marvel, it seems the British actor is facing more uncertain in another project in which he is set to star.
Holland will play Nathan Drake in the studio’s Uncharted movie, an adaptation of the triple-A action-adventure video game series owned by its Playstation division Sony Interactive Entertainment.
Plans to get an Uncharted movie off the ground have stumbled consistently in the past few years – and despite attaching one of its most bankable stars to the project, reports suggest director Dan Trachtenberg has exited the project, making him the fifth helmsman to do so.
Sony says the movie is still expected to begin production early next year with a December 2020 release.
The world’s biggest esports tournament gets underway
If you thought last month’s Fortnite World Cup was a big deal, think again.
This weekend, video game developer Valve hosts the finals of its ninth annual tournament for DOTA 2, a top-down game that mixes strategy and resource management with tactical combat and some seriously impressive keyboard skills.
Known as The International, it is the biggest esports tournament in the world with a prize pool this year of $33m. The prize pool is funded by players, who can purchase in-game items, fantasy team packs and more to contribute to the pot.
Teams from around the world have already begun going head to head at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. Heats will be streamed live on Twitch throughout the weekend until the final showdown on Sunday 25 August. Last year’s International, held in Vancouver, Canada, was viewed by more than 15 million people around the world, and this year’s edition is expected to attract even more attention.
Teams of five players are tasked with sending their character down one of three paths, known as lanes, attacking the other team’s structures along the way to ultimate destroy their homebase, known as the Ancient. Teams can attack one another to slow their opponents progress, as well as interacting with a number of hostile and friendly characters controlled by AI.
The free-to-play game is one of Valve Corporation’s biggest success stories, and consistently tops the charts for most consecutive players on Steam, Valves gaming marketplace and social platform.
Hasbro’s hot streak
Struggling to keep up with all the Hasbro announcements this week? Here’s the short version: Hasbro has acquired Entertainment One, the company behind Peppa Pig, PJ Masks and a new pre-school series hotly tipped to follow in their footsteps, Ricky Zoom. The firm also announced its master toy partnership with Sony Pictures for Ghostbusters, and has pledged to ditch all plastic packaging by 2022.