This has been a long time coming. A complete redesign of MatrixFans.net has been in my plans for years, but I haven’t really had the time to do it. I still don’t have a lot of time, with everything Narnia that is going on this fall and I’m getting married soon. That being said, there are a lot of plans in store.
Below I’m going to summarize what could be, and probably eventually will become, a series of articles about the Matrix as a property as well as this website in general.
You’ll notice that the old website is still what you see when you click links on the menu. That will be changed when I get a chance. My goal is to make the site easy to update. It could take some time, so I ask for your patience. The Matrix isn’t going anywhere soon so I’m not in much of a rush, unfortunately.
What could make The Matrix relevant again?
While I know a few fans feel that, with The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, the series is effectively over and anything else is unnecessary. While I agree, somewhat, I also feel that this is a universe that we haven’t really scratched the surface on as much as we could. It’s not something that is necessary, but it could be really great if handled well.
Other science fiction franchises have been revitalized years later, to varying degrees of success.
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi came out, and following that were a couple of Ewoks tv movies as well as Ewoks and Droids cartoons. It wasn’t until 1991, however, that Star Wars itself had more original stories produced in its’ universe. Timothy Zahn successfully started the Expanded Universe with the Thrawn Trilogy, beginning with Heir to the Empire. It was eight years later, and those books hit the New York Times best seller lists. The Star Wars franchise is a family one, though, and that does differentiate it a bit from The Matrix, but you see what I mean. 2011 is the eight year mark for The Matrix and if a great science fiction author was allowed to play in the world created by the Wachowski Brothers, it could be very successful.
Terminator: Here’s a franchise that has had a lot of trouble over the years. Between Terminator 2 and 3 was a 12 year gap, and now there’s been another sequel, a tv series that lasted two seasons and a potential animated film. There are also books and comic books that help to expand the universe. Terminator fans are more in line with Matrix fans. Both tend to have a similar audience, and both have pretty close to the same backstory.
I would love to see the world of The Matrix expanded with more than just The Matrix Online video game. There is so much untapped potential, and there are many stories that I would love to see told. I’m talking books, comic books, cartoons and movies. Imagine a story from Agent Smith’s point of view, stories of the other potentials, stories of each of the prior One’s and what caused each of them to fail. What about some alternate universe stories in comic book form? Something like DC Comics’ Elseworlds, in which Neo takes on and destroys the Machines completely, and frees everyone from The Matrix.
Anyway, those are just some of the thoughts that I’ve had over the years. Do you have any other ideas for stories you’d like to know more about?
First, what happened to all of the old news and the old forums? A few things. First, I wasn’t personally hosting everything, so I didn’t have access to fix the old database so that I could properly export it. All of the news was in the old forum database. All of the backup files I had were at best seven years old. Whenever I e-mailed all of the members, I would get about 5000 bounces, and every time someone would post in a thread that a broken member was subscribed to, I was e-mailed another bounce-back. These e-mails are no good for the health of the website, though. What happened was the old host has a very busy life, and we were trying to coordinate to get all of the old data so I could take over hosting. Eventually, all communication stopped, and suddenly the site was just gone. I spent a couple of weeks trying to make contact to get whatever I could, but it was to no avail, but such is life, so I moved on. I decided it was better to start fresh than to hold on to the past, anyway. We’ve got nothing but right now, plus I’m not sure how many people would go back and read though 700,000 or so posts and still get something out of them. Anyway, now that we’re back, what’s next?
More plans for MFN
It took a long time to figure out where to take this website since there is literally no new development on the Matrix saga. For a little while I had considered turning it into a Wachowski fan site, but I’m just not a big fan of enough of their work to want to keep up with them. While I did enjoy Speed Racer more than most, I’m just not into what they’re doing next.
So I’m going to keep this site focused on The Matrix. I’ve been reading a lot of Ghostbusters fan sites for a long time. That property has had new things coming around a lot more lately, because of a few things: nostalgia and there is a new movie being written. The sites tend to report on the effects of the properties on pop culture as well as other aspects of the franchise.
I’m hoping to do the same sort of thing with MFN. Whenever The Matrix pops up somewhere, please contact us, or write about it in the forums. I’m also hoping to start posting fan essays, editorials, interviews and even potentially a team of Matrix bloggers. I’m also going to continuously update the design of it until I get something I’m happy with. It was stuck way in the past with the features that it had, but I am hoping that all of the changes help to keep it modern.
I hope that Warner Brothers at least recognizes the potential that can be found in this franchise. While the thought is nice that the series is over with the trilogy as well as The Animatrix, there is room to grow. It’s not something that must happen for the series to live on, as The Matrix is still considered one of the greatest science fiction movies ever made. It is, however, something that I’ve thought should have happened since the first movie came out in 1999.
Many of the official Matrix websites now go to broken pages on the Warner Brothers website. This is unfortunate and I hope that Warner fixes that in the near future. But in the meantime, it would be great to have some new content for the franchise.