Writer Zak Penn seems to think that expanding the Matrix universe would be a good idea. The thing is he’s not totally wrong for trying to tease it into existence. He’s been harassing Warner Bros. now for a while and despite the fact that nothing has been done about it he’s still of the mind that the Matrix is a story that could be expanded in many different directions. This would be a yes and no kind of thing really, since the story had a definite protagonist and an antagonist that finally clashed at the end with the big bad that was so prominent in the first film finally becoming the silent party to the ultimate battle that was to take place. Inevitability, remember?
In a way the Matrix reaffirmed that while mankind is responsible for our own downfall when it comes to creating things that eventually slip from our control, we’re also still a very important part of the equation for those same systems that seem to think that we’re outdated and no more use than a battery would be in a child’s toy. Machines, for all the advancements and particular programs they might come up with in the future to act more like their creators, are still dependent upon those same people that created them so long ago in determining a future that is empty without a purpose to help define it. In the world of the Matrix such abstract thoughts are the anomaly in the machine that keeps it balanced and in many ways keeps it honest.
So really, the idea of expanding the universe would work since there was a lot going on in the Matrix that was hardly ever shown and didn’t seem to bear a lot of close introspection. There were thousands upon thousands of individuals fighting the machines, not just a few crews that were shown in the movies. Plus, while Neo was in fact The One, he was still just a single person that needed the support of those around him in many different ways. He wasn’t a pilot, he wasn’t a gunner, and he wasn’t a captain of his own ship. He was a guy that got tapped because of his potential and was given the tools he needed to become the ultimate fighter within the Matrix. He was essentially the weapon that could tear the whole thing down or broker a peace between people and the machines. Expanding the universe to show the people that supported him could work in the sense that it would give the world a great more deal of depth and show that the war effort was something more than just a few ships coasting about trying to do what they could to figure out what the machines were up to.
The reason it wouldn’t work however is that no one really bothered to see past the story of The One all that often. Neo and the crew he was with were the ‘it’ guys and gals that drew all of the attention and were the biggest threat to the Matrix. If this idea was bound to go anywhere it seems it would have to be a TV series just to get any kind of attention.