In an interview with Screen Rant, Penn talked about his desire to see The Matrix brought back. "I’ve been working on Matrix right now. Which is in... a phase right now. That’s a franchise I desperately want to see brought back and, I can’t go in to too much detail, but I’ve been harassing Warner Bros. for years to try to get it going again so that’s one thing I’m working on, and I’ve been working on a bunch of other things too."
Penn then went on to address comparisons between upcoming film Ready Player One, for which Penn co-wrote the screenplay, and the Matrix, saying, "I will fight people who don’t under... look, I think OASIS (the interconnected virtual space in Ready Player One) is similar, both the Matrix and OASIS are similar in that they are brilliant ideas for universes. And they are not, you know, when it came out about Matrix, people were like ‘Oh no, there going to reboot Matrix’ I was like, Why, I’m not insane. I mean, the Matrix is still one of my favorite… they’d re-release The Matrix and people would go see it."
That latter quotation seems to indicate that Penn is looking to create an expanded universe surrounding The Matrix films, a strategy that has become common in recent years. This would fit with Penn's insistence that his film won't be a reboot or remake and would likely involve bringing in new characters, and providing viewers with a different perspective on the events surrounding the original trilogy.
The first Matrix film was released in 1999 to critical acclaim. Written and directed by The Wachowskis, the film starred Keanu Reeves as Neo, a hacker who discovers that the world he knows is an elaborate program run by intelligent machines to harness human bioelectricity for power. Morpheus, originally played by Laurence Fishburne, serves as Neo’s guide and teacher as he learns the truth. There are two direct sequels: The Matrix: Reloaded and The Matrix: Revolutions. The series also contains The Animatrix, which was a collection of nine short animated films designed to expand the Matrix universe.
There is currently no release date scheduled for the next Matrix film.