The Matrix is a 1999 American science fiction action film written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, and Hugo Weaving, and was first released in the United States on March 31, 1999. The success of the film led to the release of two feature film sequels, and the Matrix franchise was further expanded through the production of comic books, video games, and animated short films. The film depicts a future in which reality as perceived by most humans is actually a simulated reality or cyberspace created by sentient machines to pacify and subdue the human population, while their bodies' heat and electrical activity are used as an energy source. Upon learning this, computer programmer 'Neo' is drawn into a rebellion against the machines, involving other people who have been freed from the 'dream world' and into reality.