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Yahya Abdul-Mateen as Black Manta in Aquaman

“Do you believe that my being stronger or faster has anything to do with my muscles in this place?” Morpheus queried Neo in The Matrix after besting him in the sparring program. Of course having big muscles has no bearing on martial ability in the virtual world of the Matrix, but I suppose it can’t hurt either. To that end, one of the leads of The Matrix 4, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is getting ripped for the new movie. Take a look:

As Tank told Morpheus after Neo spent 10 straight hours in training programs “He’s a machine.” It looks like the same descriptor could apply to Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. It may not have been 10 hours straight, but he has definitely spent way more than 10 hours in the gym to attain his physique. The actor is clearly training very hard for the biggest role yet in his rapidly ascending career.

Anyone who has seen HBO’s Watchmen, where Yahya Abdul-Mateen plays a significant role, knows that the actor was already in great shape and is no stranger to having his shirt off on camera, but it looks like he is ready to take it to another level for The Matrix 4. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II looks absolutely ripped here and since he’s just getting back to training, this isn’t even his final form!

On his Instagram video, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II claims he is back to training and in “Matrix Mode” which is actually kind of interesting and makes you wonder about what character he is playing and what this movie will be. The stars of The Matrix trilogy weren’t out of shape by any stretch, but being shirtless and having an action figure-esque physique was never part of The Matrix franchise and that was kind of the point.

The strength of Neo, Trinity and Morpheus came from their imagination and their ability to free their minds from the constraints of what they believed was possible in order to achieve the impossible. The only times we really saw them with their shirts off was when they were partying in Zion.

So we’ll have to wait and see if The Matrix 4 takes things in a different direction and what the film has in store for Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who may or may not be playing young Morpheus.

While I don’t know if he has any martial arts background other than his training for Aquaman, Yahya Abdul-Mateen should be in good enough shape for whatever the film requires of him. And even if he never takes his shirt off he’ll definitely be able to fill out a black trench coat.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II isn’t the only one training for The Matrix 4. The One himself Keanu Reeves has also been prepping for his return, as has Trinity Carrie-Anne Moss. They’ll be joined by the returning Jada Pinkett Smith and newcomers Jonathan Groff, Jessica Henwick, Neil Patrick Harris and Toby Onwumere, all of whom I imagine are getting ready to enter the Matrix. The Matrix 4 is set to begin filming next month.

The Matrix 4 opens in theaters on May 21, 2021. Check out our 2020 Release Schedule to see what movies are coming out this year.

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