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Joe Pantoliano in The Matrix

It's been over 20 years since The Matrix arrived in theaters, and changed the world of the film. The movie was a massive success, with The Wachowskis helping to develop a new visual language that would be used for years to come. The original two sequels helped to form a bonafide trilogy, but Lana Wachowski is working on a fourth movie, bringing back original stars like Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss. But another original Matrix star has been campaigning to join the new movie: Joe Pantoliano.

Bad Boys For Life actor Joe Pantoliano played the villainous Cypher in the first Matrix movie. His character betrayed his human compatriots and killed a bunch of crew members before being put out of his misery. While his death seemed concrete, Neo and Trinity also perished in The Matrix Revolutions, yet they're still returning for the fourth movie. Pantoliano recently appeared on our very own ReelBlend podcast, and when asked if he had an interest in playing Cypher in The Matrix 4 he said:

Yeah I’d be interested. I doubt they’re going to be bringing me back. I’ve lobbied for it, believe me. I’ve sent little notes to Lana and asked her, to no response.

Well, that was honest. Not only is Joe Pantoliano interested in joining Matrix 4, he's already contacted director Lana Wachowski about it. Unfortunately, he hasn't heard anything yet. But perhaps the movie's halt in filming will be in his favor?

As Joe Pantoliano explained, he has tried to reach out for Lana Wachowski about playing Cypher again. It's unclear if she never got them or simply wasn't interested in bringing back that character, because the actor apparently never got a response. Still, I'm going to cross my fingers that he appears to join the other returning players

Joe Pantoliano's comments on ReelBlend are sure to elicit a mixture of emotions from Matrix fans out there. Obviously the hardcore fandom would love to see Cypher pop up in the fourth movie, despite his death in the first movie. The actor's interest in returning is an exciting concept, although it doesn't look like there are any plans for Pantoliano to appear in the mysterious fourth Matrix movie.

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Matrix 4: 7 Characters Who Could Return From The Original Movies

The Matrix 4 was in the middle of filming when the set was shut down over global health concerns. Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Lambert Wilson are all reprising their roles from the Matrix franchise, joining an impressive cast of newcomers. The story is currently a mystery, but it should be interesting to see if any other familiar faces end up appearing during the highly anticipated sequel's runtime.

The Matrix 4 is currently expected to arrive in theaters on May 21, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies once theaters reopen.