Why Lawrence Fishburne Won’t Appear In The Matrix 4

Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus in The Matrix

While a lot of popular franchises have opted to press the reboot button and start with a completely clean slate, The Matrix is embarking down the sequel/continuation path instead. As such, while The Matrix 4 will feature a lot of new faces, there will also be a scattering of familiar ones, including Keanu Reeves’ Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss’ Trinity. However, there’s been no word on if Laurence Fishburne will be back for another round as Morpehus.

So what’s the deal? Can we expect Laurence Fishburne to take part in The Matrix 4? Judging by the actor’s below comment, it doesn’t sound like that’s in the cards:

I have not been invited. Maybe that will make me write another play. I wish them well. I hope it’s great.

Laurence Fishburne revealed his lack of involvement in The Matrix 4 while speaking with New York Magazine (via The Wrap). While there’s a slim chance this could be one of those instances where an actor is lying in order to keep their appearance in a movie a surprise, going off the available information, this will be the first Matrix movie to lack Fishburne’s presence.

One possible reason for the actor’s absence from The Matrix 4 is that while Morpheus made it out of the original Matrix trilogy alive, he was killed in the computer game The Matrix Online. Now granted, there are instances where tie-in media such as that aren't part of the official canon, but considering that the Wachowskis gave their blessing to this game, that could be enough to warrant leaving Morpehus out of The Matrix 4, and there will be a mention of his passing in the movie.

Conversely, it’s also worth noting that even if Laurence Fishburne isn’t appearing in The Matrix 4, that doesn’t necessarily mean Morpehus won’t be present. It’s been rumored that Aquaman actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is playing a younger version of the character. Should that be the case, it’s unclear if we’d be seeing this Morpehus through flashbacks or if he’s somehow been resurrected in a younger form.

Frankly, until specific Matrix 4 plot details are officially revealed, there’s no telling what we can expect from the next chapter of the sci-fi franchise. Fortunately for Laurence Fishburne, he still gets to work with Keanu Reeves elsewhere, as Fishburne plays The Bowery King in the John Wick film series, who, as of last year’s Parabellum, has become a key ally for the eponymous assassin.

Along with the aforementioned actors, The Matrix 4 will also see Jada Pinkett Smith and Lambert Wilson reprising Niobe and The Merovingian, respectively. In addition to Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, the other actors who’ve been cast in yet-to-be-officially-revealed roles include Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Henwick, Priyanka Chopra, Jonathan Groff, Toby Onwumere, Max Riemelt, Eréndira Ibarra, Andrew Caldwell, Brian J. Smith and Ellen Hollman. Lana Wachowski returned to direct and co-write the script with Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell.

The Matrix 4 is slotted for an April 1, 2022 release, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on its progress. Look through our 2020 release schedule to learn what movies are expected to hit the big screen sooner than that.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.