The Matrix 4’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Shares A+ Reaction To First Day Filming With Keanu Reeves

Actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s career has been steadily rising over the past few years, winning a primetime Emmy for his performance in HBO Max’s Watchmen and making his DCEU debut in Aquaman. Abdul-Mateen is joining another beloved franchise in The Matrix 4, recently sharing his A+ reaction to the first day filming with Keanu Reeves.

Not much is known about The Matrix 4, but fans are thrilled that Lana Wachowski is bringing back the franchise with stars like Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss. The cast for the sequel is stacked, with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II being one of the newcomers filling out the ensemble. He explained what it was like filming with Neo himself, saying:

I remember Keanu and his first line. I looked up, and there was Keanu, and I said, ‘Oh shit, I’m really in The Matrix,’ It was just Keanu in that voice. And the technology that Lana incorporated and the filmmaking, camera rigs that I’ve never seen before. It’s so ambitious. It was really interesting to be making The Matrix 4 at a time when the world was so warped and when reality was so distorted. It could creep in a little bit if you let it.

I mean, can you blame the guy? Keanu Reeves is a truly iconic actor, for no small part due to his tenure as Neo in the original Matrix trilogy. So Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s reaction is pretty reasonable, especially if Reeves was in full Matrix regalia.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s comments to THR offer a glimpse at the mysterious set of The Matrix 4. While the contents of Lana Wachowski’s blockbuster remain a total mystery, the cast and crew have been offering cryptic teases to buoy anticipation. And the newcomers seem utterly thrilled to be working with Keanu Reeves on the sci-fi project.

While Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has obviously done plenty of genre work in the past, The Matrix franchise has a special place in pop culture history. It’s likely the combination of this and Keanu Reeves’ own intimidating star power that resulted in the Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom actor getting a bit flabbergasted on set. Though I'm certain Abdul-Mateen was able to get over these nerves and bring another killer performance to The Matrix 4.

Of course, the biggest question surrounding The Matrix 4 is exactly how the story will continue following the original trilogy. The Matrix Revolutions seemingly humans winning over machines. What’s more, both Neo and Trinity perished in the process. So with Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their signature roles, fans don’t know what to expect with this new chapter.

As previously mentioned, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is one of many newcomers making their Matrix debut in the fourth movie. He’ll be joined by other familiar faces like Neil Patrick Harris, Jonathan Groff, Christina Ricci, and Priyonka Chopra. Luckily we shouldn’t have to wait too much longer to see who they’ll be playing, as the movie’s marketing campaign will likely begin soon.

The Matrix 4 is currently expected to arrive in theaters on December 22nd. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.