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It seems like from the moment it was announced that Aquaman and Candyman actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II would appear in The Matrix 4, a.k.a. The Matrix Resurrections, fans started speculating that he’d be playing Morpheus, Laurence Fishburne’s character from the original trilogy. The first trailer for The Matrix Resurrections, which dropped earlier today, unquestionably strengthened that theory, but now we have it straight from the man himself: Mateen has indeed taken over Morpheus duties.
As if the sunglasses and bald look wasn’t enough, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II writing “MORPHEUS” in the caption finally puts this mystery to bed once and for all. Granted, going off his scenes in The Matrix Resurrections trailer, it was abundantly clear that, at the very least, Mateen’s character will fill a Morpheus-like role in the movie, i.e. being one of Keanu Reeves’ Thomas Anderson’s guides through the Matrix world. But now that we know Mateen is appearing as Morpheus in the next Matrix movie, two questions emerge.
First, why is he playing the character rather than Laurence Fishburne? Fishburne has previously said he wasn’t “invited” back for The Matrix Resurrections, and encouraged people to ask director Lana Wachowski about why that decision was made. It is a bit strange that only two-thirds of the starring trio from the original Matrix trilogy returned for Resurrections, and while it’s a good bet Mateen will kill it in the role, it’ll definitely be weird to not have the first Morpheus alongside Reeves’ Neo and Moss’ Trinity.
Second, will Morpehus’ fate in the Matrix Online computer game be addressed? For those unaware, while Morpheus made it out of The Matrix Revolutions alive, but he was killed in The Matrix Online by the mysterious Assassin. That game was considered officially canon, so unless that decision has been reversed, then Resurrections will need to explain how he’s back among the living. That being said, Morpheus somehow being resurrected could explain his changed appearance, although Neo was thought to have died in Revolutions, yet he still looks the same, albeit older.
In any case, at least this is one less question on our minds as we move closer to The Matrix Resurrections’ release, although there’s still a lot about the plot that’s been kept under wraps. Other familiar characters returning for Resurrections include Jada Pinkett Smith’s Niobe, Lambert Wilson’s Merovingian and Daniel Bernhardt’s Agent Johnson, while the lineup of new faces consists of Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Christina Ricci, among others. Along with directing, Lana Wachowski co-wrote the script with David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon.
With a December 22 release, The Matrix Resurrections will be the last of Warner Bros’ movies to be simultaneously released in theaters and on HBO Max. So if you’d prefer to check out the movie at home, make sure you’re subscribed to its streaming home. Learn what other movies will arrive before the year is over with our 2021 release schedule.