The Matrix Resurrections’ debut trailer, which is the first new entry in the dystopian sci-fi action genre in almost 12 years, has the internet buzzing like an angry swarm of deadly Sentinels. Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprise their roles as Neo and Trinity, respectively, in the four-quel, which also features Jada Pinkett Smith and Lambert Wilson from the first trilogy, as well as newcomers Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Neil Patrick Harris. One famous character, Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus, is noticeably absent from the first look at the forthcoming picture, despite the presence of new and old faces.
Fishburne, who portrayed Morpheus in the original three Matrix films, revealed earlier this year that he will not be returning for the fourth. When asked about the questions he received, the actor told Collider, “It would make sense that people would ask me that, so it doesn’t get old. I am not in the next ‘Matrix’ movie, and you’d have to ask Lana Wachowski why, because I don’t have an answer for that.”
Laurence Fishburne told Vulture in August 2020, “I have not been invited. Maybe that will make me write another play. I’m looking for the blessing in that. I wish them well. I hope it’s great.”
The explanation might be found in the most unexpected of places: The Matrix Online, a now-defunct online game based on the Matrix trilogy that was published in 2005.
Morpheus was officially killed off in The Matrix Online, thus the film might be following that canon. Despite what Fishburne has claimed, the prospect of his appearing in a top-secret cameo shouldn’t be completely discounted just yet. The film will be released in December.
On Thursday, the trailer got good reviews, while some viewers were disappointed by Fishburne’s absence.
Don’t expect the new Morpheus to be a younger version; Keanu Reeves told “The One Show” that the film will not be rewinding time, saying, “No, no. No going in the past.”
The guy who plays Morpheus in the teaser, actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, turned to social media to let us know that the role has been passed on. He captioned an Instagram post, which shows him with two weapons crisscrossed, one of which is shooting, with “MORPHEUS #TheMatrixMovie”.
The absence of Morpheus in The Matrix Resurrections implies that the new film isn’t just a continuation of the Wachowskis’ original trilogy, but of all the transmedia storytelling that was going on at the time. When Resurrections picks up with Neo, he would be dead, according to the events of the “official continuation” of the Matrix saga.