After Warner Bros. released the official trailer for Lana Wachowski’s The Matrix Resurrections, cast member Yahya Abdul-Mateen II confirmed the rumor of his role as Morpheus in the fourth installment of the franchise. The actor sports glasses made famous by Laurence Fishburne in the original Matrix trilogy. Abdul-Mateen II’s Morpheus presents a red pill and a blue pill to Neo (Keanu Reeves), just as Fishburne’s Morpheus did. Abdul-Mateen II and Reeves even fight in one scene, mirroring an identical sequence between Fishburne and Reeves.
But The Matrix fandom began to ask questions, pointing out that Fishburne’s absence in Resurrections. Reeves and his original co-star Carrie-Anne Moss return to their iconic roles of Neo and Trinity for the upcoming film, so fans wondered why not Fishburne. As Indie Wire reports, Abdul-Mateen II hints that there is a difference between playing a character called Morpheus and playing Fishburne’s iteration of Morpheus. Just because Abdul-Mateen II plays a character named Morpheus doesn’t mean he’s the original character fans are familiar with.
Fishburne himself has not revealed much about his original role in the build-up to this fourth film. If going by strict Matrix folklore, there is a video game called The Matrix Online where Morpheus is actually dead. Abdul-Mateen also says “It will make sense when it comes out.” For now, fans know he’ll be playing a Morpheus who is not Morpheus.”
Stay tuned for The Matrix Resurrections, which hits theaters and streams on HBO Max beginning December 22.