‘The Matrix Resurrections’: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Is (Probably) Morpheus, But Where Is Laurence Fishburne?
The trailer for Lana Wachowski’s highly anticipated film The Matrix Resurrections is finally here, teasing Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity’s (Carrie-Anne Moss) thrilling return to the Matrix. But you may have found yourself wondering: Where is Laurence Fishburne, and why is Yahya Abdul-Mateen II playing Morpheus instead?
Fishburne, who is known for playing Neo’s iconic mentor in the first three Matrix films, is absent from the trailer and the film as a whole. Instead, Abdul-Mateen II will play what looks like a younger Morpheus, which he all but confirmed by sharing a photo of himself in The Matrix Resurrections on Instagram with the caption “MORPHEUS.”
Abdul-Mateen II’s Morpheus appears throughout the Matrix Resurrections trailer, most notably fighting Neo in a dojo in a scene directly mirroring a well-known sequence from the original film.
Last summer, Fishburne told Vulture that he was not invited back to play Morpheus in the upcoming film.
“I have not been asked to join them,” he said in an August 2020 interview with Entertainment Tonight. “I am hopeful that it will be wonderful and it will satisfy audiences and that people will love it.”
He added in a recent Collider interview: “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.”
Some outlets, such as Polygon, have theorized that Fishburne’s version of Morpheus isn’t present because the canonical video game The Matrix Online MMORPG revealed that Morpheus died after the events of the third installment, The Matrix Revolutions. The answer will likely be a mystery until the new film arrives in December.
The Matrix Resurrections is written and directed by Wachowski, and also stars Jada Pinkett Smith, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Priyanka Chopra, and Christina Ricci. The film will open in theaters and on HBO Max on December 22.