After keeping fans waiting almost 20 years for any sign of a sequel, director Lana Wachowski finally unveiled the trailer for The Matrix Resurrections to continue her epic cyberpunk film series started with The Matrix in 1999 and left off with 2003’s The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.
As many rejoiced to see both Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne Moss reprise their iconic lead roles as Neo and Trinity, respectively, some were equally a bit confused to see the third lead character Morpheus, famously played by Laurence Fishburne, recasted with much younger actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
As the plot is centered around a literal reboot of the Matrix world, making Neo and Trinity appear as complete strangers in this next chapter, it’ll more than likely be explained why Morpheus appears younger in The Matrix 4. Unfortunately, no one quite explained that to Fishburne, who told Collider in a recent interview, “I am not in the next ‘Matrix’ movie and you know, you’d have to ask [director] Lana Wachowski why, ’cause I don’t have an answer for that.”
Here’s an explanation for the absence of OG Morpheus that Polygon came up with, which ties it back to the The Matrix Online game from 2005:
“In the events of ‘The Matrix Online,’ which took place after the end of ‘The Matrix Revolutions,’ Morpheus returned to the Matrix to consult the Oracle as to why, despite the apparent truce between the machines and humans, the machine had not yet returned Neo’s remains to Zion. Morpheus, along with a number of players who chose to join his faction, set about trying to reconstruct Neo’s Residual Self Image — his digitally generated avatar within the Matrix — as a way of hopefully resurrecting him. Frustrated by his failure to do so, Morpheus began demanding the Machines to return Neo’s body. With no other options, Morpheus then began detonating “code bombs” across the Matrix, compromising the integrity of the simulation as a whole as a way of forcing the machines to comply with his demands.
After setting off one of the code bombs, Morpheus was ambushed by the Assassin, a program created by Machines, and killed. Some players at the time theorized that Morpheus might have faked his death and gone into hiding, but this theory remained unresolved at the time of The Matrix Online’s cancellation in 2009.”
Whatever the reasoning is, many fans are highly upset that Laurence Fishburne will not be on the roster for Resurrections, some even threatening not to hook back into The Matrix altogether. Keep scrolling to check out a few standout responses we saw on Twitter that show just how angry people are with the new changes to Morpheus:
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1. I’m telling my kids this was Laurence Fishburne in #TheMatrix4
2. Laurence Fishburne isn’t in the new Matrix movie. Was he shown the script and said “fuck this”?
3. Pretty bummed Laurence Fishburne isn’t in the new Matrix. There will probably be an explanation and it seems like Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is playing a new iteration of Morpheus. But Fishburne is my favorite part of that OG series. The fact he wasn’t contacted at all makes me sad.
4. Laurence Fishburne not being in the Matrix is like Ghostbusters not taking place in NYC.
5. Me watching The Matrix trailer thinking Laurence Fishburne was going to be in it
6. I hope this new Matrix trailer deciding to basically look like a revisit of the first film is intentionally misleading because watching a reimagining of the first one and without Laurence Fishburne and Hugo Weaving in it is wildly uninteresting.
7. It is still my wildest hope that John Wick is a simulation of Neo in the Matrix and that Laurence Fishburne’s Bowery King is Morpheus.
8. I have to assume this is why Laurence Fishburne doesn’t appear to be in Matrix Resurrections
9. My face when I saw The Matrix 4 trailer and don’t Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus #Matrix
10. twitter reaction to no Laurence Fishburne in Matrix 4.