The Matrix 4 is on the way, with both Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss back as Neo and Trinity… but without Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus. Because those three characters were at the center of the original trilogy, you might think Fishburne’s lack of involvement would be to do with scheduling conflicts of some kind. However, it’s become clear that writer/director Lana Wachowski – who’s helming this film without creative partner and sister, Lily – elected not to put Morpheus in the movie in the first place.
Matrix fans have been dying for an explanation as to why this creative decision was made, then. And it seems that Fishburne himself is in much the same boat. While speaking to Collider, the actor was asked if he’s bored of being grilled on why he’s not in The Matrix 4. Fishburne revealed that he’s actually OK with it as it’s valid question. The problem is that he just doesn’t have an answer for it. He said:
“I completely understand that, that makes sense. It would make sense that people ask me that….I am not in the next Matrix movie and you’d have to ask Lana Wachowski why, ’cause I don’t have an answer for that.”
When the cast was first announced for the production, theories sprung up that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II could be playing a young Morpheus. Though a popular idea, this has yet to be officially confirmed. A recent purported script leak claimed to partially explain the reason for Morpheus’ absence, though. According to this, the movie will pick up 60 years after the events of Matrix Revolutions, with the resistance leader having died in the interim.
Morbius being written out off-screen like this would be a weird reversal of fortunes, as it’s actually Neo and Trinity who died in Revolutions. It’s possible that Wachowski decided to flip the script and resurrect those two characters and remove Morpheus to play with fans’ expectations. A decent concept, maybe, but deliberately leaving out a key presence like Fishburne is a risky move. We’ll have to see how it plays out when The Matrix 4 – full title currently under wraps – finally arrives this December 22nd.