The resurrection of The Matrix franchise took everyone by surprise. Though the 1999 original is an undisputed classic, the disappointing sequels killed off a lot of affection for the property. Not to mention that since then the Wachowskis have had a rather variable quality of cinematic output (though Speed Racer is a masterpiece in my opinion).
Information up until now has been scarce on the ground on The Matrix 4, but we know that Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are reprising their roles (despite Trinity having died in The Matrix Revolutions) and that production is expected to begin in early 2020. That’s about it, though. But now, Variety are reporting that Us and Aquaman star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has been cast in a lead role.
Ever since the original announcement, fans have been speculating on what’ll happen in the movie. This includes rumors that the film could feature a young Morpheus, which may be the role that Abdul-Mateen has been chosen for. I’ve got some doubts, though.
For one, if a young Morpheus was to appear, I think it’s more likely they’d do this by de-ageing Lawrence Fishburne rather than recasting the role. But despite the presence of younger versions of characters, it may not be a strict prequel, as The Matrix Revolutions made sure to point out that the Matrix was cyclical, so we could be seeing the characters in the ‘next’ Matrix.
This could mean that Abdul-Mateen may be a new ‘One,’ so to speak. It should also be remembered that the Wachowskis had hoped to cast a black lead actor for the original movie, with the directors approaching Will Smith to offer him the part. He turned them down after being unconvinced by their pitch though and decided to do Wild Wild West instead (ouch).
But hey, if Abdul-Mateen can make Aquaman‘s Black Manta compelling, I’m sure he’ll knock a lead role in The Matrix 4 out of the park.