Laurence Fishburne and Matrix 4: Why he might not be returning as Morpheus

laurence fishburne as morpheus in the matrix series
Actor Laurence Fishburne portrayed Morpheus in The Matrix trilogy. Pic credit: Warner Bros. 

When reports arrived that the popular sci-fi franchise The Matrix is returning for a fourth installment, fans quickly kicked the chatter of what to expect into high gear. Will Keanu Reeves’ Neo return after the finale he was part of in the third part of the series? What about his mentor and pal Morpheus played by Laurence Fishburne?

It appears the former will make a return for the film, but Laurence Fishburne may not be returning for The Matrix 4.

The Matrix 4 cast to include Reeves

The first news surfaced on Tuesday (Aug. 20) about The Matrix 4. Just that movie title announcement on its own was enough to excite fans.

However, the reveal that actors Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss were both on board for the fourth installment was huge. The two were an integral part of the trilogy of films that achieved massive success and a cult following in the early 2000s.

Everyone loves Neo (Reeves), who made the ultimate sacrifice in the trilogy. Reeves, now age 54, has been doing quite fine in terms of franchises since The Matrix. While that helped him gain even more popularity, he’s been able to bank on the John Wick character in a series of three successful action films. The most recent, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, made over $300 million at the box office. A fourth John Wick is reportedly in the works.

Carrie-Anne Moss portrayed the character Trinity, who assisted Neo in his adventure. She’s also done just fine since the trilogy concluded, starring as Jeri Hogarth in the Netflix Marvel shows including Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and The Defenders. However, fans aren’t going to mind seeing her back on the big screen in her most popular sci-fi role ever.

Lana Wachowski is set to write, direct and produce the new Matrix 4 film, which starts in early 2020. However, Laurence Fishburne’s status as popular character Morpheus has fans scratching their heads.

Laurence Fishburne’s Matrix 4 situation

So, Warner Bros. officially announced Reeves and Carrie Anne-Moss’ involvement but didn’t include actor Laurence Fishburne in their Matrix 4 announcement. That makes his return to the series unconfirmed and a tweet from Variety’s Justin Kroll sheds light on the reason this could be.

Kroll corrected himself later in his tweet with “Morpheus,” the true name of the character Fishburne portrayed through the first three Matrix films. Based on the rumors, this could put the Matrix 4 plot back in time before Morpheus even started to train Neo.

It’s also possible that Neo and Trinity travel back in time to get information from a young Morpheus. Fan theories will continue to swirl. So far, there’s no word on who might play the younger version of Morpheus for The Matrix 4.

Fishburne, age 58, popped up in the latter two of Reeves’ John Wick films, playing the role of The Bowery King who helped out Wick. He also played Bill Foster in Ant-Man and the Wasp, and appears in the 2019 film Where’d You Go, Bernadette. In addition to the film roles, he’s held down a recurring role as Earl “Pops” Johnson, Dre’s father on the ABC sitcom Black-ish.

Either way, fans are certainly excited, as it’s going on 17 years since The Matrix Revolutions closed out the trilogy for fans. Also, never say never, as there’s always that outside possibility that Fishburne’s Morpheus is still incorporated into the project in some way.

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