Laurence Fishburne says he won't be back for The Matrix 4: 'I have not been invited'
One-third of the Matrix trilogy's Holy Trinity will not be back for the fourth installment: Laurence Fishburne.
The actor behind the character Morpheus, who debuted in the first film in 1999, confirmed he will not reprise the role for director Lana Wachowski's next sequel. Not only that, but he admitted he wasn't invited back.
"I have not been invited," Fishburne told New York magazine in a new interview. "Maybe that will make me write another play. I wish them well. I hope it’s great."
The character's absence might be a result of the events from The Matrix Online, which was a video game that continued the saga of the movies and saw Morpheus dying from gunshot wounds. Fishburne noted that, while Morpheus "is probably the role that I’ll be best remembered for, which is great; it’s not the only thing I’ll be remembered for, which is better.”
Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss will reprise their roles of Neo and Trinity in The Matrix 4, which will also feature Neil Patrick Harris (A Series of Unfortunate Events), Jonathan Groff (Frozen 2, Mindhunter), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman, Watchmen), and Priyanka Chopra Jonas.
Lilly Wachowski, who co-directed and co-wrote the original films with sibling Lana, won't be back in the director's seat for this outing. Though Lilly spoke with Netflix in a video published earlier this month about how the first Matrix was intended to be an allegory for the trans experience. "I'm glad that it has gotten out," she said. "That was the original intention, but the corporate world wasn't ready for it."
Reeves confirmed this week that the crew went back to filming The Matrix 4 in Berlin after being halted in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
"It’s a great honor and I’m very grateful to be working," the actor told the Associated Press. "I'm here in Berlin with the sirens," he continued, noting the sounds from the streets coming into his apartment. "There's some really thoughtful, effective protocols in place and the rhythm of filmmaking has not really been impacted or interrupted. I think everyone loves the project... If you're ever going to get into any kind of situation that needs to be figured out or 'how do we do this?' show business people are the best. We’re scrappy, we know how to get stuff done, we’re inventive, we think on our feet."
The Matrix 4 was once on track to hit theaters in 2021, but because of the pandemic, Variety now reports the film is eyeing a 2022 date.
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