In the months since production began on The Matrix 4, one name has been conspicuously absent from casting reports: Laurence Fishburne. The actor, who played Morpheus in the original trilogy, has confirmed to New York Magazine that he was not asked to reprise his role for the upcoming sequel. “No. I have not been invited,” Fishburne said. “Maybe that will make me write another play. I wish them well. I hope it’s great.” The succinct nature of his answer isn’t the only reason to cock an eyebrow; Fishburne’s comment about writing another play refers to an exchange that took place earlier in the interview, when the actor revealed that he wrote a play after he was replaced by Samuel L. Jackson in Die Hard With A Vengeance—which could lend credence to speculation that Morpheus will appear in The Matrix 4, but he’ll be a younger version of the character played by a different actor.
The Matrix sequel recently resumed production in Berlin under director and co-writer Lana Wachowski following a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking with the Associated Press, Keanu Reeves seemed enthusiastic about returning to work and praised the crew’s ability to adapt to the new safety guidelines. “There’s some really thoughtful, effective protocols in place, and the rhythm of filmmaking has not been really impacted or interrupted, in the sense of filming,” said Reeves, who is reprising the role of Neo opposite Carrie-Anne Moss’ Trinity in The Matrix 4. The actor went on to say that “show business people are the best” to be around in a difficult situation: “We’re just scrappy, we know how to get stuff done, we’re inventive, think on our feet, and that kind of kindred spirit of just coming together—goes back to, like, you know, ‘Let’s put on a show!’ ‘We’ll get some props, we’ve got some things, we’re going to write!’ And that spirit is definitely alive and well on The Matrix.”