Laurence Fishburne explained why his Morpheus character won’t appear in the fourth film.
Back in March 2017, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that a fourth Matrix film was in development. The news was officially confirmed in August 2019, with the announcement Lana Wachowski would return and co-write, direct, and produce the fourth installment. This week, however, Laurence Fishburne, one of the franchise’s most popular characters, revealed he wouldn’t be returning.
“I have not been invited,” Fishburne said in an interview with Vulture. “Maybe that will make me write another play. I wish them well. I hope it’s great.”
Jada Pinkett Smith will return as Niobe, while newcomers Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Jessica Henwick join Neil Patrick Harris and Priyanka Chopra. Production on the film began in February for an April 2022 release.
Fishburne spoke at length about The Matrix and his role as Morpheus, calling the script the most original thing he’d ever seen. “It is probably the role that I’ll be best remembered for,” he said. “He’s fucking amazing. What I get with him is I’ve got Darth Vader in this hand, and I’ve got Obi-Wan in that hand…people confuse me with Morpheus. They think I am Morpheus. I am not Morpheus. I’m not even close.”
The Matrix 4 is currently filming in Berlin after a five-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an interview with the Associated Press, the film’s star Keanu Reeves complimented the crew on “thoughtful, effective protocols” to keep the cast safe. “The rhythm of filmmaking has not really been interrupted or impacted,” he said, “and that’s because of all the hard work and organization.