After the trailer for The Matrix Resurrections finally dropped, we got our first look at Yahya Abdul-Mateen II who had an eerie similarity to Morpheus. The way he is introduced alongside some similarities to previous entries, it seemed like he’ll play a new version of Laurence Fishburne‘s classic character. The actor didn’t waste any time and confirmed it shortly after its release on Instagram. Yet, the answer also raised quite a few new questions surrounding why they recast this character while Neo and Trinity are returning.
Luckily, he offered a clearer picture in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that while it is Morpheus, it isn’t the one you might think it is. After praising Fishburne‘s performance, who famously pointed out that he wasn’t asked to return for the fourth entry in the franchise, Abdul-Mateen goes son to say that:
I think what the script provided was a new narrative and some new opportunities that did make room within the Matrix universe for a new Morpheus.Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Of course, in a world like the Matrix, anything seems possible. Even the tragic recasting of the Oracle between films was given in-universe reasoning. There’s possibly a play on why Morpheus has taken on a new, younger form while still taking on the same role towards Neo. The Aquaman actor highlights that his character is very well aware of what has happened in the series’ past.
I play a character who’s definitely aware of the history of the Matrix [and] the history of Morpheus. This character is on a journey of self-discovery. There’s a lot in our story that’s about growth, defining your own path. Morpheus isn’t exempt from that.Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
It’s certainly raised some eyebrows that they took this direction, but there might be a story reason for it. Even the first trailer teased that the Matrix has changed since the last time we’ve seen it. Keanu Reeve‘s Neo shouldn’t technically be alive after the events of the third film, but we see him alongside a returning Carrie-Anne Moss. Once we witnessed it on the silver screen, who knows how we’ll see our world.