Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has opened up about playing Morpheus – the role made famous by Laurence Fishburne – in The Matrix: Resurrections. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Candyman star admitted that at first, he couldn’t quite understand why he was chosen over Fishburne for the new science fiction movies but came to understand this was a “new iteration” of the iconic character.
“This is definitely a different iteration of the character,” he explained while saying he had nothing but respect for Fishburne. “Laurence already did what had to be done,” he continued. “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.”
Quite how we end up with a new version of Morpheus, Abdul-Mateen didn’t explain, but he did tease it had something to do with the rules of The Matrix. “What the viewers will come to understand is that there are many rules of the Matrix,” he explained. “Age, appearance, the things we identify as real, can be manipulated in that world. The Matrix is where anything is possible.”
It sounds to us like this version of Morpheus is either a fake digital avatar that the old Morpheus is using to talk to Neo (Keanu Reeves) or potentially a new Morpheus created for the next cycle of the Matrix.
First introduced in the 1999’s Matrix movie, Morpheus is the man who unplugged Thomas Anderson, aka Neo from the titular virtual world. It was Morpheus who trained Neo to be a deadly fighter, taught him the rules of humanity’s digital prison, and told him the legend of The One.
Last we saw Morpheus, he was the only surviving member of the Nebuchadnezzar crew, and it was suggested he’d help lead the now freed humans in New Zion.
How and why he’s back in the Matrix, we don’t know, but it’s going to be fun finding out when the Matrix: Resurrections hits theatres next year. If you love sci-fi series, check out our guide on how to watch Star Trek in order.