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Every Returning Matrix Character In The Resurrections Trailer Explained

After the highly-anticipated release of The Matrix Resurrections trailer, it's clear that a whole host of characters are returning for the long-awaited sequel. Precise information around the plot remains, at this stage, incredibly sketchy. However, visual clues and the return of key cast members indicate that the new movie will follow directly in the footsteps of its genre-defining forebears.

The Matrix 4 trailer opens with an interaction between Keanu Reeves' "Thomas" – AKA Neo – and Neil Patrick Harris' unnamed therapist. Reeves' character is seen questioning his sanity, taking large amounts of blue pills for medication and failing to recognize his fellow freedom fighter and former lover Trinity when they meet in a coffee shop. Following this, Neo is contacted by a new group of underground resisters, led by a new Morpheus-like figure played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. The trailer culminates in a series of spectacular set-pieces, indicating that both Neo and Trinity unlock their previous powers and take the fight to the machine oppressors that program the Matrix.

Related: The Matrix 4 Trailer Song Explains Resurrections' Main Story

From the footage, it's immediately obvious that several key characters will be making a comeback. However, what's less clear is whether or not new cast members are replacing preexisting roles such as Morpheus and The Oracle, or whether these characters are actually entirely absent, placing the story in an entirely new narrative arc. Given all the clues available, here's what The Matrix 4 trailer actually means for some returning fan favorites.

The major headliner returning for the follow-up is undoubtedly Keanu Reeves' Neo. Despite appearing to save humanity during the culmination of the original trilogy, Neo's presence within the simulated world of The Matrix alone suggests that the climax of The Matrix Revolutions was perhaps not as final as it first seemed. A single frame from the new trailer suggests that the machines were able to salvage Neo's body after his battle with Agent Smith and reinsert him into the Matrix. His seemingly voluntary consumption of blue pill medication also indicates that, in part at least, he remains in the simulation willingly.

However, the trailer also makes it clear that Neo at some point during the narrative rediscovers his powers and his true identity, causing conflict within the Matrix and perhaps beyond. Why Neo can't remember who he is could be down to any number of factors, from willing surrender to the Matrix's beguiling alternate reality to kidnap and control by the machines. Either way, the trailer makes it clear that Neo's willingness to cooperate doesn't last long.

Considering that Carrie-Anne Moss' Trinity technically died before the end of the third film in the series, her return for Resurrections is puzzling, to say the least. From the trailer, it's clear that Trinity will play an extremely prominent role in the new movie. However, several aspects of her appearance lend weight to the argument that this version of Trinity is not the same one the audiences are already familiar with.

Related: Matrix 4: Why Neo Doesn't Remember Trinity

Not only does she also not remember who Neo is, but there is a key scene in which Trinity's face is overrun with the Matrix's signature green code. Given her death during the previous installment, this could suggest that the Trinity on screen is not technically "real" and is instead a program inserted into the Matrix as another means of control over Neo. Either way, Trinity's presence in the new film poses serious questions ahead of the movie's Christmas release.

While original actor Laurence Fishburne is not slated to return for the follow-up and does not appear at all in the trailer, Morpheus will appear in The Matrix Resurrections, played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Even before the confirmation of who Abdul-Mateen is playing, the similarities were clear in the trailer, with him offering Neo his original red pill and fighting him in a simulated sparring program. His Morpheus also has a near-identical aesthetic, down to the iconic pince-nez sunglasses.

There are several potential explanations for Abdul-Mateen II's Morpheus role. The Matrix 4 could include time travel, going back to when Morpheus was younger, or perhaps more likely this fits with the rebooted version of the Matrix - one shot shows a confused-looking Morpheus touching a mirror, which ripples to his surprise, suggesting it might show his origins. Whatever the answer, Abdul-Mateen II's presence suggests a subtly different role for the original film's mentor figure.

Much like Fishburne, Australia actor Hugo Weaving is currently not believed to be attached to return to the Matrix saga. However, much like the situation with Abdul-Mateen II, this does not mean that his iconic Agent Smith character will not feature at all. In fact, several clues from the trailer indicate that Weaving has indeed been replaced, with the prime suspect being actor Jonathan Groff.

Related: Agent Smith's Matrix 4 Absence Can Help Improve Part Of The Original Trilogy

In the trailer, Groff is seen interviewing Neo before commenting on a return "back to the Matrix". Early, a blurred Groff is seen holding a gun to Neo's head as water pours all around. Both these images are extremely reminiscent of Morpheus' interrogation scene from the first film, during which Neo and Trinity pull off a daring rescue. This could indicate that Groff is playing a new, updated version of Agent Smith.

Although there is no official confirmation that The Oracle – originally played by both Gloria Foster and Mary Alice in the first three films – will return, a key moment in the trailer suggests that the sentient program is set for a comeback. About a third of the way through the three-minute clip, star Priyanka Chopra appears, smiling at an unseen Neo. Although Chopra's role in the film is unconfirmed, her attire – including thick glasses – is extremely reminiscent of previous versions of The Oracle.

Considering that The Oracle has already changed form during the series, it would in many ways not be surprising for Chopra to play the part. Her more youthful appearance would also align with a younger Morpheus figure and more youthful Agent Smith in the form of Groff. However, it's also possible that Chopra is actually playing an older version of Sati – a child adopted by The Oracle during The Matrix Revolutions. Given her lack of dialogue and no official confirmation of her role, the exact identity of Chopra's character remains theoretical – for now.

Just as for The Oracle, the original actor who played The Architect in the original trilogy, Australian Helmut Bakaitis, is absent in the new trailer. However, several clues indicate that the role may well have gone to another performer, in this case, American star Neil Patrick Harris. Although Patrick Harris appears to be playing a very different role from the original Architect in the trailer, there are threads that suggest a connection.

Related: Matrix: Morpheus Told Neo He Wasn't The First One (Before the Architect)

For instance, in his role as Neo's therapist, Patrick Harris is seen making notes on a pen and paper. The pen he uses bears a remarkable resemblance to the pen held by The Architect during The Matrix Reloaded. Perhaps even more compellingly, Patrick Harris is accompanied by a black cat. In the first film, a black cat is used to signify a change to the structure of the Matrix. Given The Architect's role as creator of the Matrix and chief arbiter over its design, it makes sense that he would be represented by this visual metaphor. Additionally, both The Oracle and The Architect are alive at the end of Revolutions – meaning a return for the two characters is certainly not out of the question.

Another returning star from the original trilogy, actor Daniel Bernhardt will reprise his role as Agent Johnson. Several Agents appear in the trailer, and while it's difficult to make out if any of them definitely are Bernhardt's Johnson, it is plausible he's among them. Bernhardt's character played a crucial role in The Matrix Reloaded as an upgraded Agent. Despite the relatively minor role compared to others, it could actually have severe implications for the plot.

The fact that Agent Johnson is set for a comeback would seem to be another nail in the coffin of the popular time travel theory since Bernhardt only appeared on the scene after the events of the first film. However, given The Agents' notorious shape-shifting abilities, almost anything is possible. Still, the fact that Bernhardt is the only confirmed returning Agent in the movie suggests that The Matrix Resurrections will have plenty of surprising twists for audiences.

Jada Pinkett Smith as Niobe: Despite being absent from the trailer, Warner Bros has confirmed that Jada Pinkett Smith, who portrayed captain Niobe in the second and third films in the original trilogy, will be returning for The Matrix 4. Although details around Pinkett Smith's return are uncertain, the fact that Niobe makes an appearance at all could pour water on the popular Matrix 4 time travel theory. After all, if Niobe appears in the sequel without Laurence Fishburne's Morpheus, this suggests that Abdul-Mateen II is not in fact playing the classic character from the first movie, but someone new entirely. Whatever her role ends up being, Niobe's mere presence has serious implications for the narrative.

Related: Matrix Resurrections Trailer Breakdown - 39 Reveals, Secrets & Story Details

Lambert Wilson as The Merovingian: Another absent star rumored to be making a comeback for The Matrix: Resurrections is French actor Lambert Wilson. Wilson originally featured in the trilogy as the cryptic and powerful Merovingian – an obsolete program that accrued significant power in the previous iteration of the Matrix. Although Wilson's return is not apparent from the trailer, The Merovingian's comeback was mooted in 2020, suggesting that he will indeed feature at some point. This could, in turn, mean the return of Monica Bellucci's Persephone – The Merovingian's wife in both Reloaded and Revolutions. Given his antagonistic attitude to Neo in the original trilogy, the character's presence could well be bad news for many of The Matrix Resurrections' key players.

More: Why Matrix 4 Looks So Different (& Less Green)

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