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Why Morpheus Has Been Recast For The Matrix 4 | Screen Rant

It's been confirmed that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II will play Morpheus in The Matrix Resurrections, but why has the role, originated by Laurence Fishburne, been recast? The first trailer for The Matrix 4 gave a closer look at the much-anticipated sequel, with Abdul-Mateen II donning Morpheus' iconic hairless scalp and mirrored shades, supporting theories that he was playing a young version of the character. Shortly after the footage released, Abdul-Mateen officially revealed he's playing Morpheus.

Morpheus' role as Neo's liberator was central to the first Matrix film, and considering that The Matrix Resurrections' official synopsis indicates that the sequel will follow on from the first film and not its sequels, Morpheus' story will undoubtedly be a key element of Resurrections. The sequel's version of Morpheus is unmistakably younger than that of the original trilogy, which actually hints at the possible reasons the role was recast.

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

The recasting of the role is seemingly deliberate, given that not only was Fishburne not asked to return, but that the role was filled by a much younger actor in Abdul-Mateen II. This indicates that Morpheus' age and appearance is actually central to The Matrix 4's plot and that the film is likely to deliver either an origin story for the character or a reboot of sorts - or possibly even a little of both. The Matrix 4's 'Resurrections' titling supports this theory, implying a rebirth either into or out of the Matrix. While it's long been assumed that this applies references Neo and Trinity's inability to remember each other (or the world outside the Matrix), it's possible that it also extends to Morpheus. While the recasting of the role certainly adds a meta-layer to the title's implications, the trailer actually features a fleeting shot of a shocked Morpheus reaching into a mirror, suggesting that he too may be unaware of the nature of the titular simulation.

Further evidence of how significant the recasting is to the story lies in how conspicuous it is. Both Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are reprising their roles despite two decades of aging, with Neo, in particular, looking very different this time around. With two of the original film's stars returning, Lana Wachowski's decision not to ask Fishburne back at all is surely born of necessity to the story - although it's certainly not impossible that he might still make a surprise return.

As yet, it's not entirely clear exactly why the role has been recast, but the film's trailer does seemingly confirm numerous of the prevailing theories regarding Abdul-Mateen II's involvement in The Matrix Resurrections - including that he will play a similar role in bringing Neo out of the Matrix. However, the wider implications of this will likely remain speculative until The Matrix Resurrections is released.

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

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