Yahya Abdul-Mateen Is A Different Kind Of Morpheus In Matrix 4

Yahya Abdul-Mateen talked about his role of a young Morpheus in the upcoming Matrix 4 and how it will differ from Laurence Fishburne's

By Doug Norrie | Updated

yahya abdul-mateen morpheus matrix 4

When it was announced that we were getting a fourth movie in The Matrix franchise, about 18 years since the story seemingly wrapped, there were a few surprises in store. The first was that Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss would be reprising their roles as Neo and Trinity respectively. For logistical reasons, this seemed like maybe a stretch. But equally surprising was that Laurence Fishburne wouldn’t be back this time around, not reprising his iconic Morpheus character for the next story. That honor will go to Yahya Abdul-Mateen who will play a younger version of the character. Fans were right to wonder about this change, though recently Abdul-Mateen did try to clarify some aspects of his Morpheus, saying that we are going to possibly get a different version than what we saw with Fishburne. 

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Yahya Abdul-Mateen went into detail on some of his recent roles, having spent the better part of this last year-plus just crushing it in high-profile roles with more to come. And when the talk got around to his part of Morpheus in the upcoming The Matrix Resurrections he was mostly tight-lipped but did offer a modicum of clarity. Abdul-Mateen said, “This is definitely a different iteration of the character.” This is an interesting admission from the actor who didn’t divulge much in the way of the upcoming story. But along with being immensely complimentary of Fishburne’s role in the original franchise, he also admitted he was somewhat surprised to have the role in the first place. 

Yahya Abdul-Mateen did talk a little bit more about his version of Morpheus at least in broader strokes. He said,  “I play a character who’s definitely aware of the history of the Matrix, the history of Morpheus…What the viewers will come to understand is that there are many rules of the Matrix. Age, appearance, the things we identify as real, can be manipulated in that world. The Matrix is where anything is possible.”

Fans of The Matrix franchise will understand what Yahya Abdul-Mateen is talking about here. Considering the world created, within the context of a computer program that has gone through a number of different iterations (at least according to past movies) not all characters will come through the same each time around. And we are clearly in a totally different iteration here considering just the simple fact that Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss are back at all. They both died at the end of Matrix Revolutions, so getting them back in the fold means we are dealing with an alternate reality even in this alternate reality. 

From the looks of the trailers for The Matrix Resurrections, it appears director Lana Wachowski is holding firm to some basic tenets from the original Matrix movies, calling back to a number of pieces that were integral to the original story building. It looks like the Yahya Abdul-Mateen version of Morpheus is, once again, tasked with onboarding Neo into this world and we see a recreation of the famous martial arts training scene between the two characters. But the overall vibe of the film, including the look for Keanu Reeves, and the feel within the Matrix itself appear different, updated for a new world in which the program might be the world on online access itself. 

Not bringing Laurence Fishburne back for the role of Morpheus is likely to rub some fans the wrong way. The actor himself had said he was surprised and maybe even a little disappointed to not be asked back this time around. But again, putting Yahya Abdul-Mateen into the role is likely a purposeful move on the part of Wachowski, meant to usher in some other elements of the story that wouldn’t have worked with the Fishburne character. That’s the hope at least. And it is encouraging to know that this new version is different and that maybe one day we will see Laurence Fishburne back in some form.