Now that we know The Matrix 4 is officially titled The Matrix Resurrections — and we know based on the footage that was shown at CinemaCon that Keanu’s Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss’s Trinity are both alive again and seemingly back inside the Matrix at the start of the film — that suggests that more familiar characters could be returning as well.

One of the more persistent rumors surrounding the movie has to do with the character played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Many suspect, given that plot line above, that he could be playing a younger version of Morpheus, the character originally portrayed by Laurence Fishburne in the first Matrix trilogy. And while Abdul-Mateen wouldn’t confirm that rumor, he avoided shooting it down entirely in a recent interview with Variety. When asked whether he was playing a new character or a returning one, he responded:

In The Matrix? Yeah, I think you’re breaking up a little bit. All of a sudden, I can’t hear you so well.

If Abdul-Mateen isn’t playing a new character, I’m not sure why he wouldn’t just say so to a question like that. Avoiding it entirely just makes everyone think he is playing a returning character (and perhaps Morpheus), which will just piss fans off if later it turns out he’s just, like, a guy.

The rumor would make sense for a few reasons. Years before this new Matrix film got off the ground, there were reports that Warner Bros. wanted to make a Matrix prequel about Morpheus as a young man. If this rumor were true, it would essentially fulfill that desire and give you a more traditional Matrix sequel all in one. Plus, we do know that Laurence Fishburne was not asked to return for the film. Why would you make a Matrix with Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss but not Laurence Fishburne? There are a few potential reasons, but one big one would be because you already have someone else playing a young Morpheus in the film.

We’ll find out for sure when The Matrix Resurrections premieres in theaters and on HBO Max on December 22, 2021.

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