Laurence Fishburne Says Matrix Resurrections "Wasn't as Good as I Hoped"

Ever since the first sequel to The Matrix was released, the idea of follow-ups to the 1999 hit have been a sore subject for many. The one-two punch of The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions for many was a death-kneel for a major franchise. Despite the two films having their fans, the lackluster response to those two movies was perhaps why the muted response to 2021's The Matrix Resurrections wasn't exactly a surprise. The most recent sequel only brought back three actors and though it had a better critical reception, it managed a franchise-low CinemaScore rating from the audience. Now one of the original stars has revealed their own mixed response. 

Speaking in an interview with Variety, Laurence Fishburne, who played Morpheus in the original trilogy of movies, was asked if he ever saw last year's release. After answering in the affirmative and then asked for his thoughts, he replied "It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, and it wasn't as good as I hoped it would be. But I thought Carrie-Anne and Keanu really did their thing. Yeah, that's what I thought." When asked in a follow-up if he felt like he missed out on it all by not being a part of the sequel, he added: "No, not really." Hear the man's inflection and tone for yourself below.

As viewers may recall, Fishburne's Morpheus doesn't appear in the new film because it's set many decades after the previous movie. Plenty of references to his character are made however, Jada Pinkett Smith's Niobe recounts what happened with him after the events of The Matrix Revolutions including revealing that he has died. The new movie doesn't leave it there though, with actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II appearing as a new version of Morpheus, albeit one created by Neo as a subconscious means to free himself from The Matrix once again.

"Playing a character and portraying Morpheus it was my job not to give a literal impersonation of Laurence Fishburne's performance as Morpheus but to understand that history," Yahya Abdul-Mateen II previously revealed to EW. "I was fortunate enough to play a character who was aware of the history of the Matrix but also growing into his own, he had sort of a growth and a rebirth to go through for his own self. To me I looked at that as an opportunity to create a character with some freedom and expression and to really find out what it was that I, as Morpheus, liked about myself and what I had to contribute to the world and what I had to say in this universe. That was something that I really enjoyed."

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The complete Matrix franchise is available for streaming on HBO Max.