The Matrix 4: Laurence Fishburne Reveals Why He's Not Returning

The Matrix 4 will see Keanu Reeves reprising his role as Neo for a new adventure in the cyberpunk universe of The Matrix Trilogy. Carrie-Anne Moss is also returning as Trinity. One original trilogy character not making a comeback is Neo and Trinity's old mentor, resistance leader Morpheus, played by Laurence Fishburne. Speaking to New York Magazine, Fishburne says he wasn't invited back for the new sequel. Despite that, he wishes everyone involved with the film nothing but the best. "I have not been invited. Maybe that will make me write another play. I wish them well. I hope it's great," Fishburne said.

Fishburne also spoke about his part in the original The Matrix film, a sci-fi landmark, and its first two sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. He says, "It is probably the role that I'll be best remembered for, which is great; it's not the only thing I'll be remembered for, which is better. What I get with him is I've got Darth Vader in this hand, and I've got Obi-Wan in that hand. I've got Bruce Lee, I've got Muhammad Ali shuffled in there, and I've got kung fu… It's the old story in a modern context. It's the One, the Christ, the Buddha, the Godhead, the fully realized being told through the digital age."

Another character who won't be returning is antagonist Agent Smith, played in the original trilogy by Hugo Weaving. For Weaving, his absence came down to a scheduling conflict.

"It's unfortunate, but actually I had this offer [for The Visit], and then the offer came from The Matrix, so I knew it was happening, but I didn't have dates," Weaving explained earlier this year. "I thought [I] could do both, and it took eight weeks to work out that the dates would work – I held off on accepting [a role in The Visit during that time]. I was in touch with [director] Lana Wachowski, but in the end, she decided that the dates weren't going to work. So we'd sorted the dates and then she sort of changed her mind. They're pushing on ahead without me."

Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the previous three Matrix films, is returning to direct and co-write The Matrix 4. In addition to Reeves and Moss, returning stars include Jada Pinkett Smith and Lambert Wilson. The cast also includes newcomers Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Henwick, Priyanka Chopra, Jonathan Groff, Toby Onwumere, Max Riemelt, Eréndira Ibarra, Andrew Caldwell, Brian J. Smith, and Ellen Hollman.

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Production on The Matrix 4 is underway, having resumed following a forced halt caused by the coronavirus. The film opens in theaters on April 1, 2022.

(h/t The Wrap)