The Matrix 4 Star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Speaks About the Film's Fresh Perspective

With his role in Nia DaCosta's Candyman hitting theaters, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has been doing the press rounds, and that inevitably has led to some talk about Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and The Matrix Resurrections, both long-awaited follow-ups to huge movies in which Mateen has reportedly key roles. Little solid information is known about either of the two movies, but Mateen -- who also played Doctor Manhattan in HBO's reinvention of the Watchmen mythology -- is deftly managing the series of questions that come out about each, right down to pretending he has cell phone problems when asked about his role in The Matrix Resurrections during a recent interview.

The actor is acutely aware of being suddenly thrust into a world of franchise filmmaking which, regardless of budget, comes with expectations on the part of the audience.

"They both are classics that people love," Mateen told Variety of his roles in Candyman and The Matrix. "They come with high expectations of excellence, and audiences cannot cannot wait to see them. And it's nice to be a part of that....Of course, they also come with the opportunity to, to add your own spin to moments and characters. And we're looking forward to doing that with The Matrix in the same way that we did it with Candyman. It's all an opportunity to tell new fresh stories and to change the narrative and to add a new perspective on it."

During a CinemaCon presentation last week, The Hollywood Reporter's Aaron Couch revealed some of the details of The Matrix Resurrections footage that audiences saw, tweeting that in the movie Keanu Reeves' Thomas Anderson is now in therapy and has seemingly forgotten about The Matrix and later runs into Carrie-Anne Moss' Trinity at a coffee shop but neither recognizes the other. It seems likely - although it's currently unconfirmed -- that this is the latest iteration of an idea that popped up in the first trilogy -- that of The One trying, over and over again, to make his way out of The Matrix, only to fail and end up back in the system to start again.

Directed by series co-creator Lana Wachowski, The Matrix Resurrections brings back original franchise stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss. Other cast members include Christina Ricci, Priyanka Chopra, Neil Patrick Harris, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Ellen Hollman.

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The Matrix Resurrections opens in theaters and debuts on HBO Max on December 22nd.