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Yahya Abdul-Mateen II smiles wearing a blue jacket and black shirt.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Confirms He Is the New Morpheus in ‘The Matrix Resurrections’

Yahya Abdul-Mateen confirmed he is playing Morpheus in 'The Matrix Resurrections’ after it was revealed that Laurence Fishburne would not return to the role. The first trailer provided clues about his character and his relationship with Neo (Keanu Reeves). Abdul Mateen II’s previous work suggests he is capable of taking on the role.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has confirmed he is playing the role of Morpheus in The Matrix Resurrections, a much-anticipated movie. Many fans wondered about Abdul-Mateen II’s role once he had been cast in the fourth movie. Then, Laurence Fishburne, the original Morpheus, admitted to not being invited back for the fourth movie. The first official trailer for The Matrix Resurrections shows Abdul-Mateen II in scenes that are very Morpheus-like.

‘The Matrix Resurrections’ trailer showcases Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s Morpheus

According to Syfy, Abdul-Maten II confirmed he is playing Morpheus. But is it the same character as played by Fishburne in the previous films? In the first trailer for The Matrix Resurrections, red is linked to Morpheus whenever he appears on the screen. The red pill is a link to reality as seen in the previous movies. Abdul-Mateen II’s Morpheus is shown using both hands when shooting at unseen assailants. And of course, he’s rocking those cool sunglasses. That is precisely how Fishburne portrays the character in the original trilogy.  

When Abdul-Mateen II’s Morpheus tells Neo that it’s “time to fly,” it reminds of the scene in The Matrix when Fishburne’s Morpheus warns Neo that “This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back.” Abdul-Mateen II’s Morpheus sounds like his predecessor in how he speaks. “The only thing that matters to you is still here,” he tells Neo in the trailer. It’s likely he is referring to Trinity. She is the one who saved him at the end of the first movie and stands by his side the entire trilogy.

And of course, Neo and Morpheus fight, in a dojo no less. The scene seems to echo the first fight between the characters in The Matrix in which Neo gets the better of Morpheus by the end of the battle.

Who is Morpheus in ‘The Matrix Resurrections’?

What is interesting is Neo saying, “You don’t know me” to the new Morpheus in The Matrix Resurrections trailer. That opens the door to the idea that Neo does not recognize this new Morpheus. Therefore, should he trust him? In The Matrix, it took a while for Neo to believe as well.

Why wasn’t Fishburne invited back to reprise his famous role? Why are Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss allowed to return from the dead and shown to be older, but not Fishburne? Does Abdul-Mateen II in the role mean Morpheus has changed his appearance? The Oracle looked different between The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, but she was a computer program. Morpheus is supposed to be human.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II smiles wearing a blue jacket and black shirt.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II | Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

‘The Matrix’ Was Originally Supposed to Be a 600-Page Comic Not a Keanu Reeves Film

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II suits up for the role of Morpheus in ‘The Matrix Resurrections’

There is no doubt that Yayha Abdul-Mateen II is well-suited for playing a younger version of Morpheus. His physical performance as Black Manta in Aquaman showed he can handle the kind of action demanded in a movie like The Matrix Resurrections. He starred in the TV series The Get Down and appeared in The Greatest Showman before showing up as one of Aquaman‘s nemeses. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II played Cal Abar in the well-received Watchmen TV series. He has been busy appearing in The Trial of the Chicago 7 and the recently released Candyman. Abdul-Mateen II is currently filming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.

Abdul-Mateen II will be joined not only by Reeves and Moss but also other familiar characters, including Jada Pinkett Smith’s Niobe and Lambert Wilson’s popular Merovingian. Joining the franchise are newcomers like Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas. The Matrix Resurrections will be released on Dec. 22 in theaters and on HBO Max.