'The Matrix 4' finds its lead actor in 'Aquaman' star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II arrives at the premiere of "Aquaman" at TCL Chinese Theatre on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has been cast in the lead role in the long-awaited fourth movie in the Matrix franchise, according to reports.

According to Variety, the Aquaman star has been meeting with director Lana Wachowski in recent weeks, and has now 'emerged as the frontrunner' to star alongside Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss.

Both Reeves and Moss will be reprising their roles as freedom fighters Neo and Trinity, and while it's not yet known what Abdul-Mateen's role will be, rumours surrounding the movie's plot have mentioned a 'young Morpheus' being among the movie's key players.

Read more: Keanu Reeves has read Matrix 4 script

Abdul-Mateen II played antagonist Manta in Aquaman, and has also landed roles in Jordan Peele's Us and his forthcoming remake of Candyman.

He's also set to play Cal Abar in the forthcoming HBO take on Watchmen.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Manta in Aquaman (Credit: Warner Bros)
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Manta in Aquaman (Credit: Warner Bros)

News landed of a fourth Matrix movie over the summer, Wachowski confirming the plans to reboot things 16 years after the final two movies, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, both released in 2003.

The first movie, a benchmark sci-fi actioner from the previously unknown sibling directors, arrived in 1999, and made an impressive $463.5 million at the box office, centring on the concept that the world as we know it is a computer generated simulation, and the human race is actually enslaved by sentient machines.

Read more: Will Smith’s biggest regret is turning down The Matrix

Sequel The Matrix Reloaded made a massive $742 million, while Revolutions dropped down to $427 million, with the critical reception dropping with it.

The Matrix (Credit: Warner Bros)
The Matrix (Credit: Warner Bros)

But nonetheless, a return to the franchise was often mooted, as the Wachowskis went on to make movies like Cloud Atlas and Jupiter Ascending, though both to mixed reviews.

Lana Wachowski is to direct and has co-written the new movie with Cloud Atlas novelist David Mitchell and Aleksander Hemon, both of whom worked on the Wachowski Netflix series Sense8.

It's set to go into production in Chicago in February, 2020.