With news that Warner Bros. is officially reuniting the holy trinity of Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss and Lana Wachowski for a fourth Matrix film, many fans were left wondering: what about Morpheus?
Hollywood trade paper Variety, who broke the news, say that the character - played in the original trilogy by Laurence Fishburne will also return but “may be recast for a younger take.”
Justin Kroll, the reporter who wrote the story, later clarified on Twitter that producers were searching for a star to take over the role of Neo’s mentor, which will presumably be set in a different timeframe to the original films.
Mistakenly referring to the character as Morbius, Kroll says “execs are looking [at] a variety of actors” to play a younger Morpheus.
Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan was linked with the role of a young Morpheus earlier this summer.
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Movie blog Geeks WorldWide claimed Jordan would lead the fourth Matrix film, and had been “loosely attached to the project for quite some time”. The same report also correctly predicted that only Lana Wachowski would be involved, with Lily Wachowski not participating in the new film, so there may be some truth to the rumour.
In 1999’s The Matrix, Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus recruited Keanu Reeves’ Neo to join the human uprising against their robot enslavers in a groundbreaking sci-fi spectacular. He returned for The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, the two sequels both released in 2003.
Fishburne recently reunited with Reeves, playing the Bowery King in John Wick: Chapter 2 and John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum.
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It was while promoting Chapter 3, that its director Chad Stahelski - a stuntman on the Matrix films - confirmed to Yahoo that a fourth Matrix film was in development with input from the Wachowskis.
“I’m super happy that the Wachowskis are not just doing a Matrix, but they’re expanding what we all loved,” Stahelski told Yahoo Movies UK. “And if it’s anywhere near the level of what they’ve already done, it wouldn’t take more than a call to go, ‘Hey, we want you to be a stunt guy’ and I would probably go and get hit by a car.”
Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures will produce and globally distribute the film. Warner Bros. Picture Group chairman Toby Emmerich announced the film on Tuesday.
“We could not be more excited to be re-entering ‘The Matrix’ with Lana,” said Emmerich. “Lana is a true visionary — a singular and original creative filmmaker — and we are thrilled that she is writing, directing and producing this new chapter in The Matrix universe.”
“Many of the ideas Lilly and I explored 20 years ago about our reality are even more relevant now. I’m very happy to have these characters back in my life and grateful for another chance to work with my brilliant friends,” Wachowski said.
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In addition to Wachowski, the script was also written by Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell. Wachowski is also producing with Grant Hill.
The Matrix 4 is reportedly revving up to shoot in 2020.