Neo (Keanu Reeves) may be “The One” of The Matrix franchise, but we can’t ignore the impact of the one and only Morpheus, portrayed by Laurence Fishburne. Whether it was his wise words or his royal style (shout-out to those sunglasses without temples), Morpheus was the man.
As you may know by now, a fourth installment of The Matrix is coming, now known as The Matrix 4. For those of you who intentionally forgot that there was a third Matrix (some fever dream called The Matrix Revolutions) because of how bad it was, I know the number “four” comes as a surprise to you. But, yes, the fourth Matrix will be directed by Lana Wachowski and while the plot details are a mystery, we do know there’s a packed cast: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss and Jada Pinkett-Smith reprising their roles as well as new characters portrayed by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jonathan Groff, Priyanka Chopra and Neil Patrick Harris.
You may have noticed the omission of Laurence Motherfucking Fishburne. Well, that’s because he’s not going to be in it, friends. I’m sorry, what?! Yes, I’m reporting on this news and am reacting to the news in real-time. The shocking news comes straight from Fishburne, himself.
“I have not been invited. Maybe that will make me write another play. I wish them well. I hope it’s great,” Fishburne recently told New York Magazine, via The Wrap.
Fishburne knows Morpheus is one of his most beloved characters and he’s cool with that. He’s also comfortable with the fact that he’s played plenty more roles that he’ll be remembered for.
“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,” Fishburne noted. “What I get with [Morpheus] 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.”
Exactly. There are so many sides of Fishburne to choose from. I mean, shit, he didn’t even mention playing Ike Turner in What’s Love Got To Do With It, which precedes The Matrix and is an iconic performance that sits in a special place in the hearts of the Black community (as well as earning him a 1994 Oscar nod).
As The Wrap noted, Morpheus dies in the multiplayer game, The Matrix Online which is apparently a part of The Matrix canon, but fans believe his death was faked. Stranger things have happened in 2020, so maybe Fishburne may surprise us and pop up in the film after all. There’s still time for such surprises because Warner Bros. pushed back the release date to Spring 2022 due to the production shutdown caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.
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