Taking on the iconic character of Morpheus from the acclaimed Matrix trilogy was no easy task which is why Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who plays a different avatar of the original Laurence Fishburne character in “The Matrix Resurrections”, went into the movie with the clear goal of paying homage to the legendary role while also adding something of his own and thus creating something new.
During EW’s Around the Table for the fourth Matrix movie, Abdul-Mateen reveals he always knew “it was my job not to give a literal impersonation of Laurence Fishburne’s performance as Morpheus but to understand that history.”
“I was fortunate enough to play a character who was aware of the history of the Matrix but also growing into his own, he had a growth and a rebirth to go through for his own self,” he says. “I looked at that as an opportunity to create a character with some freedom and expression and to really find out what it was that I, as Morpheus, liked about myself and what I had to contribute to the world and what I had to say in this universe. That was something that I really enjoyed.”
Abdul-Mateen went on to add that he took full advantage of the “opportunity to learn more about the world and also to pay homage to the performance that Laurence Fishburne presented to us and then to really add onto that in my own way.”
Directed by Lana Wachowski, the new Matrix film sees the return of Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) after their death in 2003’s “The Matrix Revolutions”.
Their minds are somehow trapped back inside the Matrix, a virtual reality dream world created by the machines in the far future to trap the human psyche in order to keep them blissfully ignorant of their actual apocalyptic reality. Having no memory of their lives together, the two are living their lives inside the Matrix until a blue-haired, gunslinging hacker by the name of Bugs (Jessica Henwick) and a man named Morpheus (Abdul-Mateen) enter the scene to wake the man known as the One back up.
“The Matrix Resurrections” released on December 22, 2021 and is currently playing in theatres and streaming on HBO Max.