Laurence Fishburne Won't Return For The Matrix 4

The actor has confirmed that he won't be reprising the role of Morpheus.

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While a number of actors from the original Matrix trilogy--including Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and, of course, Keanu Reeves--are reprising their roles for the upcoming Matrix sequel, Morpheus actor Laurence Fishburne will not, The Wrap reports.

The reason for his absence in The Matrix 4, as fans are calling the untitled film, is simple: "I have not been invited," Fishburne told New York Magazine when asked about the project, adding, "Maybe that will make me write another play. I wish them well. I hope it’s great."

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As Morpheus, Fishburne had one of the most iconic roles in the original film, as the mentor to Reeves' Neo. "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 said of the role, adding, "what I get with him 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."

The Wrap speculates that the movie may respect the canon of The Matrix Online, where Morpheus was killed as part of a game event. The game has previously gained the Wachowski sisters' blessing as a continuation of the film series, though that may change with the new sequel.

However character deaths don't seem to be too much of an issue as far as plotlines go, as both Neo and Trinity are returning despite their deaths in the original film trilogy. Hugo Weaving has also confirmed that he will not be returning as Agent Smith, despite his efforts to the contrary. A scheduling conflict with the stage play The Visit, which he'll be performing in in London, forced him to pass on the opportunity to be included in The Matrix 4.

Not much about the plot of the new movie is known. Helmed by Lana Wachowski, though without her sister Lilly, writers Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell both contributed to the script as well. Both have collaborated with the Wachowskis before--Hemon on Sense8, and Mitchell on the sisters' film adaptation of his novel Cloud Atlas.

Originally planned to debut in May 2021, coronavirus delays have pushed the release of Matrix 4 back to spring 2022.

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