Much to the delight of Matrix fans and Keanu Reeves enthusiasts alike, there have been many pictures released from the set of The Matrix 4, the fourth film in the Matrix series, currently filming in Berlin (after taking a brief hiatus for the COVID-19 pandemic). So it could be assumed we’re about to see more pictures of Keanu as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity, both working an aggressive amount of leather clothing. But one person we won’t see squeezed into black leather is Laurence Fishburne. Laurence has nothing to do with The Matrix 4, and he says it’s because he wasn’t invited to the party.
Laurence played Morpheus, the mysterious pill-pushing hovercraft captain who teaches Neo all about the aforementioned Matrix, the simulated reality created so that…uh…machines…could use people as…batteries…or something. Listen, the last time I watched The Matrix was in my high school film class, and I probably should have paid more attention, but I was still riding the high of delivering a really showstopping presentation on Thelma & Louise. But Morpheus is a big part of the Matrix story, and he appeared in the first three films: The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, and The Matrix Revolutions.
And, worth mentioning, Morpheus survives at the end of the series. Not to mention that his girlfriend in the movie, Niobe, played by Jada Pinkett Smith, is coming back for the 4th film. So it would make sense that Morpheus might return. Laurence explained the situation during an interview with New York Magazine (via People magazine). But, Matrix 4 writer and director Lana Wachowski doesn’t have to worry about getting an angry voice message on her phone, because Laurence isn’t pissed off about it.
“I have not been invited. Maybe that will make me write another play. I wish them well. I hope it’s great. 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. 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.”
I will always associate Laurence Fishburne with his portrayal of Ike Turner in What’s Love Got To Do With It, which is probably as far away as you can get from Morpheus on the Laurence Fishburne Character Memorability Index. But I get what he’s saying. Even if he’s not showing up as Morpheus in The Matrix 4, everyone in the theater (if those still exist in April 2022) will remember that he did play Morpheus. And if he’s looking for any inspiration for that play he may or may not write, maybe he can team back up with The Matrix’s Lilly Wachowski to fight back against all the right-wingers and MRA jerks who have misappropriated Morpheus’ red pill speech. A possible title could be The Ass(hole) Menagerie.
Pic: Warner Bros.