What Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s Casting as Morpheus Could Mean

Yahya Abdul Mateen II has been cast to play a younger Morpheus in the untitled Matrix 4 film. What does this mean for the next Matrix and its plot?
The Matrix Morpheus Glasses

The Matrix Recast?

With the theme of reincarnation in mind, there’s yet another possibility. Actress Jessica Henwick has also been cast in an unspecified role. While we have not been able to get confirmation on her role, it’s worth speculating that she would certainly work as a young Trinity. Recasting all of the main leads with younger actors is certainly a way to bring the franchise into the future, if The Matrix 4 is intended to be a new beginning of a trilogy.

It’s possible that all of the original players download themselves into younger bodies in the Matrix. However, both Reeves and Moss have made comments about their rigorous workout regiments in order to recapture their prime figures for the sequel, while Fishburne has been suspiciously absent from the conversation altogether. Their intense training seems to indicate a certain level of physical engagement beyond sitting in the Nebuchadnezzar and making plans in the upcoming sequel. Thus, those physical clues seem to point to a narrative reason for Mateen’s Morpheus being the young kid on the block compared to the rest of the crew.

Time for Morpheus to Represent

The Wachowskis have always been ahead of the trend when it came to representation in their films. It’s a well-known party fun-fact that Will Smith was offered the role of Neo initially. The megastar turned it down to the chagrin of his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith, who was eventually cast in the following sequels after narrowly missing out on the Trinity role herself.

Getting the chance to revisit The Matrix through the perspective of a person of color could certainly enrich the already dense thematic elements that have made the original stand the test of time. In fact, it had been reported that Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan had been at the lead of a previous attempt to bring the franchise back to theaters. So, it’s clear that having more diversity center stage is a part of the mission of this new iteration.

The Future is Now

There is a literal universe of possibilities when it comes to future narratives within the world of The Matrix. Judging by the previous installments, the most likely answer is not always the most linear solution. However, what is clear is that Wachowski has once again assembled a dynamic cast with a new lead that is continuing his ascension in the Hollywood ranks. We can’t wait to bring you more on the upcoming blockbuster sequel.

What are your theories about Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s role as Morpheus in The Matrix 4? Let us know in the comments below!


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Braxter Timberlake

Braxter Timberlake was born in New York and raised in California. He’s a graduate of UC Berkeley and the School of Hard Knocks and is always in search of the next adventure. The daring writer and editor of The Illuminerdi is also a veteran of film and television production, with an unquenchable thirst for stories, whether on the comic page, video game console, or small, medium, or the big screen. After years of expeditions in search of K’un-Lun and Wakanda, he now spends his time investigating all things geek and shares his spoilery findings with anyone with open ears. Aside from on the internet, he can be found on the basketball court, hiking with his dog, or at a screening near you.