A lot of people who watched The Matrix 4 teaser trailer (and other trailers) noticed one glaring absence. Laurence Fishburne (aka the original Morpheus) is missing from pretty much everything. What happened to him? One fan theory might explain what happened.
This article will have SPOILERS based on previous Matrix iterations, including MAJOR spoilers from the game, and interpretations of the trailers.
Fans Believe ‘The Matrix Online’ Explains Why Morpheus Is Missing
Our original Morpheus — played so perfectly by Laurence Fishburne — is gone. And fans believe they know exactly why. The Matrix 4 teasers are hinting that the new movie might be following the continuity set up by The Matrix Online, which was an MMORPG that continued The Matrix movies’ storyline. The game was released in 2005 and then was shut down in 2009. In the game, you played the role of a new character who has been red pilled and shown the truth about humanity.
On Reddit, user u/runjinrun explained that Morpheus is murdered in the game, and this might explain why there’s a new Morpheus in the movie, if they follow the game as canon. It’s likely Matrix 4 will explain what happened though, since there were only about 500 active players in the game at the time it was shut down. However, other fans aren’t so sure the movie will follow the game at all. They point out that there are other parts of the game that might be troublesome to turn canon. So perhaps the movie is simply going to take some inspiration from the game, rather than making all of the game canon?
Here’s the scene when Morpheus died in the game. Keep in mind that it’s not clear if this will be canon in the movie or not.
However, another Redditor pointed out that Morpheus may not have “technically” died in that scene.
The Matrix Wiki, when talking about the events of The Matrix Online, also points out that a Morpheus Simulacrum exists. In addition, there were appearances of Morpheus’s signal in Megacity, even after his “death.” There was also a file dump of planned story arcs after the game was discontinued. However, these arcs were never officially approved. They seemed to indicate that Morpheus’ signal continues to play a role in the game, along with his simulacram.
A Younger Morpheus Appears To Be Taking Over the Role
Based on the teaser, it appears that Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is playing a reborn, younger version of Morpheus and Fishburne is, indeed, gone. In fact, there is one scene in the teaser that shows Morpheus essentially being re-created as his now-younger version. Here’s a screengrab from that scene:
Fishburne Said He Wasn’t Invited to Film the New Movie
In August 2020, Fishburne told The Wrap that he wasn’t invited to film the new movie.
Looper reported in 2021 that when Fishburne was asked about it again in a subsequent interview, he simply said: “I’m not involved. You’ll have to talk to Lana Wachowski… The only thing I can tell you is that Lana Wachowski can answer those questions for you better than I can.”
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