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Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss have said they thought about Laurence Fishburne ‘all the time’ on The Matrix Resurrections.
Fishburne’s Morpheus, rocking those incredible temple-less shades, once shepherded Reeves’ Neo down the rabbit hole. He also faced off with Hugo Weaving’s Agent Smith and lived to tell the tale, destroyed a car with a sword and Uzi, and spoke almost exclusively in philosophical adages. He’s one of the coolest characters in cinema.
When it emerged neither him nor Weaving would appear in the fourthquel, many believed it to be a bluff. I certainly responded with the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he is expecting to wake up – but it’s true. With the exception of flashbacks, two of the franchise’s key players haven’t returned after all.
In fairness, it actually makes sense in the context of the plot, but to preserve the Matrix’s secrets, I shan’t explain why. The film once again follows Thomas Anderson (Reeves), an ordinary guy longing after a woman (Moss) in his local coffee shop. However, the fabric of his reality starts to unravel after meeting Morpheus, this time played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
I sat down with Neo and Trinity themselves ahead of the release of The Matrix Resurrections. During our brief chat, I asked them how it felt to return without Fishburne and Weaving, given how major they were in the series’ initial legacy, and if they thought about them much during shooting.
‘Yeah, certainly. Speaking with Lana about that… it was just creatively where she wanted to go with the production and the story. Yeah, we love Hugo and Lawrence, and we thought about them all the time,’ Reeves said.
‘It’s hard not to think about them, because they’re so much a part of it. I love both of them, and they’re both so talented and such great people. But, there’s an evolution that happened for Lana with the story, and we’re here serving that, you know?’ Moss added.
It doesn’t appear that Fishburne feels he’s been given the cold shoulder. ‘I have not been asked to join them, which is fine. I am hopeful that it will be wonderful and it will satisfy audiences and that people will love it,’ he told Entertainment Tonight.
On the other hand, Weaving actually was asked to return, but he couldn’t due to scheduling conflicts with his theatre role in The Visit. ‘I thought [I] could do both and it took eight weeks to work out that the dates would work… I was in touch with Lana Wachowski, but in the end she decided that the dates weren’t going to work… they’re pushing on ahead without me,’ he told Time Out London.
The Matrix Resurrections hits cinemas on December 22.
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