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SYFY WIRE The Matrix Resurrections

Nope, it's not cosplay: 'The Matrix Resurrections' star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II confirms he's playing Morpheus

By Matthew Jackson

After The Matrix Resurrections trailer finally dropped on Thursday, fans were understandably left with a lot of thoughts and feelings, and beyond the initial rush of emotions about the long-awaited sequel, we also had some major questions about the plot. A lot of those questions obviously won't be answered until we actually get to see the film in December, but one of the bigger mysteries has apparently already been solved by one of the film's stars.

As soon as it was clear that Laurence Fishburne would not be among the returning Matrix cast members in the fourth film in the franchise, but Aquaman and Candyman star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II would be joining the cast, a lot of fans speculated that Mateen was playing a younger version of resistance leader Morpheus. For a long time it wasn't clear exactly how that would take shape, but it definitely seemed possible. Then the trailer arrived, and Mateen appeared with a look, a voice, and a whole vibe that very much suggested a younger Morpheus confronting an older Neo (Keanu Reeves) with the truth about his existence.

Despite the very strong resemblance, both physically and narratively, the trailer never actually confirmed who Abdul-Mateen was playing, leaving fans to wonder if we were looking at a descendant of Morpheus, or a clone, or an old consciousness in a new body, or something else entirely. Thankfully for us, Abdul-Mateen himself cleared that up, at least a little.

In a post to his official Instagram a few hours after the trailer dropped, Abdul-Mateen dropped a picture of himself in the trailer, guns blazing, and captioned it simply "MORPHEUS." So, let there be no doubt that Abdul-Mateen is indeed carrying on Fishburne's legacy and playing a new version of the iconic character for Resurrections.

Of course, this still leaves plenty of questions. How did Morpheus get a younger body? There's certainly imagery on the film's website that suggests his new form was constructed in some way, rather than born, so perhaps the resistance did upload his consciousness into a different body. Or maybe he only exists in the Matrix, as some type of construct? Those could explain why he knows Neo, and why he retains his essential Morpheus-ness even as he looks a bit younger.

We'll find out for sure when The Matrix Resurrections arrived Dec. 22 in theaters and on HBO Max.