‘It Wasn’t as Good as I Hoped’: Laurence Fishburne Gives Blunt Critique of ‘Matrix Resurrections’ Film After Not Being Asked to Reprise His Role as Morpheus

Laurence Fishburne isn’t exactly sulking over a missed opportunity to reprise his role as Morpheus in “The Matrix Resurrections.” 

Fishburne starred alongside Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Ann Moss, and others in the first three installments of the sci-fi/action flick created by The Wachowskis. But, when the time came for production to begin on the fourth film, fans were surprised to learn that Fishburne was not part of the cast. 

It Wasn't as Good as I Hoped': Laurence Fishburne Gives Blunt Critique of 'Matrix Resurrections' Film After Not Being Asked to Reprise His Role as Morpheus
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 18: Laurence Fishburne attends the Premiere of Netflix’s “The School For Good And Evil” at Regency Village Theatre on October 18, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic )

I have not been invited,” Fishburne told New York Magazine in 2020. “Maybe that will make me write another play. I’m looking for the blessing in that. I wish them well. I hope it’s great,” he added. In the latest installment, a younger version of Morpheus is portrayed by actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen.

In a new interview with Variety, the “Boyz N The Hood” actor said the film didn’t wow him. “It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. And it wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be,” he said. Fishburne added that his former co-stars Reeves and Moss “really did their thing. Yeah, that’s what I thought.”

The first film, “The Matrix,” was all the hype when it debuted and quickly became a box office hit in 1999. However, to fans’ surprise, it later was revealed that some notable Hollywood talent, such as Will Smith, Gabrielle Union, and Janet Jackson, could have found themselves starring in the franchise. 

Smith has previously shared that The Wachowskis approached him about the 1999 film’s lead role of Neo, but the A-list actor passed on the role. At the time, he did not understand the world the producers were attempting to create. “Keanu was perfect, Laurence Fishburne was perfect … So I probably would have messed ‘The Matrix’ up. I would have ruined it, so I did y’all a favor,” said Smith in a video posted to his YouTube page in 2019. His wife, Jada Pinkett Smith would go on to star in the second and fourth “Matrix” films.

Last year, while appearing on “The Late Late Show With James Corden,” Union shared her story of auditioning for a role in the film. “To me, I needed to feel like the most powerful, beautiful, and amazing woman in the world, so of course, I wanted to channel Janet Jackson,” said Union. So, she ventured out to recreate Jackson’s “All For You” album cover, then made her way to the audition. “In walks Janet Jackson. The same audition, and I’m cosplaying as Janet with a weird drawn-on mole, … we canceled each other out,” she added before stating the obvious that neither she or Jackson landed a role in the franchise.  

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