Laurence Fishburne Confirms He Wasn't Invited To Return In 'The Matrix 4', Which Has Resumed Shooting In Germany

The Matrix 4 has resumed filming in Germany after production was forced to halt due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Star Keanu Reeves and the rest of the cast and crew will be returning to shoot the long-awaited sequel, but there will be one former franchise cast member who confirmed that he won't be back. Laurence Fisburne, who played the pivotal revolutionary leader Morpheus in The Matrix and its two sequels, revealed that he wasn't invited to reprise his role in the fourth Matrix film.

Plot details for The Matrix 4 have been kept fairly secret, but as the cast of the highly anticipated sequel grew, with original franchise stars Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Jada Pinkett Smith joined by newcomers like Priyanka ChopraJessica HenwickNeil Patrick Harris, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and more, it became more suspicious that one of the franchise's biggest stars, Fishburne, wasn't in the cast list. As The Matrix 4 prepares to resume filming following coronavirus delays, Fishburne has confirmed that he won't be starring in The Matrix 4.

In an interview with SyFy Wire, Fishburne revealed that he wasn't invited back to play what he describes as his most memorable role.

"No. I have not been invited," Fishburne said. "Maybe that will make me write another play. I wish them well. I hope it's great."

Fishburne played Morpheus in The MatrixThe Matrix Reloaded, and The Matrix Revolutions. His character is arguably as pivotal and iconic to the franchise as Reeves' Neo, as he acts as the impetus for much of the action. But this sounds like a plot issue rather than an issue with Fishburne — with the character out of the picture in The Matrix 4, the rumor that Abdul-Mateen is playing a younger version of Morpheus may just have been leant some credence.

Meanwhile, The Matrix 4 has resumed filming in Berlin with new COVID-19 safety measures in place, which Reeves praised in an interview with the Associated Press. "There's some really thoughtful, effective protocols in place, and the rhythm of filmmaking has not been really impacted or interrupted, in the sense of filming," Reeves said. "That's because of the hard work and organization, and again the thoughtfulness that has gone into the protocols."

Production for The Matrix 4 began in San Francisco in February and moved to Berlin in March, but was forced to halt due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Matrix 4 is being directed by Lana Wachowski, who co-wrote the script with David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon. Original franchise cast members Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Jada Pinkett Smith are all set to return, with new cast members including Priyanka Chopra, Jessica Henwick, Neil Patrick Harris, Toby OnwumereBrian J. SmithEréndira IbarraAndrew Caldwell, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.

The Matrix 4 is still set for a May 21, 2021 release date.