'Matrix 4': Neil Patrick Harris Joins Keanu Reeves Franchise in Secret Role

Neil Patrick Harris has reportedly joined the cast of The Matrix 4. The TV star has signed on for an unknown role in the sequel, which will see the return of the original cast and revamp of the franchise as a whole.

Harris' casting was announced on Tuesday in a report by Variety. So far, there is no solid information on the plot, let alone the characters in the movie. Insiders on the project confirmed Harris' participation, however, not his role.

Harris joins returning cast members Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss. So far, sources close to the movie have not confirmed whether Laurence Fishburne will take part, as some rumors suggest a younger version of his character Morpheus may appear.

Another new character will be played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, the actor known for playing Manta in last year's Aquaman, among other blockbuster roles. Like Harris, his role in The Matrix 4 remains a mystery, as the movie is still far from hitting the big screen.

After years of speculation and hope from fans, The Matrix 4 was confirmed back in August. At first, Warner Bros. announced that a new movie in the franchise was in development, with Reeves, Moss and Lana Wachowski involved. Wachowski has reportedly co-written a script with Aleksander Hemon and David Mitchell. She will direct the movie as well.

Hemon was previously a writer for The New Yorker, and he interviewed Lana for the magazine in 2012. Their talk remains one of the only big public discussions either of the Wachowskis have had about their transitions. He and Mitchell will serve as producers as well.

In today's age of reboots, where intellectual property trumps all else, Warner Bros. has been trying to get a new entry in the Matrix franchise going for years. Recent rumors included talk of prequels, but Reeves' recent box office success made him essential to the movie. This spring, he starred in John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, proving that he can still carry a massive blockbuster series.

The original Matrix trilogy was written and directed by the Wachowskis, Lana and Lilly. The two filmmakers are both transgender and are collectively referred to as The Wachowskis. The two have gone on to other successful works and have done most of their work together. The Matrix 4 will be the first feature film made by just one of the sisters.

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The first Matrix movie is considered a cinema classic and a cultural touchstone. The movie was groundbreaking in terms of special effects and in terms of content, making a tonal and stylistic shift in American art. Its sequels, however, were less universally acclaimed, and have been less revered in the years since. Hopefully, this next installment can course-correct.

The Matrix 4 is currently slated for release in 2022.

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