Laurence Fishburne Reveals How He Really Felt About 'The Matrix Resurrections'

Laurence Fishburne has a few thoughts about the franchise that continued on without him. Last year, Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss returned for The Matrix Resurrections, the franchise's first mainline entry in over 18 years. While Reeves and Moss reprised their respective roles as Neo and Trinity after The Matrix Revolutions, the fourth installment failed to bring the entire original lead cast back together. Fishburne, who portrayed Morpheus in the original trilogy, did not return for Resurrections. Although Morpheus is deceased during the film's events, an artificial intelligence based on the character (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) plays an important role.

During the premiere of Netflix's The School for Good and Evil Tuesday evening, Fishburne praised his former co-stars while offering a more objective assessment of the movie. "It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. And it wasn't as good as I hoped it would be," Fishburne told Variety's Marc Malkin. "But I thought Carrie-Anne and Keanu really did their thing. Yeah, that's what I thought." Malkin then asked whether Fishburne felt he had missed out on being a part of the revival, and he replied, "No, not really." The actor previously spoke out about not participating in the latest Matrix film. The 60-year-old explained to Vulture in 2020, "I have not been invited. 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 then told Collider in June 2021, "It would make sense that people would ask me that, so it doesn't get old. I am not in the next Matrix movie, and you'd have to ask [director] Lana Wachowski why, because I don't have an answer for that." Despite Fishburne's involvement, he had expressed looking forward to the anticipated sequel. "I am very excited to see what it will be," he said on Jon interviews. "Because I'm a fan of those movies, I'm not just in them. I was a fan of those movies, too. So I'm excited."

Fishburne had recalled being almost immediately on board when the Wachowskis introduced him to The Matrix. He confided in the Vulture interview that the script had everything he looked for in a story. "I thought this was the most original thing I've ever read, and I can't wait to do it. Because I'm a science-fiction head anyway, so I never had any questions about whether or not it worked structurally, thematically, or anything on the page," Fishburne said. "There were no red flags on the page for me at all, and then when I met Lana and Lilly, they said they wanted to make a live-action anime. I was like, 'Yes, please.' I got it. I totally got it." While Fishburne did not appear alongside Reeves in the fourth Matrix film, they will appear together in John Wick: Chapter 4. As the Bowery King, Fishburne played an uneasy ally of Reeves' unkillable ex-hitman in the action series' second installment.