Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Matrix Resurrections
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Matrix Resurrections

A new teaser from The Matrix Resurrections depict Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s as-yet-unnamed character. A sequel to the popular Matrix trilogy by filmmaking team the Wachowskis, The Matrix 4 was first announced in August 2019, with the official title only recently unveiled. The film is scheduled to release on December 22, 2021 and will premiere simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max.

Very little is known so far about The Matrix Resurrections, which is directed, co-written, and produced by Lana Wachowski. Keanu Reeves, who since taking on the role of Neo in The Matrix has seen his popularity skyrocket with the John Wick films, will return to the franchise, as will his original co-star and Trinity actress Carrie-Anne Moss. Jada Pinkett Smith is also said to return as Niobe, her character from the last two films, Reloaded and Revolutions. The rest of the cast includes a number of exciting names, including Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman, HBO’s Watchmen), Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Henwick (Iron Fist), Jonathan Groff (Mindhunter), Priyanka Chopra, and Christina Ricci. None of their roles have yet been disclosed, leaving many hungry for information.

Now, ahead of the official trailer release, a number of stills released through The Matrix teaser site (WhatIsTheMatrix) and shared on Imgur by user portman87 offer a look at Abdul-Mateen’s mystery character. Visiting the teaser site reveals clickable red and blue pills, and selecting either unlocks a different set of teaser footage. Abdul-Mateen’s character is shown staring at his reflection in a mirror and reaching out to it, only to find the glass ripples like water when touched. He is also revealed to be fighting Reeves’ Neo mano-a-mano in a dojo.

These early images all support the rumor that Abdul-Mateen is playing a younger Morpheus, Neo’s guide in the original trilogy made iconic by Laurence Fishburne. The original actor was not cast in this revisit, leaving the role open for reinterpretation, and the teaser footage repeats some of the character’s iconography. Neo experienced a rippling mirror when he takes the red pill given to him by Morpheus, and with Abdul-Mateen seeing it this time around, it’s possible The Matrix Resurrections will explore how Morpheus comes to discover his reality is a simulation. Additionally, the dojo-set fight between Abdul-Mateen and Reeves’ characters recreates a scene from the first film, raising the question of whether an older Neo could possibly be the one who frees and trains a younger Morpheus, only to require him to return the favor later.

These appear to be solid clues, but viewers will be hoping for a more concrete answer when the official trailer drops tomorrow. However, The Matrix Resurrections marketing team deserves credit for coming up with a cool way to build hype, rather than just releasing the first trailer cold. Fans of the franchise can only hope the film itself delivers on the build-up when it releases this December.