Fishburne, who previously played Morpheus in the franchise, told Variety that he did not miss out on reprising his role for the fourth film, which premiered in 2021.
“No, not really,” Fishburne said at the premiere of his latest film, “The School for Good and Evil” on Netflix. “It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. And it wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be.”
Instead, Fishburne applauded former co-stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss’ respective performances as Neo and Trinity.
“I thought Carrie-Anne and Keanu really did their thing. Yeah, that’s what I thought,” Fishburne said.
Neither Fishburne nor Hugo Weaving returned for “Resurrections” after playing Morpheus and Agent Smith in the original trilogy. However, artificial intelligence versions of their characters were combined for new roles taken on by franchise newcomers Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Jonathan Groff.
“Resurrections” split film critics, with IndieWire’s David Ehrlich applauding director Lana Wachowski’s vision that “pushes beyond the dopamine hit of cheap nostalgia and dares to dream up a future where mainstream films might inspire us to re-imagine what’s possible instead of just asking us to clap at the sight of history repeating itself.”
“Matrix” producers noted that “Resurrections” will be the final installment in the franchise.
After sitting out “Resurrections,” Fishburne will team up again with “Matrix” alum Reeves for “John Wick: Chapter 4,” set for a 2023 release.
Meanwhile, “The Matrix” is being adapted into a stage play helmed by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle. A hip-hop take on the franchise created by the Wachowskis is titled “Free Your Mind.” The Warner Bros. Theater Ventures-licensed project is set to open at the new Manchester, U.K., arts venue Factory International in October 2023.
“Combining the hip-hop choreography of hundreds of dancers with the latest immersive design, ‘Free Your Mind’ will take audiences on a thrilling journey through ‘The Matrix’ and into a new realm of possibilities,” the logline reads. “This eye-opening production will stretch across the building’s ultra-flexible spaces, responding to them and harnessing the collective energy of the moment.”
“The Matrix” was first released in 1999. The Wachowskis directed the franchise’s first three films, with Lana Wachowski going solo behind the camera for “The Matrix Resurrections.”