Secrecy continues to dominate The Matrix 4’s production, but could newcomer Neil Patrick Harris be playing Neo’s next villain in the upcoming movie?
Neil Patrick Harris is set to appear in The Matrix Resurrections – could he be on villain duty? The Wachowskis’ original Matrix movie was a groundbreaking venture in 1999, setting a new tone for sci-fi action cinema. A pair of sequels in 2003 (The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions) failed to ignite the same kind of reaction, but despite the somewhat disappointing continuation of Neo’s adventures, The Matrix has retained a strong cultural identity over the past 20 years. So much so, in fact, that Warner Bros. have announced The Matrix Resurrections for 2021.
Directed solely by Lana Wachowski on this occasion, much of The Matrix Resurrections‘ plot remains unknown, and a sense of mystery also hangs over the cast. We do know that Keanu Reeves will be appearing to (probably) reprise his iconic role as Neo, and he’ll be joined by fellow Matrix alum Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity (also probably). Heavily rumored returnees include Lambert Wilson as The Merovingian and Jada Pinkett Smith as Niobe. Fascinatingly, The Matrix Resurrections promises an impressive selection of new talent alongside the franchise veterans. Yahya Abdul-Mateen, Neil Patrick Harris and Jessica Henwick are among the names joining Neo for his next adventure, all in roles that carry varying degrees of mystery.
Rumors swirl over who these actors could portray in The Matrix Resurrections, with Abdul-Mateen in particular linked to Morpheus. Another tantalizing possibility is Neil Patrick Harris playing the piece’s villain. Thanks to candid comments from Hugo Weaving, The Matrix Resurrections is confirmed to have sought (and failed) to bring back the original Agent Smith. That appearance could’ve been as a cameo, a supporting figure, or the main villain. Without Weaving on board, The Matrix Resurrections would surely seek to avoid replacing Smith with another quietly menacing, calculating Agent in a similar mold. More interesting would be to write an antagonist completely the opposite to Smith – an intelligent schemer with magnetic charisma and a sympathetic ear.
Without wanting to typecast, Harris undoubtedly fits that bill. Shades of these qualities were on full display during Neil Patrick Harris’ performance as Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events, though one would expect his The Matrix Resurrections turn to be a little less overblown. Not only would Harris’ trademark qualities represent a striking deviation from the insidious silence of Agent Smith, but his character being the big bad of The Matrix Resurrections is supported by the trailer release.
The Matrix Resurrections‘ trailer reveals Harris is playing Neo’s (or, indeed, Thomas’) therapist in the digital world. His job is to convince Thomas that memories of a Machine war and a simulated prison are pure fantasy, and the doctor is plying Neo with blue pills to keep those suspicions at bay. While it’s possible that Harris is just a therapist program designed by the Machines, the character could be more significant than he appears. In his office, we see a pot of blue pills, and the glasses Harris wears are tinted blue. In The Matrix, “bluepills” are humans who know the truth, but believe mankind is better off inside the Matrix. Could the therapist be a plugged-in human who wants to maintain the status quo between man and machine?
It would be fitting for The Matrix Resurrections to have a villain with the direct opposite personality type to Agent Smith. The Matrix Resurrections‘ trailer proves Neil Patrick Harris’ character is exactly that, as Thomas’ therapist acts understanding and caring, but shows a manipulative, condescending streak beneath the surface. It’s also curious that The Matrix Resurrections has cast Jonathan Groff who, like Harris, has a background in musical theater. Could Groff be in league with Harris? His character also carries a blue motif (his tinted hair and suit), and openly references the Matrix simulation to Neo.
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