East Hamptonite Neil Patrick Harris has officially joined the cast of the fourth Matrix film, Variety reported on Tuesday. The local actor will work alongside returning stars of the franchise, John Wick star Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss (Jessica Jones), as well as Aquaman‘s Yahya Abdul-Mateen, who was announced as one of the film’s new leads last week.
According to Variety, no details have been revealed about the new Matrix film’s plot, but rumors suggest the movie may feature a young version of Morpheus, Laurence Fishburne‘s character in the original Matrix trilogy, which includes 1999’s groundbreaking The Matrix, and The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolution, both released in 2003. Warner Brothers announced the hotly anticipated film was in the works in August of 2018, with Lana Wachowski tapped to write and direct.
Reeves’ recent success with his role as assassin John Wick, and his turn in Toy Story 4 over the summer, along with Wachowski’s quality script, helped motivate the studio to push development of the next addition in the Matrix franchise forward. Production is slated to begin early next year.
The Matrix films, which earned $1.6 billion at the global box office and spawned a series of video games and licensed merchandise, tell the story of a dystopian future where most of the world’s population are living within a computer simulation of life to fool their minds while sentient machines harvest energy from their bodies. Reeves’ character, Neo, is a computer programmer and hacker, Thomas Anderson, in the simulated world, who finds his way out to discover the truth about his artificial existence.
Harris’s role in The Matrix 4 has not yet been revealed. It will be the actor’s first role in a big budget studio franchise, though he was a recurring character, playing an outrageously skewed version of himself in the Harold & Kumar series of comedic films, including Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004), Harold & Kumar Escape Guantanamo Bay (2008) and A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (2011). The first movie in the trio brought Harris back into the limelight in a big way following the years after he starred in Doogie Howser MD as a child, and it likely led to his role in the hit, Hamptons-related show How I Met Your Mother, which solidified his stardom as an adult.