Neil Patrick Harris has joined the cast of The Matrix 4. After years of rumors about a fourth Matrix movie being in the works, Warner Bros. finally made the news official back in August, and set Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss to reprise their roles as Neo and Trinity from the original Matrix trilogy. However, the franchise's co-creator Lana Wachowski will be directing without her sister, Lily, this time around, drawing from a script she wrote with Aleksander Hemon (The Lazarus Project) and David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas).
There's still a whole lot that's unknown about the sequel at this time, including its story and whether Laurence Fishburne will be coming back as Morpheus or not. But with filming due to get underway in early 2020, the movie is currently in the midst of filling out its cast, and only just added Aquaman's Yahya Abdul-Mateen II to its ranks a few days ago. Now, it appears that another noteworthy actor has closed a deal to appear in The Matrix 4.
According to Variety, Harris has joined The Matrix 4 cast in a key, but (for the time being) unspecified role. The How I Met Your Mother fan-favorite has been preoccupied with playing Count Olaf in Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events TV adaptation for the last few years. Now that the show is done (its third and final season began streaming in January), he has an opening in his schedule that the Matrix sequel should fill nicely.
In the absence of any official plot information, fans have turned to speculating about either what The Matrix 4 could be about or how it could resuscitate the larger franchise. Many felt the original Matrix movie trilogy's finale, The Matrix Revolutions, was a disappointing conclusion that killed off Trinity because it, basically, had run out of things for her to do. This means The Matrix 4 has the potential to not only provide a better send-off to the character, but also lay the groundwork for a whole new trilogy of Matrix films (or maybe even more). For the same reasons, some people are hoping The Matrix 4 will take a leaf out of Star Wars: The Force Awakens' book and bring Neo and Trinity back to pass the torch to another generation of heroes.
Of course, there's no guarantee that Harris is even playing a hero in the film. The actor has excelled at portraying everyone from likable scoundrels to clear-cut bad guys or, in the case of his memorable performance from Gone Girl, a character who certainly seems untrustworthy, but may or may not be a flat-out villain. He's arguably a left-field casting choice for The Matrix 4, but that (if anything) simply makes this news all the more intriguing. Lana Wachowski has never been one to lack for ambition, and she appears to be as daring as ever with whatever she's got planned here, too.