Does Neil Patrick Harris look cool doing fancy martial arts tricks in slow motion? We may soon find out.
According to Deadline, the How I Met Your Mother alum has joined an ever-growing cast of hot people wearing Mandarin-collared jackets and speaking in quasi-profound philosophical riddles by getting cast in The Matrix 4. Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne-Moss are set to reprise their roles from the cyberpunk trilogy as Neo and Trinity, while Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman) is believed to be playing a young Morpheus.
Harris will play an unspecified role in the reboot, which Deadline says is being kept “under wraps.”
Although the gay actor is primarily known for comedy and kid-friendly entertainment (see: also The Smurfs, or don’t), he has previously shown his dramatic chops with a breakout role in David Fincher’s Gone Girl. It will be the first time Harris, who originally became a household name with TV’s Doogie Howser, has toplined an action movie since the 1997 cult classic Starship Troopers.
The 46-year-old will be joined by Lana Wachowski, who is returning to The Matrix without sister Lilly Wachowski for reasons that are unclear. If you’ve never seen them, the films follow a group of hacker vigilantes who have discovered that reality is merely a dystopian computer simulation (which is looking increasingly plausible every day).
Although the siblings wrote the first three films themselves, Lana is sharing co-writing credits on The Matrix 4 with Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell. Mitchell also wrote the book Cloud Atlas, which the Wachowskis adapted into a wildly divisive 2012 feature, and both Hemon and Mitchell worked on the sisters’ Netflix sci-fi series Sense8, which developed a massive cult following during its short-lived run.
As Out previously reported, the announcement that Lana will return for The Matrix 4 makes her the first trans director to helm a blockbuster film solo. In addition to Cloud Atlas, the Wachowskis also directed the poorly received flop Jupiter Ascending after coming out.
The reboot will arrive in theatres sometime in 2022. But if Harris has already started trying to bend spoons with his mind in preparation for the role, it’s our duty to remind him: There is no spoon.