Hugo Weaving, the actor behind Agent Smith in The Matrix franchise, has explained why the villain isn’t in The Matrix 4 despite this being the initial intention.
Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) is one of the most iconic villains of the 21st century and certainly a character that springs quickly to mind when The Matrix is brought up.
Even though the character died at the end of The Matrix Revolutions, Smith was apparently supposed to return for the in-production fourth film. What happened? Well, Hugo Weaving explained the situation in an interview with Coming Soon:
“Lana Wachowski had rung me at the beginning of last year. We’ve worked together five times, the Wachowskis and I on three Matrix films, V for Vendetta and Cloud Atlas. I’ve hung out with them all over the world for many, many years. So, yes, Lana was very keen for me to be involved in The Matrix. There was a reading with Keanu, Carrie and myself and a few others from the old family.
“I loved a lot of it and wasn’t sure about other bits. Ultimately, we talked about it and when the offer came through to do it for Warner’s I said yes the next day and I talked to Lana.”
However, Smiths return wasn’t meant to be due to the actor’s commitments to London’s National Theatre, as Weaving explains: “I thought we could have done my scenes in May, June and July; and we talked about money and we talked about — they were negotiating and we were all pretty much sorted and agreed on dates and it was all fine, but then Lana decided she didn’t think it was going to work. So, she pulled the plug on the negotiations. That’s where it ended up. She basically didn’t feel that my commitment to the National Theatre was going to fit in with the dates that she had in mind for me.”
Considering the length of time Weaving would have been filming for, it sounds like Smith was at one point a rather important character in the film. Obviously that won’t be the case anymore.
Weaving finished by saying that he wished the situation had been different: “It was a shame in one way that I couldn’t be with them all in Berlin, but that was her call. So, that was it really. I know they then started shooting in San Francisco and they were going to shoot in Chicago and they ended up starting in Berlin but it was shut down. But they restarted again. I don’t know how they’re going, but, yeah, it would be lovely to be over there to hang out with them all. I’m very fond of Keanu and Carrie. I haven’t seen them for a while. But I look forward to seeing it.”
It certainly is a shame that Smith won’t feature in the film purely because of scheduling difficulties but hopefully, the story will be just fine and the movie a worthy follow up to the long-dormant franchise.
The Matrix 4 is being directed by Lana Wachowski from a script by Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell. The cast features returning Matrix cast members Keanu Reeves (Neo), Carrie-Anne Moss (Trinity) and Jada Pinkett Smith (Niobe) alongside Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Watchmen), Jessica Henwick (Iron Fist), Neil Patrick Harris (A Series of Unfortunate Events), Jonathan Groff (Frozen II), Priyanka Chopra (Baywatch), Ellen Hollman (Spartacus) and Andrew Caldwell (iZombie), as well as Sense8 stars Erendira Ibarra, Toby Onwumere, Max Riemelt and Brian J. Smith.