The Matrix Resurrections Originally Included Another Iconic Original Actor

Hugo Weaving as Smith in The Matrix
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Spoilers ahead for The Matrix Resurrections. 

Christmas is always a big time for new movies, and this season certainly didn’t disappoint. One of the latest releases is Lana Wachowski’s The Matrix Resurrections, which arrived in both theaters and streaming on HBO Max. While fans were thrilled to see a number of returning faces including Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, it turns out that the project could have included another iconic original actor.

The Matrix Resurrections was an interesting experience for the hardcore fandom, as a number of actors were recast for this new adaptation of the story– including Morpheus. But one of the movie’s twists revealed that Jonathan Groff’s character was actually Agent Smith, the antagonist made famous by Hugo Weaving in the original trilogy. It turns out that the OG was approached about returning to his role, as co-writer Aleksandar Hemon recently explained,

There were preliminary talks (with Weaving) and so we were not involved in them with people, but it was not entirely resolved. Because the premise of The Matrix and (this) movie is somewhat different, Agent Smith would have been different in some ways, no matter who played it. And Jonathan Groff is amazing in that role. He added a dimension that I could not foresee while we were writing. But there's an increased emotional emotionality in the movie and then he fits into that pattern.

Well, my mind is blown. While Jonathan Groff did a killer job tormenting and battling Keanu Reeves in The Matrix Resurrections, original fans likely would have lost their collective minds seeing Hugo Weaves back as Agent Smith. Alas, that didn’t ultimately pan out.

Jonathan Groff smiles in front of a window in The Matrix Resurrections.

(Image credit: Warner Bros/Village Roadshow Pictures)

Aleksandar Hemon’s comments to io9 help to show how much The Matrix Resurrections changed ahead of principal photography. He seems to believe the story of the new movie was actually helped by Jonathan Groff’s performance. Namely because it was far more emotional than Hugo Weaving’s version. And with the new Smith also having a dual role as Thomas Anderson’s business partner, Groff was able to have a major presence throughout the new blockbuster’s entire runtime.

Indeed, Jonathan Groff kicked some serious ass in The Matrix Resurrections, going toe to toe with Keanu Reeves’ Neo in the process. Groff previously admitted to being nervous about getting so physical with the John Wick star, and shared a funny story about thinking he’d peed himself in the midst of a scene. Don’t worry, the Hamilton actor didn’t actually urinate while fighting Reeves.

Given the twist ending of The Matrix Resurrection, some fans are already hoping that Lana Wachowski might craft another trilogy of movies. But the Sense8 director has denied any plans for more movies, instead jacking back in because she had some personal issues to work through via art. We’ll just have to see if anything changes from the powers that be at Warner Bros.

The Matrix Resurrections is streaming and in theaters now. Be sure to check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.