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Per The Matrix 4 news that’s been rolling in semi-regularly ever since the project was officially announced last summer, while most of the cast will be filled with new characters, there will be a sprinkling of familiar faces. However, don’t expect to see Hugo Weaving’s Agent Smith among this lineup.
Hugo Weaving has confirmed that he will not reprise Agent Smith, the antagonistic AI program who was was a huge player in the original Matrix trilogy, for The Matrix 4. However, unlike what happened when he was approached to reprise Red Skull in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Weaving isn’t returning as Agent Smith because of a pay dispute, but rather due to scheduling issues. According to the actor:
The Matrix is a very different story. It’s unfortunate but actually I had this offer [for The Visit] and then the offer came from The Matrix, so I knew it was happening but I didn’t have dates. I thought [I] could do both and it took eight weeks to work out that the dates would work – I held off on accepting [a role in The Visit during that time]. I was in touch with [director] Lana Wachowski, but in the end she decided that the dates weren’t going to work. So we’d sorted the dates and then she sort of changed her mind. They’re pushing on ahead without me.
Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s play The Visit is in rehearsals right now and will open at London’s National Theatre on January 31. As Hugo Weaving explained to Time Out, he tried his best to do both this stage production and The Matrix 4, spending weeks conversing with director Lana Wachowski and attempted to get the schedules to line up. While eventually it looked from Weaving’s end like everything was settled, evidently Wachowski felt differently.
So whatever’s being planned for The Matrix 4, Hugo Weaving won’t be part of it, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying on his part. While one might initially assume that this means Agent Smith won’t appear in the movie (remember, he seemed to be permanently destroyed towards the end of The Matrix Revolutions), knowing the world of the Matrix, I could imagine the character still showing up, but being played by a different actor. Maybe that’s who someone like Jonathan Groff or Max Riemelt could be playing.
Frankly, aside from which actors are appearing, we’re still in the dark about The Matrix 4. No official plot details have been revealed yet, though as with most blockbusters based on existing properties, rumors about the story have circulated. With shooting scheduled to begin soon, hopefully that will mean some concrete narrative information will be provided to the public so we have a better idea about what’s in store.
As for who will be returning for The Matrix 4, the most prominent Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, reprising Neo and Trinity, respectively. We’ve also learned that Jada Pinkett Smith will be back as Niobe, and just days ago, Lambert Wilson stated he’s in talks to reprise The Merovingian. There’s still no word on Laurence Fishburne, although supposedly Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is playing a younger version of Morpheus.
The Matrix 4 still doesn’t have a release date, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for that and more updates on its progress. In the meantime, browse through our 2020 release schedule to plan your visits to the theater this year accordingly.