The Matrix franchise is an iconic pice of film history, known for breaking new ground in terms of cinematography and effects. Fans were thrilled to hear that Lana Wachowski would be back in the director's seat for The Matrix 4, which would feature the return of actors Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Jada Pinkett Smith. Unfortunately Hugo Weaving won't be appearing as the villainous Agent Smith, and now we know exactly how that came to be.
Hugo Weaving's Agent Smith was the primary antagonist of the Matrix trilogy, battling Keanu Reeves' Neo countless times in the process. And while a handful of actors will be reprising their roles for the mysterious fourth movie, both he and Laurence Fishburne won't be following suit. Weaving recently spoke to this turn of events, revealing how close he was to joining Matrix 4. As he put it,
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.
What a bummer. It looks like Matrix fans might be feeling some FOMO when the upcoming fourth movie arrives in theaters. Because while Hugo Weaving was in negotiations to return as Agent Smith, those eventually fell through. And it looks like the issue might be a scheduling one, especially after filming for The Matrix 4 was delayed months amid global health concerns.
Hugo Weaving's comments to ComingSoon peels back the curtain on what it's really like to negotiate in the film world. While the public gets to enjoy a finished product, there's a ton of moving pieces that must fit together in order to make each release happen. This is especially true with massive franchises like The Matrix, which has film sets spread across various cities and countries.
As Hugo Weaving explained, his absence from The Matrix 4 may largely be a scheduling issue. Because while he wanted to film over the summer, the proposed film schedule actually called for the actor in February until May. And while at this point the movie's original plans for production were thrown out the window, Weaving's character ultimately fell by the wayside for the movie's story.
The Matrix 4's contents and plot are currently a complete mystery, so there's no telling when Lana Wachowski will bring for her return to the beloved science fiction franchise. She's assembled a killer cast to bring the story to life, including newcomers Neil Patrick Harris, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Priyanka Chopra, Jonathan Groff, and Jessica Henwick.
The Matrix 4 is currently expected to arrive in theaters (sans Hugo Weaving) on April 1t, 2022. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your trips to the movies next year.