In what would be called a surprise turn of events, the Matrix 4 movie has halted any proceedings regarding the return of Agent Smith to the new installment to the hit movie series. It was long known that it was merely a pipe dream for the fans to see Hugo Weaving reprise the role of the primary antagonist of The Matrix. Weaving finally opened up about the circumstances that led the doors being shut for his character to enter the Matrix universe again. He claims it is Lana Wachowski, Director of Matrix 4 that pulled the plug on Agent Smith.
It was known according to Weaving’s earlier official statement that the primary reason he could not play Agent Smith again was because of scheduling conflicts. Hugo Weaving confirms that there was room for negotiation but Lana Wachowski believed that Weaving’s commitment to London’s National Theater would not allow him to pour enough time and energy to her project. The shooting dates she had in mind were the primary reason but the decision to shut Agent Smith out was made solely by Lana.
“Lana Wachowski had rung me at the beginning of last year,” Weaving said in an interview conducted recently. “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 [Reeves], Carrie[-Anne Moss] and myself and a few others from the old family.”
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Waving further makes sure to reveal that he had hesitations regarding the plot and the script for the new Matrix movie. The script gave him mixed feelings. There were some parts he liked a lot but there were fractions of the story that did not sit well with him. Weaving confirmed that he was still ready to reprise his role in the fourth Matrix movie. There was a point of time when Weaving and Lana Wachowski were sure of Agent Smith’s eventual return.
This is what he said:
“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,” Weaving said.
Hugo Weaving has existing commitments to the National Theater of London. His contract starts from November and will continue till April of next year. That was why Lana Wachowski was so hesitant to cast Weaving again in Matrix 4.
“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,” said Weaving. “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.”
Agent Smith formed the crux of antagonism in the Matrix trilogy. Starting out as a supporting character who worked on the whims and fancies of the Matrix, Smith would then go rogue and start corrupting the Matrix. Now a virus, Agent Smith believed the only way to defeat the humans was to use the Matrix to have total control over them. He almost succeeded in his endeavor until Keanu Reeves’ Neo, in a last ditch effort, managed to take him down by using himself as a Trojan horse. The Matrix was saved with Agent Smith being wiped out of the system and Neo making the ultimate sacrifice.
Weaving is not the only actor from the original trilogy that is not returning to reprise his role. Laurence Fishburne, who played the fan-favorite actor Morpheus, leader of the Human Resistance Movement against the Machines and their oppressive regime, will also be a no-show in Matrix 4. Fishburne claims he was not received any call or updates regarding him being roped in to play the part again. But he wishes the new Matrix 4 movie well and prays that it becomes a Box Office Hit, carrying on the success of its predecessors and building upon its legacy.
In an interview with a prominent Magazine, Laurence Fishburne said and we quote:
“I have not been invited. Maybe that will make me write another play. I wish them well. I hope it’s great.”
“It is probably the role that I’ll be best remembered for, which is great; it’s not the only thing I’ll be remembered for, which is better,” the Morpheus actor said. “What I get with him is I’ve got Darth Vader in this hand, and I’ve got Obi-Wan in that hand. I’ve got Bruce Lee, I’ve got Muhammad Ali shuffled in there, and I’ve got kung fu … It’s the old story in a modern context. It’s the One, the Christ, the Buddha, the Godhead, the fully realized being told through the digital age.”
Both Fishburne and Weaving were star attractions of the 1999 Movie – The Matrix. They went on to be featured again in The Matrix Reloaded sand Matrix Revolutions released in subsequent years. Morpheus and Agent Smith not appearing would leave a massive hole within the series. Fans of the original trilogy movies would have wanted at least a cameo from Weaving and Fishburne. Looks like Lana Wachowski is really making the new Matrix 4 movie turn a new leaf with a fresh new cast and a fresher story line that does not involve legacy characters.
There are characters like Carrie-Anne Moss’ Trinity, Jada-Pinkett Smith’s Niobe and of course Keanu Reeves’ Neo from the older movies who will be reprising their roles in the new installment. A lot of expectations ride on the shoulders of Lana Wachowski’s Matrix 4. She would have to make some real tough calls. Making Fishburne and Weaving go away would have been one of the hardest choices she would have made for the project. We hope it pays off in the end.
The entire world will be looking at how Matrix 4 performs. The movie is set for release on the 1st of April, 2022. Apart from Reeves, Moss, and Smith, it also stars new faces like Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jonathan Groff, and Jessica Henwick.