It just didn’t quite work out.
The Matrix 4 is an exciting sequel, but is missing a couple key principles: Laurence Fishburne and Hugo Weaving. While Fishburne wasn’t invited to join the movie at all, Hugo Weaving, apparently, was, and nearly ended up appearing in the film. Weaving played Agent Smith in the original trilogy, a machine-created Agent program who ends up going rogue and becoming a sort of anti-Neo who serves as the main antagonist of the series. He’s the coolest, and he’ll be missed.
Here’s what happened, according to Weaving himself. As he told Collider, it was a matter of bad timing and the needs of production, plus an executive choice by Lana Wachowski herself.
“Lana was very keen for me to be a part of [The Matrix 4],” Weaving said. “I really wanted to because I’m very, very fond of all of them. I had some initial reticence about the idea of going back to revisit The Matrix, after having already done three films, but then I read the script and got an offer to my agent. I immediately responded yes to that, and then we went into negotiation. I was doing a play, at the time, but we were working out dates and things so that I could do both. And then, Lana decided that she didn’t wanna change her dates, so I couldn’t do it. In a nutshell, that’s what happened.”
Disappointing! One wonders what motivated Wachowski to make that decision, but, one way or another, it means Hugo Weaving’s version of Smith won’t be appearing in this new film. Does that mean Smith might appear in a new way, or that he was written out entirely? We’ll see when the film releases on April 1, 2022.
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