There will be a notable absence from The Matrix 4 in the form of Hugo Weaving, who portrayed the villainous Agent Smith across the original Matrix trilogy. In light of franchise alums Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Ann Moss, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Lambert Wilson set to return, why wouldn’t an equally integral piece of The Matrix puzzle like Weaving also come back? Lucky for us, Collider’s own Christina Radish managed to get an answer on Weaving’s absence from The Matrix 4 while speaking with the actor about his new movie, Measure for Measure.
Turns out, Weaving was so close to locking in his return to the world of The Matrix. Unfortunately for him (and us), things fell apart during the negotiations portion of securing his role in The Matrix 4. He explains:
Lana was very keen for me to be a part of [The Matrix 4]. 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.
Even though Weaving will not be back for The Matrix 4, he still spoke fondly of his time working on the original trilogy. When asked what memories stand out about filming The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, and The Matrix Revolutions, he shared, “I’m sitting here now at Fox Studios in Sydney, which is where we first all started working. Every time I come here, there are a million things. It was a very happy, exciting time, which went over a long period of time, so we were very much like a family. We traveled the world together, many times, and worked in San Francisco and L.A., but mostly in Sydney. The three films were mostly shot at Fox Studios in Sydney. I’m very, very fond of all of them.”
Weaving’s words on his creative partnership with Lana and Lily Wachowski were equally as fond. When we touched on this partnership and the Wachowskis unique approach to storytelling, Weaving readily reminisced with us.
Out of The Matrix came V for Vendetta, which was an absolute joy to make in Berlin. And then, from that, we did Cloud Atlas, again in Berlin. And they’re presently in Berlin with the next Matrix installation. Lilly is not there, so it’s just Lana, but Keanu [Reeves] and Carrie-Anne Moss, and some of the original Australian art department went over to Berlin with them, as well. So, there are a lot of people on that set that I would love to see again. It’s such a shame that I’m not doing it, but I’m not, and that’s fine.
The Matrix 4 is scheduled to hit theaters on April 1, 2022. Stay tuned for our full interview with Hugo Weaving. For more, get caught up on all the movies scheduled for release in 2021.
Allie Gemmill is the Weekend Contributing Editor for Collider. You can follow them on Twitter @_matineeidle.