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Here’s why we didn’t see Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith in Matrix Resurrections

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It’s been a while since the arrival of The Matrix Resurrections. And one problem that the movie was inevitably going to face was bringing together the old cast of the original Matrix trilogy for this sequel. After all, it’s been almost 20 years since the last Matrix film hit the theatres. However, we still saw the return of Keanu Reeves, Carrie Anne Moss, and Jada Pinkett Smith in their respective roles. But of course, not everyone was lucky to be there again. And one of those unlucky ones was Hugo Weaving.

Related: The Matrix 4 Director reveals why she wanted to resurrect Neo & Trinity

Why We Did not See Hugo Weaving As Agent Smith In Matrix Resurrections
Warner Bros.

In The Matrix Resurrections, we saw Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus recast with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Similarly, Lana Wachowski recast Hugo Weaving’s Agent Smith with Jonathan Groff. Although the creator had planned Fishburne’s recasting, that was not the case with Weaving. While talking to io9, co-writer Aleksander Hemon revealed that replacing Agent Smith was not always a part of Wachowski’s plan, saying:

A new Morpheus was there from the beginning. During my brief career in the movies, I’ve learned that moviemaking, it’s a world of contingency. And so people might or might not, you know, sign on-or if they sign on, some things may change. So we did write some roles, I’m not going to give it away, but we wrote a character for someone we thought would play [it] and then it was not possible. And so still, we didn’t change anything radically, but we were just imagining this actor in the role. And then it turned out that it was not possible, but we didn’t change any lines with that. So that actor is still inscribed in the role.

Why couldn’t The Matrix Resurrections cast Hugo Weaving?

Hemon then revealed that it was indeed Hugo Weaving according to whom they had written the role of Agent Smith. And there were some talks with Weaving and his agents, but it couldn’t materialize. In the end, Hemon admitted that there were going to be some inevitable differences in Agent Smith. And that was largely because Matrix Resurrections itself was quite different and demanded something different from the role. Nevertheless, Hemon admitted that Weaving’s replacement Groff was incredible in the film, saying:

There were preliminary talks (with Weaving) and so we were not involved in them with people, but it was not entirely resolved. Because the premise of The Matrix and (this) movie is somewhat different, Agent Smith would have been different in some ways, no matter who played it. And Jonathan Groff is amazing in that role. He added a dimension that I could not foresee while we were writing. But there’s an increased emotional emotionality in the movie and then he fits into that pattern.

In The Matrix Resurrections, we do see Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith, but only in flashbacks. In the movie, the storyline from the original Matrix trilogy has been presented by this new Matrix as a video game, developed by Mr. Thomas Anderson, aka Neo (Keanu Reeves). We then see Reeves go on another journey to find himself and his long-lost love, Trinity (Anne Moss). Of course, this is not the first time Hugo Weaving has turned down an offer to reprise a role. He did the same with his character Red Skull in Avengers: Endgame.

That said, The Matrix Resurrection failed to gather much critical appraisal. In our review, we gave the movie a humbling 4/10. It just failed on too many aspects and despite Hugo Weaving’s brilliance, he couldn’t have saved it.

Related: ‘The Matrix Resurrections’ review: A self-aware unnecessary reboot

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