Exclusive: Hugo Weaving Talks The Matrix 4!
Another Matrix film is coming, which means we can look forward to another adventure featuring Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), some iteration of Morpheus (that is most definitely not Laurence Fishburne) and everyone’s favorite bad guy, Agent Smith. Actually, check that. As it turns out, Hugo Weaving, as has been known for quite a while now, will not return as Smith in The Matrix 4 due to scheduling conflicts. The actor confirmed as much in an exclusive interview with ComingSoon.net in which he explained the circumstances surrounding his departure from the beloved franchise.
“Lana Wachowski had rung me at the beginning of last year,” Weaving explained. “We’ve worked together five times, the Wachowski’s 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, Carrie and myself and a few others from the old family.”
Weaving had reservations about returning for another Matrix film and had slightly mixed reactions when reading the script.
“I loved a lot of it and wasn’t sure about other bits,” 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.”
At the time, Weaving was scheduled to work at the National Theatre in London from November to April. Lana wanted Weaving to film his scenes from February until May, but the scheduling would have clashed with his prior engagement.
“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,” Weaving said. “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.”
Considering Weaving was set to film for nearly four months, one wonders just how integral to the plot Smith was. And while the actor couldn’t reveal any details regarding the plot of the new film, he did voice his regrets about not returning for another go as Smith.
“It was a shame in one way that I couldn’t be with them all in Berlin, but that was her call,” he said. “So, that was it really. I know they then started shooting in San Francisco and they were going to shoot in Chicago and they ended up starting in Berlin but it was shut down. But they restarted again. I don’t know how they’re going, but, yeah, it would be lovely to be over there to hang out with them all. I’m very fond of Keanu and Carrie. I haven’t seen them for a while. But I look forward to seeing it.”
Lana Wachowski co-wrote the script with Aleksander Hemon and David Mitchell, and will direct the film as well. Academy-Award winning cinematographer John Toll (Legends of the Fall, Braveheart) will shoot the highly-anticipated sequel, succeeding Bill Pope who was the cinematographer for The Matrix trilogy.
Plot details on the fourth live-action film in The Matrix franchise haven’t been revealed, and given the ending of 2003’s The Matrix Revolutions it’s not a clear cut answer.
Earlier this year we asked our readers if they were interested in more movies in the series, with 69% of those voting saying “Yes!” In a secondary poll, 58% said they wanted to see a continuation of the series. Looks like they’ll be getting what they wanted!
The three previous films—The Matrix (1999), The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003)—have earned more than $1.6 billion at the global box office and were all top-10 domestic hits in their respective years of release. The Matrix Revolutions was also the first film ever to release simultaneously in every major country at the same hour around the world.
The Matrix 4 is scheduled for an April 1, 2022 release.