Hugo Weaving has revealed that he will not be reprising his famed role of Agent Smith in the upcoming fourth feature in “The Matrix” franchise at Warner Bros. Pictures.
Lana Wachowski is helming the new “Matrix” which sees Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Jada Pinkett Smith reprising their roles from the original and are joined by Jessica Henwick, Neil Patrick Harris, Toby Onwumere, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
Speaking with Time Out, Weaving discussed the stage play “The Visit” which will run at the National Theatre in London between Friday, January 31st and May 13th – dates which cause a scheduling conflict with the “Matrix” shoot which kicks off in the first few months of this year:
“It’s unfortunate but actually, I had this offer [for The Visit] and then the offer came from The Matrix, so I knew it was happening but I didn’t have dates. I thought [I] could do both and it took eight weeks to work out that the dates would work – I held off on accepting [a role in The Visit during that time]. I was in touch with [director] Lana Wachowski, but in the end, she decided that the dates weren’t going to work. So we’d sorted the dates and then she sort of changed her mind. They’re pushing on ahead without me.”
In the same interview, Weaving discussed the appearance of his “Captain America: The First Avenger” villain Red Skull character in “Avengers: Infinity War,” the role taken over by Ross Marquand.
There has been the long-held assumption that Weaving declined to return because he wasn’t interested in it. Now, he says it was a failure of negotiations that left him out and he’d have done the role:
“I loved playing that character Red Skull – it was a lot of fun. We were all obliged to sign up for three pictures: I was thinking [Red Skull] probably wouldn’t come back in Captain America but he may well come back as a villain in The Avengers.
By then, they’d pushed back on the contracts that we agreed on and so the money they offered me for The Avengers was much less than I got for the very first one, and this was for two films. And the promise when we first signed the contracts was that the money would grow each time.
They said: ‘It’s just a voice job, it’s not a big deal.’ I actually found negotiating with them through my agent impossible. And I didn’t really wanna do it that much. But I would have done it.”
Weaving will next be seen in the Aussie film drama “Lone Wolf” and “Mystery Road” director Ivan Sen’s new sci-fi film “Loveland”.