The Matrix 4 includes much of the main cast from the original trilogy returning, but Hugo Weaving will not be among them. Weaving played Agent Smith, the avatar of the Matrix itself, and to many fans he is as iconic to the movies as someone like Keanu Reeves. Weaving gave an interview with Collider last week, explaining why he would not be back.
Sadly, Weaving revealed, it all came down to the contract negotiation and the shooting schedule. While he wanted to return and the director, Lana Wachowski, wanted him back, the studio and his agent could not agree on his contract. Weaving said that he "really wanted to" return to the franchise "because I'm very, very fond of all of them," referring to his colleagues there. He also said "Lana was very keen for me to be a part of" the project.
"I had some initial reticence about the idea of going back to revisit The Matrix, after having already done three films," Weaving admitted, "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," he concluded.
Still, Weaving gushed about how much he loved working on The Matrix, and the people he got to work with on the franchise. In particular, he praised the Wachowski sisters, who wrote and directed the three original films together. Weaving recalled how The Matrix led him to working on other projects with Lana and Lilly Wachowski as well.
"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," he said. "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 was in the middle of filming when the coronavirus pandemic reached the U.S., and it had to pause production. It is now back in action, however, and is slated for release on April 1, 2022. Sadly, it sounds like the schedule change was not enough to put Weaving back on the cast.