One crucial cast member from the original trilogy won't be returning for The Matrix 4. Hugo Weaving has revealed that he isn't reprising his role as Agent Smith in the upcoming sci-fi sequel. However, Weaving's character was apparently included in the script and he tried to work it out. Unfortunately, it just wasn't in the cards.

The actor is currently promoting his new play The Visit, which kicks off its run at the National Theatre in London this month and runs through May 13. It's because of that very commitment that Hugo Weaving won't be able to reunite with Keanu Reeves for one more go-around in the iconic franchise. Here's what Weaving had to say about it.

"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.'"

Scheduling conflicts got in the way. It's as simple as that, as sad as that may be. This does open up a bit of a larger conversation that raises some interesting questions. It seems that Agent Smith was included in the script, considering that director Lana Wachowski was trying to work around his schedule to get him into the movie. But since Hugo Weaving can't make it work, what becomes of that role? Will they cast a new Agent Smith? That may seem unthinkable for Matrix fans, but that may be where things are heading.

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For now, this is all speculative as plot details are being kept under wraps. We know Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss will return as Neo and Trinity, respectively. The cast also includes Jada Pinkett Smith reprising her role as Niobe, and, most surprisingly, Lambert Wilson revealed recently he may be returning as The Merovingian. New additions include Max Riemelt (Berlin Syndrome), Jessica Henwick (Iron Fist), Jonathan Groff (Mindhunter), Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), Toby Onwumere (Empire) and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman).

Lana Wachowski is directing the sequel solo. She directed all three previous entries with her sister, Lily Wachowski, who, for reasons that remain unclear, is not involved this time around. Aleksandar Hemon (Sense8) and David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas) wrote the screenplay alongside Wachowski. Filming will begin filming this year. The Matrix 4 is set to hit theaters on May 21, 2021. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. This news comes to us via Time Out.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott