A new The Matrix 4 rumor claims to reveal a surprising role for Agent Smith in the upcoming sci-fi sequel, with the report stating that the beloved villain has been recast. Potential SPOILERS to follow. While his role in the story remains unknown, the rumor claims that Mindhunter star Jonathan Groff will portray the character, taking over from Hugo Weaving, who was sadly unable to reprise the role due to scheduling conflicts.

Thus, it is now being claimed that a plan was put into action that will see Groff play a new version of Agent Smith, who will no doubt once again clash with Keanu Reeves' Neo and the rest of his freedom fighters. This being a computer simulation there will be several ways to sell this, including the infamous Agent perhaps being rebooted for the new version of The Matrix. Or it's possible that some semblance of the virus that Agent Smith became has managed to hide itself away within the programme, re-emerging when Neo is resurrected in order to continue their battle of good versus evil.

RELATED: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Is Rumored to Play a Digital Version of Young Morpheus in The Matrix 4

Jonathan Groff is best known for his role in Netflix's serial killer series Mindhunter, as well as performances in Frozen and Hamilton. His role in The Matrix 4 has been kept a mystery since his involvement was announced, and this rumor could very well have just explained why.

Originally, director Lana Wachowski's plan was to bring back Hugo Weaving as Smith, with the actor even participating in readings with co-stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss. "Lana Wachowski had rung me at the beginning of last year," Weaving revealed. "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."

The actor continued, saying that while he loved some elements of the script, he was not completely sold. "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 revealed that he was scheduled to film for around four months, meaning his role would have been quite extensive, but unfortunately the actor had other commitments. "So, she pulled the plug on the negotiations," Weaving said. "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 that Agent Smith had such a major role from the beginning, it stands to reason that the script would have been tweaked slightly in order to include the character without Weaving, rather than remove him completely. While this is just a rumor, it's certainly a believable one all things considered.

The Matrix 4 is a joint production by Village Roadshow Pictures, Wachowskis Productions and Silver Pictures and is scheduled to be released by Warner Bros. Pictures theatrically on December 22, 2021. The movie will also stream digitally on HBO Max in the United States for a month beginning on that same date. This comes to us from Giant Freakin Robot.