While we currently don't know much about what will be included in The Matrix 4, we are gradually getting a good idea of what will be left out. Star of the original trilogy, Hugo Weaving, has confirmed again that he will not be appearing, while revealing that the plan was for his villainous Agent Smith to come back, with the actor even undertaking readings with co-stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss.

"Lana Wachowski had rung me at the beginning of last year. 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."
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Hugo Weaving played the viral villain Agent Smith throughout the original Matrix trilogy. The main antagonist of the series, Smith tormented Neo and his band of rebels in both the digital and real world, before being destroyed come the finale of The Matrix Revolutions. The character's absence will likely be felt and makes one wonder what was changed following the actor's departure.

"I loved a lot of it and wasn't sure about other bits," Weaving continued, discussing the fourth movie's script. "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." Weaving also revealed that he was scheduled to film for around four months, meaning his role would have been quite extensive. Sadly, the actor had other commitments, with director Lana Wachowski ultimately deciding that the dates wouldn't line up. "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."

Weaving's Agent Smith won't be the only original character missing from the fourth Matrix movie, with Laurence Fishburne recently confirming that his resistance leader, Morpheus, will not appearing in the upcoming sequel. "I have not been invited. Maybe that will make me write another play. I wish them well. I hope it's great," Laurence Fishburne said to New York Magazine, while making it clear how grateful he is for his time spent in the iconic sci-fi universe. "It is probably the role that I'll be best remembered for, which is great; it's not the only thing I'll be remembered for, which is better. What I get with him is I've got Darth Vader in this hand, and I've got Obi-Wan in that hand. I've got Bruce Lee, I've got Muhammad Ali shuffled in there, and I've got kung fu."

Plot details for The Matrix 4 are being kept strictly under wraps, and thus hardly anything is known about the direction of the story at this time. What we do know is that, in addition to Keanu Reeves, the follow-up also finds Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Lambert Wilson all reprising their respective roles from previous installments. The movie will also feature a line-up of new faces including Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Toby Onwumere, Max Riemelt, Eréndira Ibarra, Andrew Caldwell, Brian J. Smith, and Ellen Hollman.

The sequel recently returned to filming, with The Matrix 4 one of the first major Hollywood productions to commence production following a prolonged hiatus due to the ongoing global situation. Star Keanu Reeves could not help but express his excitement at returning to the sci-fi world of The Matrix, stating that things have "felt normal."

The Matrix 4 is currently scheduled to be released on April 1, 2022. This comes to us courtesy of Coming Soon.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge