Because of this, Hugo Weaving hasn’t repeated his iconic role as Agent Smith in The Matrix Resurrections. After nearly 20 years, the Matrix franchise finally returned in 2021, with co-creator Lana Wachowski at the helm.
While the resulting film polarized both critics and fans, the backlash is certainly not as harsh as The Matrix Revolutions, so it may in itself be a Trinity victory, or despite its apparent death, at the end of the revolution. In addition to Neo and Trinity, several other notable characters from previous Matrix films returned for The Matrix Resurrections, played mostly by their original actors.
Most notably, Jada Pinkett Smith was the older version of Niobe, the current leader of Io, the human city of the Matrix, who replaced Zion after Neo apparently ended the war between humans and machines.
There are new actors like Morpheus (with Yahya AbdulMateen II replacing Laurence Fishburne) and Agent Smith (with Jonathan Groff replacing Weaving).
Indeed, this is the second time Weaving has not played a major role in a hugely successful franchise, as he refused to return as Red Skull in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame after taking on the role in Captain America: The first Avenger had .
This case turned out to be pretty bitter as Weaving didn’t like his experience with Marvel, luckily that wasn’t the case that he didn’t appear on The Matrix Resurrections.
Instead, the absence of weaving boils down to a Hollywood staple: scheduling conflicts. In 2020, when it was time to shoot The Matrix Resurrections, director and co-writer Lana Wachowski was keen to see him return as Agent Smith.
After a moment’s hesitation, Weaving agreed to do just that.
The two parties entered into negotiations to try to get the Matrix Resurrections schedule up and running so Weaving could complete both projects, but Weaving said Wachowski was reluctant to meet the deadlines Weaving requested.
Weaving doesn’t seem to hold up against Wachowski on a personal level, but it’s certainly disappointing that it went that way. While Mindhunter’s Groff does an excellent job of trying to mimic aspects of Weaving’s Agent Smith performance, his Duke Smith is watched. Keanu Reeves’ Neo just doesn’t resonate as much as a similar comeback fight between Smith and Weavings Neo.
However, The Matrix Resurrections is setting up a possible Matrix 5, so maybe the original version of Smith’s Weaving could return for it. Smith’s nature as a rogue program within the Matrix makes any future change in his appearance easy to explain.