It is hard to imagine a Matrix movie without Agent Smith. He and Neo were always two sides of a coin; the hero liberating humanity from the clutches of computer control and the villain who represented that computer control (and then went a bit batty in the sequels and attempts to take over the computer himself). Hugo Weaving and Keanu Reeves as Smith and Neo were terrific onscreen together, and they had one incredible martial arts battle after another through the first three Matrix movies.

Sadly, it appears that run has come to an end, as The Matrix 4 is now in development and Weaving will not return for it. That’s what he told Time Out in a new interview. The reason he gave was scheduling issues; he’s appearing on stage in London in The Visit starting at the end of this month:

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.

Weaving also revealed why he did not return to (SPOILER ALERT) reprise his role as Red Skull in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. He claims that was not a case of scheduling but of money, saying he found “negotiating with [Marvel] through my agent impossible,” and that they offered less money than he made for Captain America to return. (They said, per Weaving, that this was “just a voice job” and “not a big deal.”) Weaving says, he “really wanna do it that much” and so he did not.

While The Matrix was “a very different story” it still had the same outcome: No Hugo Weaving. Alas. The Matrix 4 is opening in theaters on May 21, 2021.

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