However, Weaving admitted there were some elements of Resurrections he wasn’t completely sold on.
Hugo Weaving initially turned down ‘The Matrix’
Weaving has been a fixture of The Matrix universe since his debut as Agent Smith in the 1999 film. But although it turned out to be one of Weaving’s most iconic roles to date, initially he rejected the opportunity.
“I was making a film in London, was really busy, when my Australian agent called and said that these guys were doing this film which I think she described as a big-budget science fiction thing, and she mentioned there was a script coming my way, and they wanted me to put down a scene on tape and send it to them,” he once said in an interview with MovieHole. “I immediately said I don’t want to be tested, I don’t have time, and it didn’t sound like something I wanted to do.”
But his agent persisted, and it was the script that convinced Weaving to give The Matrix a shot.
“So, I kind of really read through the script and I wasn’t sure and then I read the scene with Agent Smith and thought: Well the character is actually really quite cool, very funny and maybe it’s something that I should think twice about, which I did, and then put this scene down,” he said.
Hugo Weaving had a mixed reaction to the script for ‘Matrix Resurrections’
Weaving was initially supposed to reprise his role as Agent Smith for Matrix Resurrections. The actor was excited about the opportunity, if only to be with his old Matrix castmates again. He had even gotten together with the director and the rest of the crew to look at the script.
“Lana Wachowski had rung me at the beginning of last year,” Weaving explained to Coming Soon. “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.”
But when Weaving first read the script, he wasn’t completely sold on the material. However, after a couple of more conversations, he still decided to do the movie despite his slight reservations.
“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.”
It seems that a chunk of the audience might not have been sure about Resurrections, either. The Rotten Tomatoes score for the film sits at a modest 63%, indicating a divisive response to the film that leans in a positive direction.
Why Hugo Weaving wasn’t in ‘Matrix Resurrections’
Although Weaving was more than willing to do the script, scheduling issues prevented his return. The Lord of the Rings star had another project going on at the time. In the end, Wachowski simply couldn’t accommodate the actor’s schedule.
“I thought we could have my scenes in May, June and July; and we talked about money and we talked about – they were negotiating,” Weaving said. “And we were all pretty much sorted and agreed on dates and it was all fine, but then Lana decided she didn’t think it was going to work. So, she pulled the plug on the negotiations. 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.”
This was a bit disappointing for Weaving, who was eager to see his old co-workers again. But despite not being able to do Resurrections, he still planned to see the movie.
“I’m very fond of Keanu and Carrie. I haven’t seen them for a while. But I look forward to seeing it,” he added.