Matrix, Lord of the Rings Actor Hugo Weaving Talks Missing Franchises

Hugo Weaving was fortunate enough to be part of three of the biggest franchises in cinema history with The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The actor was Agent Smith in The Matrix trilogy, but won't appear in the upcoming fourth film from Lana Wachowski. Weaving starred as Elrond appearing in five of the six Peter Jackson-directed J. R. R. Tolkien fantasy epics in two of the three The Hobbit films and the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy. The actor also played the primary antagonist in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) as the Red Skull. Naturally, when the IPs arose again and opportunities presented themselves for Weaving to reprise the roles, the actor hasn't jumped for them. Weaving turned down the opportunity to reprise Red Skull in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Endgame (2019), which went instead to Ross Marquand (The Walking Dead). With Amazon reviving The Lord of the Rings for television, the Nigerian-born actor simply told Variety, "No way. Absolutely no…I would never — I'm not interested in that at all. Look, I loved being in New Zealand with all those great people, and it was like going back to a family but actually, to be honest, I think everyone had more than enough of it." When it came to Matrix 4, he turned down the opportunity due to a scheduling conflict. Even with the pandemic affecting scheduling across the board, the actor confirmed the window's now closed regardless of circumstances.

hugo weaving
Actor: Hugo Weaving
Denis Makarenko /

Any Chance Hugo Weaving Appears in Matrix 4?

"Sadly, no," Weaving told /Film. "They're shooting in Berlin now. Lana [Wachowski] rang me at the beginning of last year, saying that she wanted to get everybody back together, and she wanted me to go over and do a reading with Carrie-Anne [Moss] and Keanu [Reeves], and I couldn't because I was doing something, but I was interested in talking to her and seeing them again. We'd done so much work together, and it would have been really great. I had some reservations about going back into the Matrix. I really wanted to know why we were doing it and what's to be gained, apart from making money [laughs]. I don't mean me; I mean Warner Bros. But there's got to be a good reason to revisit a franchise, and it was wonderful, the first Matrix and then doing V for Vendetta and Cloud Atlas—I felt very much a part of their family. But I'd just gotten this offer from the National Theatre, and then the official offer came from Warners, so I rang Lana straight away and said, 'I'm in. I really want to do it, but I really want to do this play as well.' I had the dates for the play and the dates for The Matrix, and it felt to me like we could make it all work, but it about putting those days in May, June, July, rather than January, February, March. It was doable, but Lana got worried and said it wasn't going to be possible, so it didn't happen."

Hugo Weaving Talks Not Returning to MCU, Matrix Franchises
Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith in The Matrix (1999). Image courtesy of Warner Bros

In addition to the Wachowskis, Weaving's also continued to work with Jackson in his 2018 film Mortal Engines. The actor is pleased to keep his projects diverse and appreciates the value of the franchises he's been a part of. "I'm not saying 'no' [to those kinds of tentpole films] because I'm sort of open to anything," he told Variety. "But I suppose my interests have always lay with this country and trying to find really interesting projects out here. That's my primary focus." Weaving is currently in few Australian-related projects including Measure for Measure, Shakespeare set in a modernized Australian setting, and the upcoming Lone Wolf.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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