Hugo Weaving will not return for The Matrix 4

Hugo Weaving will not be returning as Agent Smith in the fourth The Matrix movie due to a diary clash.The Australian actor played the primary antagonist, an artificial intelligence programme tasked with defeating Keanu Reeves’s hero Neo, in the Wachows…

Hugo Weaving will not be returning as Agent Smith in the fourth The Matrix movie due to a diary clash.

The Australian actor played the primary antagonist, an artificial intelligence programme tasked with defeating Keanu Reeves’s hero Neo, in the Wachowskis’ 1999 science-fiction classic and its two sequels.

However, Weaving has now revealed he won’t be starring in a fourth movie, due out in May 2021, as shooting dates clash with him appearing on the London stage alongside Lesley Manville in The Visit, which runs at the U.K.’s National Theatre from 31 January to 13 May.

Asked in an interview for Time Out magazine whether he would be returning, the 59-year-old said, “I’m not, no,” before going on to explain the reasons for his absence.

“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,” he commented. “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 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.”

Elsewhere in the chat, Weaving also revealed why he did not return to play Red Skull in the final two Avengers movies, and was replaced by Ross Marquand, noting that he refused to participate after Marvel chiefs allegedly reneged on an agreement to increase his pay.

“The promise when we first signed the contracts was that the money would grow each time,” he added. “They said: ‘It’s just a voice job, it’s not a big deal.’ I actually found negotiating with them through my agent impossible. And I didn’t really wanna do it that much. But I would have done it.”

© Cover Media

Lesley Manville: ‘It took long enough but Hollywood is becoming age-inclusive’

Lesley Manville thought it was brilliant that most of the 2018 Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominees were over 50 years old.The 62-year-old actress was nominated for her supporting role in Phantom Thread, but lost out to 58-year-old Allison Janney, fo…

Lesley Manville thought it was brilliant that most of the 2018 Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominees were over 50 years old.

The 62-year-old actress was nominated for her supporting role in Phantom Thread, but lost out to 58-year-old Allison Janney, for I, Tonya in March (18).

The pair were joined in the category by Laurie Metcalf, 62, Mary J. Blige, 47, and 45-year-old Octavia Spencer.

“I absolutely took note of it,” Lesley said to Fox News of their ages. “(And) isn’t that brilliant? I mean, there was only one of the nominees who was between 40 and 50. I think the rest of us were all over 50. Isn’t that great? That means there were five really good roles written for older women.

“I mean, it’s kind of annoying that it’s something we have to talk about because it should just be a given… (but) there has been a shift because it’s getting better. It’s taken an awful long time.”

As well as her film work, Lesley is also a regular on the small screen. She has been playing widow Cathy on series Mum for the last two years, with the British sitcom examining what it’s like for older women to get back into the dating scene.

And the actress is glad producers are finally showing older women in a sexual light.

“It’s vital because it’s a reality,” she stated. “There are a huge number of people who are single… and your heart and soul are the same. They’re what they’ve always been. It needs to be fed and nourished with love and companionship and shared humour with somebody.

“Those desires, if you have them, they don’t go away and it’s very, very good and positive to see a series that is about fairly ordinary people, especially (characters) Cathy and Michael (Peter Mullan) falling in love and negotiating love with the great histories of their lives that they’ve got behind them.”

© Cover Media

Ben Kingsley to portray Salvador Dali in new biopic

Ben Kingsley is set to portray surrealist artist Salvador Dali in the upcoming biopic Dali Land. The Gandhi actor will play the Spanish painter alongside Oscar nominee Lesley Manville, who has been cast as his domineering wife and muse Gala, Fear the …

Ben Kingsley is set to portray surrealist artist Salvador Dali in the upcoming biopic Dali Land.

The Gandhi actor will play the Spanish painter alongside Oscar nominee Lesley Manville, who has been cast as his domineering wife and muse Gala, Fear the Walking Dead star Frank Dillane as a young gallery assistant named James, and Tim Roth as Dali’s right-hand man Captain Moore.

According to Deadline, Dali Land will be set in New York and Spain in 1973 and chart the unusual marriage between Dali and Gala. It will be told through the eyes of James, who helps the artist prepare for a big show and “falls down a rabbit hole of glittering parties, searing personal battles and an art world awash with money and intrigue.”

The biopic, which is scheduled to begin production in Spain and Canada in November and December 2018, will be directed by Mary Harron, best known for American Psycho, and written by Harron and John C. Walsh.

American Psycho producer Edward R. Pressman from Pressman Film, who helped develop the project, said, “I’m proud to be working with the visionary Mary Harron again on Dali Land. I believe Mary’s sense of cosmic irony is a perfect match for a story about the flamboyant, contradictory and larger than life Salvador Dali.

“I love the team we’ve assembled and can’t wait to see Sir Ben Kingsley and Lesley Manville embody the iconic partnership of Dali and Gala.”

Representatives for Bankside Films will launch sales on the project at the Cannes Film Festival, which opens on 8 May (18). The company’s director Stephen Kelliher told the website that the combination of the cast, Harron and a compelling look into Dali’s private life “will undoubtedly captivate and excite audiences around the world.”

Dali died of heart failure in 1989 at the age of 84. Gala died in 1982, aged 87.

© Cover Media

Liam Neeson & Lesley Manville teaming up for heartbreaking love story

Liam Neeson is hanging up his action man cape to star in a tender new drama about a couple coping with cancer. The Taken star will team up with Phantom Thread leading lady Lesley Manville for the heart-wrenching love story Normal People, which begins …

Liam Neeson is hanging up his action man cape to star in a tender new drama about a couple coping with cancer.

The Taken star will team up with Phantom Thread leading lady Lesley Manville for the heart-wrenching love story Normal People, which begins filming in his native Northern Ireland in July (18).

The plot revolves around a devoted husband dealing with his wife’s unexpected breast cancer diagnosis.

Directed by Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn and based on a script by Irish playwright Owen McCafferty, the project is expected to be one of the hottest properties on offer to potential distributors at the Cannes Film Festival in France next month (May18).

“Normal People takes an extraordinary look at ordinary love,” the filmmakers say in a statement to Deadline. “It explores big questions and small moments of human connection with unique wit and warmth and a luminous and unflinching candour.

“We are thrilled at the prospect of bringing this beautiful, honest and unsentimental story to life with Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville in the starring roles, two of the most remarkable actors working on screen today.”

The project marks the first movie Neeson has shot back home in Northern Ireland since 2005’s Breakfast on Pluto, which was filmed in County Antrim and Wicklow, Ireland.

Meanwhile, Manville is coming off an Oscar nomination for her role as Cyril opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread. She is currently starring in British period TV drama Harlots.

© Cover Media

Lesley Manville rocks a jumpsuit at the Olivier Awards

Lesley Manville showcased a modern ensemble as she stepped out at the Olivier Awards on Sunday night (08Apr18).The 62-year-old actress, who was recently nominated for an Academy Award for her role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread, was styled in…

Lesley Manville showcased a modern ensemble as she stepped out at the Olivier Awards on Sunday night (08Apr18).

The 62-year-old actress, who was recently nominated for an Academy Award for her role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread, was styled in a chic navy jumpsuit, which she paired with a suede, tan jacket.

The outfit featured slits running up both calves, which allowed the exposure of her leather, patterned ankle boots. Lesley glammed up her look with statement earrings and a slick of red lipstick, while also showing her support for the Time’s Up movement by adding a pin detailing the campaign’s name to her chest.

“I think a lot of people, but predominately women, felt intimidated and possibly at times threatened. Just a lot of pressure to put up with things,” she told the Irish News on the red carpet. “The strength of the movement is now so huge, I don’t think women feel frightened any more to come forward – and men – when they’ve been victims of it. The tide has turned.”

Lesley was nominated for Best Actress for her part in Long Day’s Journey Into Night, but lost out to Laura Donnelly for her role in The Ferryman.

Fellow British theatre star Imelda Staunton also attended the ceremony, where she was nominated for Best Actress and Best Actress in a Musical for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Follies, though she lost out on both. The actress, also 62, followed Lesley’s lead and went for a deep blue hue, opting for a button-down, navy, velvet dress which she accessorised with fishnet tights and funky leopard print heeled shoes.

Suffragette star Anne-Marie Duff went for a much brighter outfit, and she looked radiant in an orange and pink ruffled gown, while English singer and musical star Alexandra Burke looked incredibly rock and roll with a tousled updo and an eye-catching strapless, dogtooth printed dress.

© Cover Media