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.”

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M. Night Shyamalan to write and direct two original movies for Universal

Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan is set to write and direct two original movies for Universal. Following the success of their recent collaborations – The Visit, Split, and Glass – the filmmaker has signed a new deal with Universal to make two currently unt…

Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan is set to write and direct two original movies for Universal.

Following the success of their recent collaborations – The Visit, Split, and Glass – the filmmaker has signed a new deal with Universal to make two currently untitled thrillers. The films will be released on 26 February 2021 and 17 February 2023.

“There are wonderful studios out there, but Universal has made it a mandate to release original films,” Shyamalan said in a statement. “They are the best at finding an audience for new stories with unexpected tones. I believe original films are crucial to the longevity of the theatrical experience. I am so excited to be working with them again and bringing new stories to the movie screen for years to come.”

When Universal Pictures representatives announced the partnership on Monday, president Peter Cramer heaped praise on The Sixth Sense director’s original vision.

“M. Night Shyamalan continues to create exciting, highly original stories that keep global audiences on the edge of their seats,” Cramer added. “There is no one like him: he is a master filmmaker working at the height of his powers, and we are honoured that he has once again chosen Universal to be the home for his next two incredible projects.”

Shyamalan, who is known for his supernatural themes and signature plot twists, most recently worked with Universal on Glass, a crossover of his earlier films Unbreakable and Split which starred James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, and Samuel L. Jackson. It made almost $250 million (£202 million) worldwide from a $20 million (£16 million) budget when it was released earlier this year.

No information about the plots for the new movies was given. However, the 49-year-old will independently finance the projects, much like he did for The Visit, Split, and Glass.

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