While I’m still trying to wrap my mind around how a Matrix 4 is going to go with Neo and Trinity back in the mix, apart from being an adventure that takes place somewhere between two of the movies, the sad part is that we won’t be seeing Agent Smith make his way back into the fray. As Ryan Scott of MovieWeb reports Hugo will be promoting a play titled The Visit and won’t have time in his schedule to make it back for his iconic role this time around. Lana Wachowski actually included Agent Smith in the script thinking that she’d be able to get Hugo for the picture, but when it finally came down to figuring out just which days would work and which wouldn’t it turned out that the scheduling wasn’t bound to allow him to fulfill both obligations. Seeing as how The Visit was his first offer he went with the stage play and The Matrix has been content to roll forward without him. Something as innocent as a scheduling conflict could change the landscape of the movie just a bit since the idea of replacing Hugo with another actor to step into the spot sound almost sacrilegious in a way. Agent Smith was one of the best protagonists in the entire trilogy to be fair and he was the one that gave the Matrix such a hassle and forced the machines and Neo to team up and take care of the problem. Hugo had this to say:
“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.'”
That’s kind of a bummer to realize but at the very least the hope is that they won’t replace him with someone else as Agent Smith but will attempt to come up with another sinister type of character that will be an acceptable stand-in. There’s already talk that the Merovingian will be returning but it’s not for certain since the details of the movie are being kept under lock and key so to speak.
As Agent Smith Hugo was something else considering that the three different versions of the same program were kind of creepy in the first movie and the inevitability of running into Smith in the Matrix was something that kind of interesting since as Morpheus would say “They are everyone, and they are no one.” That’s the kind of enemy that’s truly dangerous since they can be on you within seconds of hearing about your presence and they’re not necessarily bulletproof or immune to being destroyed, but the level of speed and power it takes to bring down an actual agent and not the body they’re using is something that only one person in the story was seen to have. And even then it took Neo’s near death to make him realize the kind of power he was working with. Of course once he destroyed Mr. Smith and unplugged him from the system he became even more dangerous since he was a rogue program that could infect pretty much anything that he ran across, a virus that would spread and spread without cease until it had consumed everything.
To be fair Smith became kind of tiresome by the third movie since the continual, long-winded explanations of purpose and inevitability tended to cut into the action and make a lot of people wonder what they’d just witnessed during those moments in which Smith had been talking about this or that. But initially he was one of the creepiest villains that had ever been cast and his utter deadpan delivery was one of the elements that made his character work, plus the fact that the agents were so ungodly tough and quick was another part of the movie that made it hard to look away since in an action movie Hugo doesn’t exactly look like the first person you’d turn to when thinking about someone that can really do some damage. But between The Matrix, the Hobbit movies, and V for Vendetta he’s turned out to be quite adept at getting in there and making a great show of it. Seriously it’s going to be kind of a drag not to see him in the next Matrix, but given that I’m one of those that’s still wondering why it’s being made I’ll hold off on any judgment until the trailer comes along.