With a movie about computer programs, rebooting them (literally and figuratively) can mean that the more things change, the more they stay the same. In some respects, that looks like the case with the casting news around The Matrix 4. Giant Freakin Robot has the exclusive from of our proven and trusted sources that Agent Smith will be returning for this next movie. But there have been some major changes to the “guy” we once knew from the original trilogy of films.
The biggest difference with Agent Smith, according to our source, is that he’ll be played by a totally different actor. This will be Jonathan Groff in the sunglasses and suit, taking over for Hugo Weaving who had an iconic turn in the first three movies. Groff will be patrolling this new version of The Matrix and is likely headed for a clash with Neo at some point. Considering the Agent Smith character has been the primary antagonist over the course of the franchise, we are likely to get a ton of Groff on the big screen, leaning hard into the villain role.
While we know that Jonathan Groff has some serious pipes, having voiced Kristof in the first two Frozen movies. The guy can also cut a somewhat menacing and deliberate presence on the screen. As Agent Smith in The Matrix 4, we might be getting a combination of a couple of roles Groff has had in the past. From a suit and tie perspective, look no further than his Holden Ford role in Mindhunter. But from a singularly focused, insanely power-hungry mode then the King George turn in Hamilton might also be a look he brings here. The casting could be perfect in this new role which will likely involve considerably more action than the actor has done in the past.
How Agent Smith and Neo come into conflict for The Matrix 4 isn’t totally clear at this point and there’s some reason to think they aren’t even at odds to start the movie. For starters, we need to get Neo back into the action considering he, you know, died at the end of Matrix Revolutions. Plus, that movie ended with a peace brokered between humans and machines. If they are starting this movie off in relative harmony, even if not for long, then the Agent Smith role could land a bit different when things first start up.
Of course, Jonathan Groff has big Ray-Bans to fill here entering the Agent Smith role. Hugo Weaving’s wicked and calculating run through the original character was an all-time performance, as much responsible for the success of the first movie as anything else. He was the consummate bad guy, deliberate and driven toward his ends by any means necessary. Geoff will likely bring a different vibe to the character, though that could be a good thing, especially if trying to distance some from the original movies.
We’ll get a chance to see Jonathan Groff as Agent Smith when The Matrix 4 finally releases on December 22nd of this year. It will have been almost 20 years since we last left these characters and director Lana Wachowski is set to bring us right back into the world. Though some new faces will be around playing time-honored characters, it’s setting up to be a blockbuster film of epic proportions.