The trailer for The Matrix Resurrections supports the popular theory that actor Jonathan Groff will portray a new version of Agent Smith – the iconic antagonist from the original series. Previously played by Hugo Weaving, the character was presumed dead following the climax of the original trilogy. However, several clues from the new footage suggest that not only has Smith returned but that he’s actually more of a threat to humanity and the series’ heroes than ever.
It’s clear from the trailer that several returning characters, including the likes of Neo and Trinity, have no memory of their past selves. This suggests that the saga’s alternate reality has undergone a major reset since the events of The Matrix Revolutions. However, beyond the return of familiar faces such as Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss, the new footage also suggests that several key characters have been replaced. For instance, actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II plays a younger version of Morpheus from the original films, insinuating that many characters could be reimagined in The Matrix 4.
This approach to casting suggests that there’s no reason another character couldn’t be playing Agent Smith in the new movie. However, while this hints at the possibility, there is other compelling evidence to suggest that Groff truly is portraying a reimagined version of the classic villain. From the nature of his interactions with Neo to eerie echoes with the first Matrix film, the new trailer makes it seem more likely than ever that Groff really does represent the new movie’s main adversary.
A clear clue that connects Groff with Agent Smith can be seen at the end of the Matrix Resurrections trailer. In an office setting, a black-suited Groff sits opposite Neo, before remarking “After all these years, to be going back to where it all started… Back to the Matrix.” The scene bears remarkable similarities with Agent Smith’s original interrogation of Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus during the first Matrix film, suggesting a connection between Groff’s character and Smith. There is also a telling clue in the dialogue itself, which could actually refer to Groff’s character. The suggestion that Groff is talking rhetorically about his own return to the Matrix after a long absence, instead of Neo’s again suggests that this could be another version of Smith.
The second clear piece of evidence from the trailer is the image of Neo held at gunpoint as water falls from the ceiling. Once again, this scene mirrors Morpheus’ original rescue, in which a sprinkler alarm system soaks the entire building. Although the figure holding the gun is blurry, it does on close inspection appear to be Groff. Since it was Agent Smith who shot and killed Neo in the first film, it would make sense for an updated version of the character to be wielding the weapon once again. While it’s not inconceivable that Groff is playing a new character, the similarities between these two moments and Smith’s actions in earlier films are too obvious to be ignored. Whatever his role in The Matrix Resurrections, however, it seems clear that Groff’s character will have a pivotal part to play.
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