When Nazi-without-a-nose Red Skull made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Captain America: The First Avenger, he was played by Hugo Weaving. But when the character made a surprise return in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, the Matrix star had been replaced by The Walking Dead‘s Ross Marquand. Weaving, who was asked to reprise the role by directors Joe and Anthony Russo, had yet to give an official reason for why he didn’t return, until a recent interview with Time Out London.
“We were all obliged to sign up for three pictures: I was thinking [Red Skull] probably wouldn’t come back in Captain America but he may well come back as a villain in The Avengers,” Weaving said. “By then, they’d pushed back on the contracts that we agreed on and so the money they offered me for The Avengers was much less than I got for the very first one, and this was for two films. And the promise when we first signed the contracts was that the money would grow each time.” He continued:
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.” (Via)
Basically, Weaving wanted more money for Infinity War and Endgame than Marvel was willing to give him, and he walked away. The Australian actor is also sadly walking away from The Matrix 4. Weaving thought he could be in both The Visit, a Tony Kushner-written play with Lesley Manville, and The Matrix sequel, but “in the end, [director Lana Wachowski] 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.”
What will The Matrix do without Agent. Smith? And Agent Smith? And Agent Smith? And Agent Smith? And Agent Smith? And Agent Smith? And Agent Smith? And Agent Smith?
(Via Time Out London)