The Screen Room
Movie Villain Monday: Agent Smith - The Matrix (1999)
It’s Movie Villain Monday and today’s movie villain was suggested on the Facebook page a few weeks ago.
It’s Agent Smith from the groundbreaking sci-fi, action/adventure The Matrix (1999) and its two sequels.
Who is Agent Smith?
Agent Smith is the main antagonist of the Matrix trilogy and it’s subsequent spin offs.
In the original trilogy he was played by Hugo Weaving.
Originally created as an AI program in the Matrix (a computerised simulation of the “real world”), his job along with his fellow agents was to keep order within the system and illuminate any threat that may bring instability to the simulated reality.
By the second film however, Smith had become a virus himself, eventually posing a greater threat to the Matrix than the one he was tasked with protecting it from.
Played memorably in the original trilogy by Hugo Weaving, Agent Smith is relentless in his quest to find and destroy Neo - The One (played by Keanu Reeves) who has been foretold as being the one who will end the war between the humans and the machines.
Powers and Abilities:
Smith has the ability to manipulate the matrix giving him apparent superhuman strength and abilities. This makes him a formidable foe to the main protagonists Neo.
With his distinctive style of a smart suit, dark glasses, ear piece, over all tidy appearance and a voice that is instantly recognisable, Agent Smith has cemented himself in movie history as one of the most iconic movie villains of modern times.
Before Hugo Weaving was cast for the roll several other actors were considered. James Woods, Kevin Spacey and Dennis Hopper were among a list of other actors who could’ve potentially been offered the part.
It was originally offered to French actor Jean Reno but he was at a point in his career where he didn’t want to leave his native France and was unwilling to move to Australia for four and a half months of filming.
Luckily Weaving was eventually cast.
The voice and speech style of Agent Smith is arguably one of the most memorable things about him.
Hugo Weaving wanted Smith to sound neither human nor robotic so sought a neutral accent. He apparently emulated a 1950s news reader to achieve the character’s distinct vocal style. Lawrence Fishburne who plays Morpheus in the film compared him to Walter Cronkite.
Weaving also said that the Wachowskis’ (directors) voices also influenced the character’s voice.
Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, Weaving won’t be reprising the role of Agent Smith in the upcoming fourth instalment of The Matrix saga. Because of this the character has reportedly been written out of the story altogether.
In 2008 Agent Smith was chosen by Empire Magazine as the 69th greatest movie character of all time.
Who should I feature next week..? 🤔