The Matrix Resurrections Trailer Confirms Who Jonathan Groff Is Playing, And Boy, That Sure Is Interesting

The second "The Matrix Resurrections" trailer is here, and it answers some big questions while raising a whole bunch more. While the first trailer gave us a glimpse of some of the returning characters, the second trailer dives a bit deeper into some of the new cast members. While we already knew that Yahya Abdul Mateen II would somehow be playing Morpheus, made famous by Laurence Fishburne, the new trailer makes it clear that another major character has been recast, this time with "Hamilton" and "Mindhunter" star Jonathan Groff.

Hello, Mr. Anderson

Groff, who showed his incredible range by playing the King of England in the musical "Hamilton" and serial killer whisperer Holden Ford in David Fincher's "Mindhunter" series, is going to be portraying a new version of Agent Smith, the ultimate baddie of the "Matrix" franchise. In 2020, Hugo Weaving, who played the character in the first three films, confirmed that he would not be reprising the role due to scheduling conflicts. Agent Smith is arguably the most important character in the franchise besides Keanu Reeves' Neo, because Smith provides the primary conflict. Without Agent Smith working for the interests of the machines, Neo would be able to take over the Matrix the moment he awakened to his true nature. Then again, without Smith targeting him, would he have ever awakened to his true nature in the first place?

Groff taking over for Weaving is a fun bit of casting that should work in the movie's favor. After all, Groff has the chops to be absolutely terrifying and deliciously silly, much like Weaving. It's also great that Agent Smith is back, because he's a great villain and the perfect foil to Neo. 

Agent Smith's Role in the New Movie

While the plot of "The Matrix Resurrections" has been kept firmly under wraps, it's safe to say that it's going to be a strange meta-examination of the "Matrix" universe. There's no telling exactly where in the timeline the new movie takes place, but it seems like maybe Neo is going to be forced to be The One again, though under decidedly different circumstances. In the second film, "The Matrix Reloaded," the Architect who helped create the Matrix explained to Neo that The One has existed many times before, and will always return as part of an ongoing cycle.

One interesting thing to note is that both Smith and Morpheus are being played by younger actors, while many of the original cast are reprising their roles. While that could mean a trip to the past, it's important to remember that appearances can be very deceiving in the digital world. Any hints writer/director Lana Wachowski has slipped into these trailers could be misdirection, set to blow our minds just like Neo's when he first takes the red pill. 

"The Matrix Resurrections" releases in theaters and on the HBO Max paid plan on December 22, 2021.