Former Walking Dead star Tom Payne is interested in utilizing his martial arts skills in The Matrix 4, now in the works from Warner Bros. under returning director Lana Wachowski and stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss.
“Any need for another martial artist in there?” Payne quipped on Twitter in response to Variety’s news the hit franchise is returning with a fourth installment reportedly planned for an early 2020 production start.
Any need for another martial artist in there? 😆🥋 https://t.co/IKUGcEouwM— Tom Payne (@justanactor) August 21, 2019
Payne underwent a three-year training regimen for his role as Paul “Jesus” Rovia on The Walking Dead, where the star was only rarely given the opportunity to exhibit his hand-to-hand prowess.
“It was weird, I just felt like he’s such a capable character,” Payne admitted during a December convention, his first after Jesus was murdered by new enemy group the Whisperers. “He’s the best fighter out of anyone. And it never really got utilized. Which for me was just frustrating because I had worked really hard at it, as well, and when you work really hard at something you want to show off. And they did give me an opportunity to do that, which I’m very grateful for, against someone that’s on my team.”
That fight, against ally Morgan (Lennie James), was “great,” but the star was left disappointed the show failed to adapt Jesus’ stand out moments from the comic books.
“Honestly, the comic books, I really enjoyed reading the comic books and I read them all because that was really the only thing that I had to go off of,” Payne said. “Because we get the episodes like one episode before you get the script for the next episode. And so I kind of hung onto the comic books for a long time of like, ‘wow yeah, he does all this cool stuff,’ and I think that was the cause of a lot of my depression at times [laughs].”
Payne next headlines FOX crime drama Prodigal Son, where he appears alongside Bellamy Young, Lou Diamond Phillips and Michael Sheen. The series premieres September 23.