Lilly Wachowski, who directed The Matrix trilogy alongside her sister Lana, has recently confirmed a long running rumour that the series was about the trans experience.
Lilly and Lana Wachowski wrote and directed the Academy Award winning film before they publicly started their transitions. In a recent video uploaded to Netflix Film Club’s YouTube channel, Lilly said the film was a transgender story the corporate world just wasn’t ready for.
Fans of the trilogy have pointed out for years the similarity between the main plot and being trans in a cis world. The main character Neo (portrayed by Keanu Reeves) experiences dysphoria in his world, then realises his true identity and changes his name and body. Some have even suggested the famous “red pill” was actually a reference to the fact that at the time some estrogen pills were red.
20 years later, Lilly finally addressed the theories. “I’m glad that it’s gotten out that [the transgender allegory] was the original intention,” she said.
She also discussed elements of the films which were changed which only further point to The Matrix being a trans allegory.
The character of Switch – played by Belinda McClory – was very much written with a trans perspective in mind. Lilly said that Switch was originally “a man in the real world and then a woman in the matrix.”
“That’s where our head spaces were,” she said.
Lilly went on to explain that while neither herself or Lana may have had the language to articulate their identities at the time, their queerness had always drawn them to the world of science fiction where they “were always living in a world of imagination.”
Lana Wachowski is currently directing The Matrix 4, the newest addition in the franchise after almost a decade hiatus. Main stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are both set to reprise their roles for the revival, and new faces like Neil Patrick Harris and Jonathon Groff have also been cast.
The film was originally set to come out next year, but has since been delayed until April 1, 2022. When discussing the plot of the film, Lana said: “Many of the ideas Lilly and I explored 20 years ago about our reality are even more relevant now.”
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