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Matrix simulation

Lilly Wachowski confirms The Matrix was always a trans allegory

‘I’m glad that it has gotten out that that was the original intention. The world wasn’t quite ready for it’

21 years after the breakthrough film’s release, Lilly Wachowski has confirmed fan theories that The Matrix movies, which she wrote and directed with her sister Lana, were always an allegory for the trans experience.

Both Wachowskis came out as trans after all three Matrix films were released, Lana in 2010 and Lilly in 2016. Since then, fans and critics have speculated whether the journey of the film’s protagonist, Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves), was a metaphor for gender transition. 

Speaking in a new video interview with Netflix, Wachowski opened up about the trilogy’s implicit trans narrative. “I don’t know how present my transness was in the background of my brain as we were writing it,” she said. “We were always living in a world of imagination. That’s why I gravitated toward sci-fi and fantasy and played Dungeons and Dragons. It was all about creating worlds. It freed us up as filmmakers because we were able to imagine stuff at that time that you didn’t necessarily see onscreen.”

“There’s a critical eye being cast back on Lana and I’s work through the lens of our transness,” she added. “This is a cool thing because it’s an excellent reminder that art is never static. And while the ideas of identity and transformation are critical components in our work, the bedrock that all ideas rest upon is love.”

The conversations surrounding the franchise will only grow deeper as Lana Wachowski starts work on a fourth Matrix film. Reevers, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Jada Pinkett-Smith, are among those reprising their former roles, while actors Yahya Abdul-Mateen and Neil Patrick Harris will also join the cast.

“I love how meaningful these films are to trans people,” Lilly continued, “and the way they come up to me and say, ‘These movies saved my life.’ Because when you talk about transformation, specifically in the world of science fiction – which is about imagination, it’s like world-building and the idea of the seemingly impossible becoming possible. I think that’s why it speaks to them so much.”

“I’m glad people are talking about The Matrix movies with a trans narrative, and I’m grateful I can be a part of throwing them a rope along their journey,” she concluded. “I’m glad that it has gotten out that that was the original intention. The world wasn’t quite ready for it. The corporate world wasn’t ready for it.”

Watch the full video below.