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SYFY WIRE The Matrix

Lilly Wachowski says The Matrix is a trans allegory: 'The corporate world wasn't quite ready' for it back in 1999

By Josh Weiss
Morpheus Laurence Fishburne The Matrix

During a discussion for Netflix Film Club, director Lilly Wachowski confirmed that 1999's The Matrix is meant to be an allegory for transgender culture. Along with her sister, Lana Wachowski, Lilly wrote and helmed the original groundbreaking trilogy for Warner Bros.

"I'm glad that it has gotten out that that was the original intention, but the corporate world wasn't ready for it," she said, voicing her excitement that fans can now talk about the film in a new way. She later went on to explain: "The Matrix stuff was all about the desire for transformation, but it was all coming from a closeted point-of-view. And so, we had the character of Switch [played by Belinda McClory], who would be a man in the real world and then a woman in The Matrix."

Lilly also touched on the cathartic release of mashing genres and epic world-building:

 "[Lana and I] were existing in this space where the words didn't exist, so we were always living a world of imagination. It's why I gravitated towards science fiction and fantasy and played Dungeons & Dragons. It was all about creating worlds and so, I think it freed us up as filmmakers because we were able to imagine stuff, at that time, that you didn't necessarily see on screen. Or even the idea of, 'How can we exist in as many genres as possible?' ... I think in our transness and our queerness, we were always trying to incorporate as many things as possible. It's just like trying to visualize within a much larger infinite scope of the imagination."

Watch her analysis below:

A fourth Matrix movie is on the way from Lilly's sister, Lana Wachowski. Lana is directing the project from a script she co-wrote with Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell. Warner Bros. recently delayed the film's theatrical rollout to April 1, 2022; it was originally slated to open next May. Production on The Matrix 4 (we don't have an official title yet) stills needs to wrap up principal photography.

Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are returning to play Neo and Trinity, respectively. Jada Pinkett Smith is also reportedly set to return as Niobe, a character that appeared in both Reloaded and Revolutions. The supporting cast is full of A-list talent: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Henwick, Priyanka Chopra, Jonathan Groff, Toby Onwumere, and more.