When The Matrix opened 21 years ago, it lit the world on fire with its reality-bending story and iconic fight scenes that Hollywood would spend years trying to imitate, but never quite matching. But tucked inside the sci-fi classic was a resonating theme of “transformation” that the Wachowksi siblings purposefully seeded into the film. As The Matrix fans would come to learn, the Wachowskis were both on a journey of discovering their trans identity in a world that wasn’t ready for that kind of message in a summer blockbuster.
In a new, socially distanced video for the Netflix Film Club, Lilly Wachowski fielded questions about the trans allegory that’s very present in The Matrix, and how she’s glad that more people are finally catching onto it in recent years despite the studio removing some of the more queer elements such as making the character of Switch a man in the real world. However, the message was loud and clear to transgender audiences who found The Matrix films to be a life-affirming experience.
“I love how meaningful these films are to trans people,” Wachowski said. “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 just 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.”
With the Wachowski siblings now openly out as transgender women, it will be interesting to see what new themes and genre-bending narrative they’ll bring to The Matrix 4. Not only is the filmmaking duo returning for the fourth installment, but they’re bringing along original cast-members Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss. Although, fans will be waiting a while as production on The Matrix 4 is currently on hold due to the pandemic. That was one bullet Neo couldn’t dodge.
(Via Netflix Film Club)