In a recent video interview with Netflix, writer and director of “The Matrix” trilogy Lilly Wachowski confirmed a long-speculated rumor about the movie: It’s actually an allegory of the trans experience.
“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,” Wachowski said. “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.”
Lilly Wachowski wrote and directed the 1999 Academy Award-winning film “The Matrix” alongside sister Lana. In the years since the movie was released, both sisters transitioned — Lana in 2012 and Lilly in 2016. Since then, many have theorized that perhaps the film was actually about the transgender experience.
“The Matrix” follows Thomas Anderson, played by Keanu Reeves, who discovers he’s living within a simulated reality. There have been two sequels since the film’s release — “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions” — and the trilogy has grossed more than $1.6 billion globally. There is currently another film slated for release in 2022.
“I love how meaningful these films are to trans people, and the way they come up to me and say, ‘These movies saved my life,'” Wachowski said. “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.”
In the interview, Wachowski also explained that Switch, played by Belinda McClory, was originally intended to be a genderfluid character — though Warner Bros ultimately denied the idea.
“’The Matrix’ stuff was all about the desire for transformation, but it was all coming from a closeted point of view,” noted Wachowski. “We had the character of Switch, who would be a man in the real world and then a woman in the Matrix, and that’s where [both of] our head spaces were.”