Director Lilly Wachowski spoke with Netflix Film Club in an excellent new video about the iconic film franchise which began with 1999’s The Matrix, confirming that yes, the movie is a trans allegory. Wachowski and her sister Lana, who co-wrote and co-directed, came out as transgender in 2016 and 2012, respectively.
Asked what she thought of fans discussing that aspect of the films, Wachowski said, “I’m glad that it has gotten out that that was the original intention. But the world wasn’t quite ready, at a corporate lev- … the corporate world wasn’t ready for it.”
“When you make movies it’s this public art form. I think any kind of art that you put out into the universe, there’s a letting-go process, because it’s entering into public dialogue,” Wachowski added. “I like that – that there’s an evolution process that we as human beings engage in art in a non-linear way. That we can always talk about something in new ways and in new light.”
Wachowski also said that the original idea for the character of Switch was that Switch would be a man in the real world and a woman in the Matrix. “Both were where our head spaces were.”
Asked if her identity informed directing The Matrix at the time, Wachowski replied: “I don’t know how present my transness was in the background of my brain as we were writing it. It all came from the same sort of fire that I’m talking about. Because trans people exist in this space where the words didn’t exist, 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 on screen.”