Lilly Wachowski Reveals 'The Matrix' Was Intended to Be a Trans Allegory

Lilly Wachowski
Amy Sussman/Getty Images; Warner Bros.

As it turns out, The Matrix was a groundbreaking work of cinema in more ways than many realized. Filmmaker Lilly Wachowski recently revealed that her iconic sci-fi action thriller was actually a story about trans identity.

Speaking with Netflix Film Club recently, Lilly -- who co-directed The Matrix, and its sequels, with sister Lana Wachowski -- opened up about fans who feel the film is an allegory for trans existence.

"I’m glad that it has gotten out that that was the original intention," Lilly shared. “But the world wasn’t quite ready for it -- the corporate world wasn’t ready for it."

Lilly also said she really appreciates how much people in the trans community have found a connection with the films, and how it has impacted their lives.

"I love how meaningful those films are to trans people, and the way that they come up to me and say, ‘these movies saved my life,'" Lilly shared, adding that she's grateful that she's been able to "help them on their journey."

Lilly and Lana, who are both trans women, also revealed that the original plan for the character Switch -- played by Belinda McClory -- was to have the character be a woman inside the Matrix, but a man in the real world.

She also explained that The Matrix was "all about a desire for transformation, but it was coming from a closeted point of view," because, for Lilly and Lana, that was "where our headspaces were."

"I don't know how present my transness was in the background of my brain when we were writing it," recalled Lilly, who, along with Lana, had not yet publicly transitioned when the original was filmed.

"For me and Lana, we were existing in this space where the words didn't exist, so we were always living in a world of imagination. Which is why I gravitated toward science fiction and fantasy."

Lilly also discussed her experiences making and co-creating The Matrix in the Netflix documentary Disclosure, which examines the role and impact of Hollywood on the trans community through interviews with trans filmmakers and creatives.


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