In 1999, the world of sci-fi films was forever altered with the debut of The Matrix. A sleek, thought-provoking feature with stylish design, ground-breaking action and special effects, and a look that has been endlessly copied in later movies, the original Matrix trilogy introduced the world to the filmmaking duo the Wachowskis. Two decades later, Lilly Wachowski, one of the co-creators of the franchise, has largely left Hollywood and filmmaking behind. And the reason for it, according to her new interview, is a feeling that her time is being wasted.
“I have a resentment toward the industry because I feel like I wasted personal time. [Filmmaking] is really a time machine that you get in and you get jostled around and then you come out of it a year and a half later, per film in some cases.”
After completing the Matrix trilogy, Lilly Wachowski surfaced only occasionally to create 2012’s Cloud Atlas film and the 2015 Netflix series Sense8, and it was her experience making the features that led to her decision to walk away.
“I got in when film was at its peak, before boards and marketers found a way to wrangle movies. Eventually, all those people and institutions ended up in the room with you and specifically behind the typewriter and behind the lens and behind the Avid. It created a bit of tension for me personally. I got to this breaking point and I had to walk away,”
This anger had existed even at the start of her career before her gender transition surgery freed Wachowski to embrace her true identity. As a result, the Matrix trilogy was created as an allegory for being trapped in a false reality and the anger that comes from such an existence.
“[The Matrix was] Born out of a lot of anger and a lot of rage, and it’s rage at capitalism and corporatized structure and forms of oppression. The bubbling, seething rage within me was about my own oppression, that I [was forcing] myself to remain in the closet.”
The latest installment of the Matrix franchise is gearing up for release next year. Although many fan-favorite members of the original trilogy will be returning for the new installment, including Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lambert Wilson, Lana Wachowski in the director’s chair, and Chad Stahelski overseeing stunt choreography, Lilly Wachowski is conspicuous by her absence from the project.
The reason for this absence is nothing negative. Lilly Wachowski has admitted in the past that she no longer feels as attracted to the world of allegory and subtext that The Matrix revels in, now that she is an out and proud trans woman. Instead, Wachowski states that she finds greater satisfaction in using her resources to create new stories and projects steeped in the real world for members of her community.
“I’m getting more queer and trans folks on the screen to show what we’re capable of and what amazing artists we are. That’s a hard thing to give up.”
These quotes originated at The Hollywood Reporter.