The Matrix Was A Trans Allegory All Along, Confirms Co-Creator Lilly Wachowski

"I’m glad that it has gotten out that that was the original intention," the director has said.

In 1999, an ad campaign for a mysterious new movie asked, “What is the Matrix?” More than two decades later, creator Lilly Wachowski has confirmed that it’s much more than anyone could’ve imagined.

In a video for Netflix, Lilly Wachowski, who co-directed the science fiction franchise with sister Lana, confirmed that The Matrix is a trans allegory.

“I’m glad that it has gotten out that that was the original intention,” Lilly said, adding, “The corporate world wasn’t ready for it.”

The Matrix tells the story of a hacker named Neo (Keanu Reeves), who realises he lives in a simulated reality.

Carrie-Anne Moss and Keanu Reeves in The Matrix
Carrie-Anne Moss and Keanu Reeves in The Matrix
Ronald Siemoneit via Getty Images

Following Lilly coming out as a trans woman in 2016, and her sister coming out in 2010, many fans and critics started analysing the franchise through a trans lens, which Lilly previously voiced her approval for during an appearance at the GLAAD Media Awards in 2016.

In the new video, Lilly reflected more on people seeing the films as a trans narrative, saying: “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.’

“Because when you talk about transformation, specifically in the world of science fiction, which is just about imagination and world building and the idea of the seemingly impossible becoming possible, I think that’s why it speaks to them so much.”

Lilly Wachowski pictured in January 2020
Lilly Wachowski pictured in January 2020
Dia Dipasupil via Getty Images

For the filmmaker, The Matrix is all about “the desire for transformation, but it was all coming from a closeted point of view.” Wachowski also explained how the original script had the character Switch becoming a man in the real world and a woman in the Matrix.

“I don’t know how present my trans-ness was in the background of my brain as we were writing it, but it all came from the same sort of fire that I’m talking about,” Wachowski said.

The Wachowskis’ franchise has earned more than $1.5 billion worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo, and a fourth film is due out in 2022.

See the full Netflix interview below: