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Lana Wachowski is making history as the first openly trans director of a blockbuster

Reiss Smith August 21, 2019
Lana Wachowski pointing

Lana Wachowski is returning to The Matrix. (Getty)

Lana Wachowski is blazing a trail with The Matrix 4, as she becomes the first openly trans person to helm a major Hollywood blockbuster.

After months of speculation, it was announced this week that Lana Wachowski will write and direct a brand new instalment in dystopian franchise.

With the first three films in the series making a combined $1.6 billion (£1.3m) at the box office, the new sequel has the potential to become the most lucrative piece of trans art in history.

Lana and her sister Lilly co-wrote and directed the initial Matrix trilogy, released between 1999 and 2003, before either had come out as trans.

Neo and Trinity in The Matrix
Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne-Moss will reprise their roles as Neo and Trinity in The Matrix 4. (Warner Bros)

This latest film will see Lana go it alone, as Lilly has opted not to return.

“Many of the ideas Lilly and I explored 20 years ago about our reality are even more relevant now,” Lana told Variety.

“I’m very happy to have these characters back in my life and grateful for another chance to work with my brilliant friends.”

It was also confirmed that Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss will reprise their roles as Neo and Trinity respectively.

The Matrix is a trans metaphor.

The Matrix followed the story of a hacker who discovered that humanity was trapped in a simulated reality, the titular Matrix.

Years after its release, the plot has been reevaluated as an allegory for the trans experience.

Dr Eleanor Amaranth Lockhart said that the film deals with “things typical of the trans experience that aren’t ‘sexy'”.

These themes include the relationship between trans and cis societies, the never-ending fight that comes with asserting your identity, and “that irresistible sense that you have to change something in your life or everything will fall apart anyway”.

Art is never static

Lilly addressed this interpretation of the film while accepting a GLAAD award with her sister in 2016.

“There’s a critical eye being cast back on Lana and I’s work through the lens of our transness,” she said.

“This is a cool thing because it’s an excellent reminder that art is never static. And while the ideas of identity and transformation are critical components in our work, the bedrock that all ideas rest upon is love.”

In recent years, Lana and Lilly have mostly been kept busy with their Netflix series Sense8, which was praised for its inclusion of LGBT+ characters and themes.

The series was cancelled in 2017 and revived briefly for a feature-length finale in 2018.

 

More: lana wachowski, The Matrix

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