Matrix creator Lana Wachowski says parents’ deaths led to ‘unexpected’ Resurrections
Lana Wachowski has explained how dealing with the loss of her parents inspired her to re-enter the Matrix.
The Matrix has long been a favourite for movie-lovers. But despite the current prevalence of remakes, co-creators Lana and Lilly Wachowski for years insisted that there would be no reboots of the franchise, instead electing to focus on other projects like Netflix series, Sense8.
That all changed with the announcement that Lana would write and direct The Matrix Resurrections, in 2019. At the film’s San Francisco premiere on Sunday (19 December), Lana explained how she had a change of heart after her parents died.
“When mom and dad passed, I went to [Lilly] and said, ‘Look, this idea came to me. I can see that it’s about me working with my grief, and I was thinking, do you want to work on it together?’” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
“I thought maybe it would be cool that we go back, and we go back together and this thing that where we started. And she said: ‘I get it, I know, I see, I feel it, but this is not what I want to do. I need to do it my own way.’”
Lana added: “That’s what grief does. Grief spirals us off in different directions, and you can see that there’s a lot of mom and dad in [Lilly Wachoswki’s TV series] Work in Progress. She’s doing something similar, but not the same. I wanted to go back and feel this thing again, and she wanted to go off and do this other thing.”
Lilly, who co-wrote and directed the original trilogy with her sister, describing the idea of returning to the Matrix world as “expressly unappealing”.
This left Lana to write The Matrix Resurrections with Cloud Atlas scribe and collaborator David Mitchell and Sense8 collaborator Aleksandar Hemon.
The movie’s world premiere took place in San Francisco. Parts of the film were shot in and around the area – but Lana told The Hollywood Reporter that the decision to debut the film there was also personal.
“I love San Francisco,” she said. “I love this theatre. I’ve seen so many important films here, and 27 years ago, when I was unsure about whether or not I was going to be able to be a filmmaker in my life, the Castro was where we had a premiere of Bound [hers and Lilly’s debut film] for the LGBTQ film festival Frameline.
“It was such an extraordinary experience, and that was a touchstone moment in my life. I thought it would be nice to come back here, give something back to the city, give some energy to the city and say thank you to the city. This theatre seemed like the perfect place.”
The Matrix Resurrections comes almost 20 years after the first movie transformed the landscape of action films. Grossing upwards of $463 million at the box office in 1999, it’s no surprise that it set both Wachowskis up in their roles as giants of the genre.
Absolutely adored #TheMatrixResurrections, which builds on where the sequels left off in beautiful and unexpected ways, and presents a world that's entirely consistent with what came before and also opens it up to a host of new stories. My synapses have been firing for days. pic.twitter.com/X16TuKK6Vc
— Ethan Alter (@ethanalter) December 17, 2021
Reviews have indicated that the film will be a divisive one. Yahoo Entertainment’s Ethan Alter wrote: “Absolutely adored #TheMatrixResurrections, which builds on where the sequels left off in beautiful and unexpected ways, and presents a world that’s entirely consistent with what came before and also opens it up to a host of new stories. My synapses have been firing for days.”
He wasn’t the only critic left deeply impressed, with Courtney Howard describing it as “a terrific, awe-inducing, meta mind-bender completely in line with the franchise’s legacy”.
However, others have been left disappointed. Mashable’s Alison Foreman said: “I am deeply happy for those who will enjoy #TheMatrixResurrections. I am, regrettably, not among them.”
I am deeply happy for those who will enjoy #TheMatrixResurrections. I am, regrettably, not among them. It’s leagues better than Reloaded and Revolutions – which let’s be clear are really not good – but has bad stakes. Nothing matters, and not in a cool nihilistic way. pic.twitter.com/RnbQutdkKR
— Alison Foreman (@alfaforeman) December 17, 2021