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Keanu Reeves says transgender Matrix allegory is ‘profound’ and ‘cool’

Lilly Wachowski this month confirmed trans allegory was the trilogy’s ‘original intention’

Adam White
Friday 21 August 2020 16:44
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Matrix director Lilly Wachowski confirms the film is a metaphor for gender identity

Keanu Reeves has revealed that he only recently learnt that The Matrix was intended as an allegory for transgender identity.

In early August, director Lilly Wachowski confirmed long-standing rumours that the trilogy of films she made with sister Lana were steeped in trans allegories.

“I’m glad that it has gotten out that that was the original intention,” Wachowski told Netflix Film Club. “The world wasn’t quite ready for it. The corporate world wasn’t ready for it.”

Reeves, who portrays Neo in the franchise, has now said that he did not know about the allegory when he was making the movies.

“I never spoke to Lilly about that, she never conveyed that to me,” Reeves told Yahoo! Entertainment. “I think the Matrix films are profound, and I think that allegorically, a lot of people in different versions of the film can speak to that. And for Lilly to come out and share that with us, I think is cool.”

Trans fans of the sci-fi franchise had regularly speculated about the metaphors at work in the movies, particularly when both Lilly and Lana came out as trans in 2012 and 2016, respectively.

Some have suggested that Neo's unease with the world, which is described in the film as a "splinter in your mind", is a metaphor for gender dysphoria. The “red pill”, which allows him to see reality for what it truly is, has been compared to estrogen pills.

Laurence Fishburne, who played Morpheus in the original trilogy, revealed this week (19 August) that he had not been invited back for the forthcoming Matrix 4.

The franchise reboot, which will star Reeves and Trinity actor Carrie-Anne Moss, will restart filming in September after production was shut down due to coronavirus.

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