Keanu Reeves Didn’t Know The Matrix Had A Trans Narrative
Hollywood superstar Keanu Reeves has opened up about his new understanding of The Matrix in light of Lilly Wachowski’s recent confirmation regarding a trans narrative.
In 1999, the Wachowskis wrote and directed The Matrix, a film that would not only cement itself in pop culture as a modern classic, but inject an unprecedented boost into Reeves’ own career.
Earlier this month, one of the film’s directors, Lilly Wachowski, confirmed fan speculation that the film has a transgender narrative. The film made its debut in 1999, and since then Lilly, along with her sister and co-director Lana, has come out as transgender. Lana did so in 2010, while Lilly followed six years later.
In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Reeves, who is starring in the highly anticipated Bill & Ted Face the Music movie, said he had no idea about the transgender story but is fully supportive of it.
‘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,’ Reeves explained. ‘And for Lilly to come out and share that with us, I think is cool.’
While Lilly has previously discussed how fitting the action flicks are as trans stories, she suspects ‘the world wasn’t quite ready’ to hear that in 1999. In an interview with Netflix Film Club, Lilly said, ‘I don’t know how present my transness was in the background of my brain as we were writing it.’
‘I’m glad people are talking about The Matrix movies with a trans narrative,’ she continued. ‘And I’m grateful I can be a part of throwing them a rope along their journey. I’m glad that it has gotten out that that was the original intention. The world wasn’t quite ready for it. The corporate world wasn’t ready for it.’
She also said that film genres allow creators to express things in a variety of ways, without needing to explicitly hammer home a message or even be fully aware of it at the time. ‘We were always living in a world of imagination,’ she explained. ‘It freed us up as filmmakers because we were able to imagine stuff at that time that you didn’t necessarily see onscreen.’
Now, with a fourth instalment in the pipeline, Reeves was asked whether the next part would also continue its trans allegory, to which he replied: ‘I don’t know, I think it’ll be open to interpretation.’
The fourth film was announced in December 2019, with an intended cinema release of May 2021. It’ll see Reeves reprise his role as Neo, alongside original co-stars Carrie-Anne Moss and Jada Pinkett-Smith, with Neil Patrick Harris and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II joining the ensemble.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers.