Sometimes, writers are simply not done with the characters they’ve sworn to leave behind. Sir Conan Doyle quite famously resurrected Sherlock Holmes after dramatically sending him over the falls in “The Final Problem” in 1893, only to bring him back to life a few years later in 1904 due to audience demand. Some characters simply do not want to die, and so they come back time and again, like the unkillable Cunégonde of “Candide” fame. So when Lana Wachowski first announced way back in 2019 that a fourth Matrix film would come to fruition—starring the original cast members no less—fans were excited, yet confused. Didn’t Neo and Trinity like,…die? Well, yes. But that didn’t stop Wachowski—whose sister Lilly is sitting The Matrix Resurrections out to work on her own projects, like Showtime’s “Work in Progress”—from bringing back the beloved characters. And the reason why is quite beautiful.
In an interview for Reel Chicago, Wachowski explains what changed her mind. “After we [she and Lilly] finished Sense8, which was a peak experience, we felt like we were done. Lilly didn’t want to keep making films either, and we decided that would be the close of it for now.”
But then something else happened. The Wachowski Sisters’ parents became ill, and Lana went home to take care of them.
“My wife and I came back to Chicago and moved in with them and we took care of them for the last few months of their lives,” she said. “One night, I woke up, and I was in a lot of pain, and in the grief that I was experiencing with my parents dying, my brain wanted to imagine a story that would be soothing.”
What’s more soothing than returning to the old, beloved “Matrix” characters that are possibly even more relevant now than on first release thanks to the country’s growing awareness of trans lives and the new understanding of the “Matrix” story as a trans parable.
“And so, these two characters that were dead, my brain, one night, just resurrected them and brought them to life — Neo and Trinity,” Wachowski explained. “And I immediately responded to this hook of an idea that I woke up with, and I went downstairs and I just started writing it.”
While we don’t know all the details of how Neo and Trinity are reborn, we do know that the story has always been very personal for the Wachowski sisters.
“My art all comes from this emotional place,” Lana said. “I think about things intellectually, but it’s all led by this emotion. This desire to say something about my heart to other people’s hearts.”
What could be purer than that?