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Matrix Resurrections’ Lana Wachowski On Why Movie Theaters Being Shut Down Was So Hard, And Hopes For The Future

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss and Jessica Henwick stand lined up on the poster for The Matrix Resurrections.
(Image credit: Warner Bros/Village Roadshow Pictures)

With more films popping up in movie theaters, a slight sense of normalcy has returned. The Matrix Resurrections was the latest blockbuster to bring audiences back to theaters. But its arrival to theaters was a hard-fought one like many films in 2021. That wasn’t lost on the film’s director Lana Wachowski. Upon seeing the sci-fi film on the silver screen, Wachowski spoke on what was so hard about theaters being shut down, as well as her hopes for the future.

The Matrix Resurrections director was one of many filmmakers who fought for the return of tentpoles and smaller films to movie theaters. Of course, Wachowski grew up loving to watch movies on the big screen. So, The Matrix Resurrections finally premiering in theaters was a triumphant moment for the icon. After a year of setbacks in making the sequel, Lana Wachowski revealed to THR what going to the cinema meant to her.

I love movie theaters, and I grew up in them. My best childhood memories were when my family took the day off from school, and we all ran to the movies and packed as many movies as we could into a single day. My whole life, movie theaters have sustained me. When I was in high school and I was struggling with my identity, I would run to the movies for popcorn, sticky floors and a kung fu movie, and everything seemed like it was going to be OK.

For many cinephiles out there, Wachowski’s cinema story spoke to them on a number of levels. Her breakdown painted a beautiful yet familiar theater experience. Lana Wachowski found solace in watching films in theaters, which is why the shutdown was hard for her. Wachowski opened up about what it was like being cut off from going to the movie theaters.

It’s been hard to be without movie theaters and have them cut off from us and have them closed down. It’s been hard because the collective dreaming that happens in these spaces is how we imagine different futures, different lives, different possibilities, different kinds of hope and different kinds of love. In my own life, I didn’t always believe in this world. I didn’t believe that I could be a Hollywood director. I didn’t believe I could be an out trans woman Hollywood director. That act of imagining a different kind of outcome for that kind of movie allowed me to imagine a different outcome for my life, I’m hoping that one day we can get back into movies like this, like tonight, and we can sit shoulder to shoulder again, and we can collectively imagine a different future than maybe the one we’re in right now. Maybe that starts tonight.

After a hectic two years, the Cloud Atlas director’s optimism painted a future where the moviegoing experience (and other daily activities) might return to normalcy someday. Like Wachowski pointed out, viewing films on the big screen could help to inspire Hollywood’s next generation of stars and filmmakers. Her journey with cinema came into play with the franchise’s narrative despite almost being shut out of The Matrix Revolutions follow-up.

Audiences can support Lana Wachowski’s love for cinema by watching The Matrix Resurrections in theaters and on HBO Max.

Adreon Patterson

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).