Keanu Reeves Responds To The Matrix’s Transgender Subtext

Keanu Reeves as Neo

The Matrix franchise is an iconic piece of film history, which broke new ground in a variety of ways when the original filmed arrived in 1999. Soon fans will jack back into the simulation with The Matrix 4, and original director Lilly Wachowski recently spoke to the transgender subtext of the trilogy. Now Keanu Reeves has responded to this new revelation about the series of films he worked on for years.

The original Matrix trilogy was created and co-directed by The Wachowskis, who later came out as transgender women and transitioned under the way of the public eye. Lilly Wachowski isn't involved in The Matrix 4, but recently spoke to how her trans experience affected the writing process, calling The Matrix a "trans allegory" in the process. Keanu Reeves has now spoken to this revelation, saying:

I never spoke to Lilly about that, she never conveyed that to me. 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.

While the Matrix's trans connection wasn't shared with Keanu Reeves while he starred as Neo in the original trilogy, it looks like the iconic actor is pleased to hear how the franchise continues to evolve through time. What's more, Reeves commends Lilly Wachowski for sharing her truth with us all.

Keanu Reeves' comments to Yahoo! is classy in typical Keanu Reeves fashion. The Billy and Ted Face the Music star was in the middle of diving back into the property with The Matrix 4 before the film's set was shut down amid global health concerns. Reeves is still occupying Neo for the mysterious sequel, but it doesn't look like the trans connection has been part of his process thus far.

Lilly Wachowski might not be involved with The Matrix 4, but her sister and co-director Lana Wachowski is directing the highly anticipated blockbuster. The movie's contents and plot are a complete mystery, but the cast will feature a mixture of new and returning faces. While Laurence Fishburne wasn't asked to return, Keanu Reeves will be joined by Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Lambert Wilson who are reprising their roles.

The original Matrix trilogy has taken on new meaning in recent years, especially as the world has come to understand the transgender experience. Lilly Wachowski recently revealed how many trans moviegoers have identified with the franchise, and explained how her own experience was influencing The Matrix's franchise. As she previously explained,

I’m glad that it has gotten out, that was the original intention. But the world wasn’t quite ready yet at a corporate level. The corporate world wasn’t ready for it. When you make movies and it's this public art form, I think any kind of art that you put into the universe there’s a letting go process. Because it’s entering into public dialogue. I like that there’s an evolution process that we as human beings engage in art in a nonlinear way. We can always talk about something in new ways, and in new light.

This types of revelations also have the potential to put the mysterious contents of The Matrix 4. While Lilly Wachowski won't be involved in the new sequel, Lana understands the material and property better than anyone else. The project was in the midst of filming when sets were shut down, creating massive explosions and wild stunts in the process.

The Matrix 4 is currently set to arrive in theaters on April 1st, 2022. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.