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The Matrix’s Lilly Wachowski Explains Why She Didn’t Work On Resurrections

Neo fighting Smith in The Matrix 3

Every few years a science fiction movie will arrive in theaters and completely change the genre. The Matrix is definitely one of those properties, and fans were thrilled to learn that stars like Keanu Reeves would be returning for the upcoming sequel The Matrix Resurrections. And co-creator Lilly Wachowski recently explained why she didn’t return to work on this new installment.

The Wachowskis became household names thanks to their work on the original Matrix trilogy, and have gone on to a number of projects since then. But while Lana Wachowski is back in the director’s chair for Resurrections, Lilly sat the blockbuster out. Now she’s opened up about this choice, saying:

That's a tough one. I got out of my transition and was just completely exhausted because we had made Cloud Atlas and Jupiter Ascending, and the first season of Sense8 back-to-back-to-back. We were posting one, and prepping the other at the exact same time. So you're talking about three 100-plus days of shooting for each project, and so, coming out and just being completely exhausted, my world was like, falling apart to some extent even while I was like, you know, cracking out of my egg. So I needed this time away from this industry. I needed to reconnect with myself as an artist and I did that by going back to school and painting and stuff.

Sounds like Lilly Wachowski made a healthy choice for herself. While this means the filmmaker’s vision won’t contribute to The Matrix Resurrections, hopefully this type of self-care will help her achieve a good work/life balance moving forward. Even reading about Wachowski’s schedule is enough to get one’s head spinning.

Lilly Wachowski’s comments come from her recent conversation with EW. Anticipation for The Matrix 4 is definitely amping up, especially with the movie’s official title and first footage revealed. But with the filmmaker dealing with exhaustion for both professional and personal reasons, she decided to let her sister Lana helm the movie solo.

As she mentions, both Lilly Wachowski and her sister Lana publicly came out as transgender, and transitioned while in the public eye. This is a deeply emotional experience for any trans person, even if you’re not helming a massive project like Sense8. Lilly went on to explain how this factored into her decision for The Matrix Resurrections, saying:

[Lana] had come up with this idea for another Matrix movie, and we had this talk, and it was actually — we started talking about it in between [our] dad dying and [our] mom dying, which was like five weeks apart. And there was something about the idea of going backward and being a part of something that I had done before that was expressly unappealing. And, like, I didn't want to have gone through my transition and gone through this massive upheaval in my life, the sense of loss from my mom and dad, to want to go back to something that I had done before, and sort of [walk] over old paths that I had walked in, felt emotionally unfulfilling, and really the opposite — like I was going to go back and live in these old shoes, in a way. And I didn't want to do that.

It would be understandable for any filmmaker to want to look forward, rather than back on their filmography. But add in decades and the experience of transitioning, and it seems that Lilly Wachowski simply wasn’t interested in The Matrix Resurrections. We’ll just have to see if another sequel gets ordered, and if Lilly eventually changes her mind about the beloved property.

Not much is known about The Matrix Resurrections, but luckily the first footage recently arrived at CinemaCon. While the teaser hasn’t been released for public consumption, it sounds like the new sequel is going to take a bold departure from the previous trilogy. The cast is stacked, including the return of Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss.

The Matrix Resurrections is currently expected to arrive in theaters on December 22nd. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. 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 famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.