Lilly Wachowski has now opened up about this allegory, her original intentions for the film, and more in a new chat for Netflix. Originally, Switch, a character played by Belinda McClory in the first film, was meant to be someone who appeared as a man "in the real world" and then "a woman in the Matrix".
"I'm glad that it's gotten out that that was the original intention", said Wachowski. Neither of the Wachowskis were out as trans when they wrote the film and its sequels, but the very idea of a world where a person can bend reality to be whatever and whomever they want, can pretty easily be read as an LGBTQ+ metaphor. "The world wasn't quite ready, at a corporate level...the corporate world wasn't ready for it [at the time]".
If you remember Switch from the first movie played by Belinda McClory, she was a character that was created to be androgynous to pay homage to the original concept. I like that - that there's an evolution process that we as human beings engage in art in a non-linear way.
"And I'm grateful I can be a part of throwing them a rope along their journey".
Asked specifically about the theories surrounding the trilogy's trans allegories (via overlaying Matrix-y green computer font), Lilly confirmed that she and Lana were indeed commenting on gender identity.
"The Matrix stuff was all like about the desire for transformation, but it as all coming from a closeted point of view". "I don't know how present my transness was in the background of my brain as we were writing it", she said. "We can always talk about something in new ways and in a new light". And, of course, Wachowski discusses The Matrix and more in the new documentary about trans representation in Hollywood, Disclosure. "That's both where our headspaces were", she concluded.
"It's why I gravitated toward science fiction and fantasy and playing Dungeons and Dragons". It was a matter of creating worlds.
Matrix 4, whose filming is taking place in this period in Berlin, is written and directed only by his sister Lana, with Lilly who should not even be among the producers. "I think it freed us up as filmmakers because we were able to imagine stuff at that time that you didn't necessarily see onscreen".