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Lana Wachowski Makes Trans History by Directing The Matrix 4

Lana Wachowski

Thankfully, “there’s no turning back” now! Lana Wachowski, who cowrote and directed the original Matrix trilogy with her sister Lilly Wachowski, has confirmed she’s writing and directing the fourth installment in the series, positioning her to make history as the first out transgender director to helm a blockbuster. And stars of the original films, Keanu Reeves (Neo) and Carrie-Ann Moss (Trinity), are on board, according to Variety.

“Many of the ideas Lilly and I explored 20 years ago about our reality are even more relevant now. I’m very happy to have these characters back in my life and grateful for another chance to work with my brilliant friends,” Lana Wachowski said.

The Wachowski siblings, whose first feature was the lesbian neo-noir classic Bound, and who created the beloved Netflix series Sense8, kicked off the original Matrix trilogy in 1999. A touchstone of Science-Fiction film that created a visual style that’s been repeatedly copied since it was released, the Wachowskis followed up The Matrix with the Matrix Reloaded, and Matrix Revolutions (both in 2003). The trilogy earned more than $1.6 billion globally, according to Variety.

“We could not be more excited to be re-entering the Matrix with Lana,” Warner Bros. Picture Group Chairman Toby Emmerich said when the venture was announced on Tuesday. “Lana is a true visionary — a singular and original creative filmmaker — and we are thrilled that she is writing, directing and producing this new chapter in the Matrix universe.”

Since the original films were released both Wachowskis came out as trans: Lana in 2012 and Lilly in 2016. There are several trans directors making inroads in Hollywood (especially in TV) with some having established themselves with strong indie films, including Silas Howard with By Hook or By Crook, Yance Ford from Strong Island, and Rhys Ernt's upcoming Adam. But the fourth installment of The Matrix — with the potential to become a global blockbuster in the vein of the first three — is history in the making for Lana Wachowski. 

While the Wachowskis collaborated on the original trilogy, Lana is set to write (along with Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell) and direct the fourth installment without her sister. Lilly, who was coming out during Sense8's run, exited the Netflix series after the first season, ceding creative control to her sister for season 2 and the movie that followed. Lilly’s departure from the series marked the first time one of them helmed a project without the other.

Reeves and Moss are back for the new installment but there’s no word as to whether or not Laurence Fishburne will be back for the role of Morpheus.

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