There are a lot of big questions facing “The Matrix Resurrections,” including how thought-to-dead main characters Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) are back as the very-much-alive faces of the franchise. (And why is Morpheus back without Laurence Fishburne?) Expect the answer to be somewhat complicated.
Yet the decision to revive Neo and Trinity for “Resurrections” was a simple one for writer/director Lana Wachowski. After her parents died close to a month apart, Wachowski needed the comfort of her two most iconic characters.
“My dad died, then this friend died, then my mom died,” Wachowski recently said at the International Literature Festival Berlin (via /Film). “I didn’t really know how to process that kind of grief. I hadn’t experienced it that closely… You know their lives are going to end and yet it was still really hard. My brain has always reached into my imagination and one night, I was crying and I couldn’t sleep, and my brain exploded this whole story. And I couldn’t have my mom and dad, yet suddenly I had Neo and Trinity, arguably the two most important characters in my life.”
Wachowski continued, “It was immediately comforting to have these two characters alive again, and it’s super simple. You can look at it and say: ‘OK, these two people die and OK, bring these two people back to life and oh, doesn’t that feel good.’ Yeah, it did! It’s simple, and this is what art does and that’s what stories do: they comfort us.”
Lilly Wachowski, who wrote and directed the first three “Matrix” movies with Lana but chose not to return for “Resurrections,” previously mentioned that the siblings’ parents died within five weeks of each other. Lana first brought Lilly an idea for a potential fourth “Matrix” movie in between their mother and father dying. Lilly said the grief, plus the emotional weight of her transitioning, is what led her not to join Lana in making another “Matrix” movie.
As Lilly told THE press, “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.”
Warner Bros. opens “The Matrix Resurrections” in theaters and HBO Max on December 22.