When The Matrix came out in 1999, The Wachowskis did not believe that the corporate world was ready for a more LGBTQ-oriented movie. While the story has since heavily been cited as a movie with a trans allegory that the LGBTQ community has been able to point to, that narrative isn’t there unless you’re looking for it. Today, the franchise is still happily alive. The Matrix 4 is coming soon and rumors of future projects in the world are flying.
Now, insider Daniel Richtman has shared with his Patreon page that beyond The Matrix 4, Warner Bros would like to see more LGBTQ representation in the franchise moving forward. While this is all that Richtman shared, it’s promising enough that the studio is assuming there will be more in this franchise moving forward. That also implies that the fourth film doesn’t have much in the way of representation, but most people probably assumed as much.
Hearing that the studio itself is directly requesting more LGBTQ representation is an interesting turn. The Wachowskis are the minds behind The Matrix franchise. While Lilly is not currently working on science fiction titles, Lana has continued on with the upcoming fourth movie, and Lilly still talks about the original series in interviews. In 2020, she did a YouTube video posted by Netflix where she discussed the trans allegory in the franchise. The video is four minutes long and she answered several questions. She mentions that the corporate world wasn’t ready for a direct story representing LGBTQ stories at the time, talks about the character of Switch, and confirms that The Matrix is a coming-out story. You can watch her discuss this in the YouTube video below.
If the rumor from Richtman proves true, it must be wild for The Wachowskis to have that conversation with a studio. When the franchise started over twenty years ago, the requests from studios about The Matrix were likely very different. How amazing it must be to have a franchise that has survived so long and seen so many changes in the industry.
The Matrix 4 is going to feature the original cast. It has been said to be a love story. Delays have moved the release date around several times, but right now we believe it will be released in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously in December 2021. This rumor suggests that it won’t have much in the way of direct on-screen LGBTQ representation, but it does suggest future possibilities. Maybe the future of The Matrix franchise will include more love stories. Or perhaps we’ll see something completely unexpected. That would fall in line with what The Wachowskis have brought audiences in the past.
Before audiences get too excited about this possibility, the rumor doesn’t dive into what “more LGBTQ representation” really looks like. As much as representation is discussed, we’re still at a point in Hollywood where a character with only a few lines can count as a film having representation. That’s a far stretch from something like a Christmas romantic comedy starring two women, as we saw with Hulu’s Happiest Season. Just what does Warner Bros mean when they say “more representation”?
It seems likely that Lana Wachowski, who is still working on The Matrix franchise, would still be hashing that out with studio executives. That may be a pessimistic view of studio executives and how far they may have come, though. Hopefully, it would mean that Lana Wachowski could work with whatever creative ideas she has for a story. And hopefully, that would mean The Matrix gets to represent LGBTQ experiences in a more direct way that touches more lives.