With The Matrix Resurrections premiere date rounding the corner, filmmaker Lilly Wachowski has opened up about why she declined joining the fourth installment. Lilly, along with her sister Lana Wachowski, directed the iconic science fiction trilogy together that’s coming back to life after nearly 20 years.
“There was something about the idea of going backwards and being a part of something that I had done before that was expressly unappealing,” Wachowski said at Showtime’s TCA panel for Work in Progress. “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.”
In addition to the loss of her parents and undergoing her transition in 2016, Lilly experienced burnout within the filmmaking profession. After creating the first season of Sense8 with Lana, Lilly decided to step back from the second season. This was the first time in their career the sisters took on solo projects.
“That’s a tough one,” Lilly began. “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.’”
While Lana gears up for the premiere of The Matrix Resurrections in December, Lilly has her own ongoing projects. Lilly is currently working on the Showtime series Work In Progress, where she serves as the showrunner, executive producer, writer, and director. The first season of the series aired in 2019, and it was the first project Lilly took on after leaving Sense8. The comedy follows a woman named Abby who is a 46-year-old “self-identified fat, queer dyke” whose misfortune and despair unexpectedly lead her to a vibrantly transformative relationship. The second season premiered earlier this week.
“It felt like a new thing that I could go do and be myself in, more than go back and do the same thing that I sort of did before,” Lilly said on Tuesday’s panel. “And so, like Lana made [Matrix 4] for different reasons… I can’t speak for her, but that’s what I was feeling at the time.”
The Matrix Resurrections opens in theaters on December 22.