Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
The Matrix 4 director Lana Wachoski found comfort in her iconic characters after the heartbreaking deaths of her parents.
Lana, who created the hit franchise with sister Lilly, revived Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) in a surprise reboot of the films while going through the grief process.
"My dad died, then this friend died, then my mom died," Lana 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," she explained.
Lana leaned into the feeling of comfort, even as fans are still wondering how the beloved characters are alive again in the fourth film.
"It was immediately comforting to have these two characters alive again, and it's super simple," she continued. "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."
Jasin Boland/Warner Bros.
It's not the first time the sisters have found comfort in their hit franchise.
Lana's sister Lilly previously confirmed in a video for Netflix that that the iconic film franchise had an implicit trans narrative she and her sister worked to incorporate. Both sisters are trans women.
"I'm glad that it has gotten out that that was the original intention," Lilly said. "The corporate world wasn't ready for it."
The Matrix follows Neo (Keanu Reeves) as a hacker who is trapped inside a simulated reality called the Matrix. He breaks out when offered a chance by Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and battles an evil program to free those enslaved in the Matrix.
"I love how meaningful those films are to trans people in the way they come up to me and say, 'These movies save my life' because when you talk about transformation, specifically in the world of science fiction which is just about imagination and world-building and the idea of the seemingly impossible becoming possible, that's why it speaks to them so much," Lilly said.
Warner Bros/Village Roadshow Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock Keanu Reeves in The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Lilly previously opened up about her choice to step away from the movie's fourth film after Lana came to her with the idea. Lilly, who announced she transitioned in 2016, said she couldn't handle so many things at once.
"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."