Matrix creator Lilly Wachowski shares agonising reason she turned down Resurrections

Lilly Wachoswki/Keanu Reeves as Neo

The Matrix Resurrections sees writer and director Lana Wachowski reboot the beloved series – but her sister Lilly Wachowski has chosen not to return.

Almost 20 years after Neo’s story came to what felt like a definitive end in Revolutions, The Matrix is back with Keanu Reeves (Neo) and Carrie-Anne Moss (Trinity) joined by a roster of new faces.

Lana Wachowski has explained that she found herself drawn back to the world she created with her sister after the loss of their parents – but her sister Lilly has said that she found the idea of returning to the franchise “expressly unappealing”.

“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 recalled at Showtime’s TCA panel on 25 August.

“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.”

Lilly went on to explain that she was “completely exhausted” after the pressures of making Cloud Atlas, Jupiter Ascending and the first season of Sense8 back-to-back.

By the time Lana came up with the idea behind The Matrix ResurrectionsLilly had just completed her transition and was still reeling from her father’s death, so she felt she needed a fresh start on something new.

“My world was like, falling apart to some extent even while I was like, you know, cracking out of my egg,” she said. “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.”

She later threw herself into Work in Progress, a comedy that follows the life of Abby, a 46-year-old “self-identified fat, queer dyke” who suffers from depression.

“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.

“And so, like Lana made [Matrix Resurrections] for different reasons… I can’t speak for her, but that’s what I was feeling at the time.”

Asked if the sisters have any future collaboration plans, Lilly left it up in the air. “Who knows? Who knows? Maybe,” she said cryptically.

At the film’s San Francisco premiere on Sunday (19 December), Lana gave her side of the story.

“When mom and dad passed, I went to [Lilly] and said, ‘Look, this idea came to me. I can see that it’s about me working with my grief, and I was thinking, do you want to work on it together?’” she told The Hollywood Reporter.

“I thought maybe it would be cool that we go back, and we go back together and this thing that where we started. And she said: ‘I get it, I know, I see, I feel it, but this is not what I want to do. I need to do it my own way.’”

Lana added: “That’s what grief does. Grief spirals us off in different directions, and you can see that there’s a lot of mom and dad in [Lilly Wachoswki’s TV series] Work in Progress. She’s doing something similar, but not the same. I wanted to go back and feel this thing again, and she wanted to go off and do this other thing.”