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Lilly Wachowski on THE MATRIX’s Switch as a Trans Character

The Matrix is 21 years old but there’s always something new to learn. Lilly Wachowski recently spoke to Netflix Film Club about the groundbreaking film, calling its plot a trans allegory. It makes sense considering The Matrix is about escaping an oppressive place and being reborn as your authentic self.

In the clip, Wachowski talks about her original vision (alongside sister Lana Wachowski) for Switch’s characterization. Switch would have been a man in the real world and a woman in the Matrix. It’s an interesting fact considering that Lana and Lily were parsing through understanding their own identities as trans women. Wachowski says she doesn’t know how present her transness was in her brain at that time but that she (and Lana) were “existing in this space where the words didn’t exist.” Here’s what Wachowski says about the intentions for Switch and why it didn’t make the final cut.

“I’m glad that it has gotten out that, you know, that was the original intention, but the world wasn’t quite ready yet…at a corporate level. The corporate world wasn’t ready for it.”

The news about Switch isn’t necessarily new. It’s been the subject of many Reddits and general fan chatter for years. According to IMDb, actress Belinda McClory’s audition was supposed to only be for Switch’s Matrix form. Of course, McClory ends up playing the character for the entire film.

The Matrix crew stands in a room

Warner Bros. 

The Matrix didn’t reveal anything about Switch’s background. But Switch presents as androgynous. Plus, when the crew makes their way into the Matrix post-Neo’s rebirth, Switch wears a different color from everyone else. Neo, Trinity, Morpheus, Cypher, and others all wear black in the Matrix but Switch is noticeably wearing all white.

Either way, fans still understood the intention for The Matrix. It’s still having a major impact years later and shows how art can be so meaningful to people on their paths.

Featured Image: Warner Bros.