The Matrix co-creator Lilly Wachowski explains why she didn't return for Matrix 4

The Matrix (1999)
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The Matrix co-creator Lilly Wachowski has explained why she didn't return for Matrix 4, officially titled The Matrix: Resurrections.

"That's a tough one," Wachowski commented during a virtual panel for the Television Critics Association Summer Tour (H/T Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab)). "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." 

She went on to explain she "needed this time away from this industry" and wanted to "reconnect with myself as an artist." The director added: "[Lana Wachowski] had come up with this idea for another Matrix movie, and we had this talk, and it was actually – we started talking about it in between [our] dad dying and [our] mom dying, which was like five weeks apart."

She continued: "And there was something about the idea of going backward and being a part of something that I had done before that was expressly unappealing. And, 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."

The Matrix 4 sees the return of Keanu Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity, as well as Jada Pinkett-Smith as Niobe, Lambert Wilson as The Merovingian, and Daniel Bernhardt as Agent Johnson. Lana Wachowski is back to direct. 

New cast members include Christina Ricci, Jessica Henwick, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas. The first trailer debuted at CinemaCon, and sees an amnesiac Neo and Trinity meeting again for the first time.

The Matrix: Resurrections arrives this December 22 in theaters and on HBO Max in the US. While you wait, check out our guide to all of 2021's upcoming movie release dates.

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.