The Matrix 4 director Lana Wachoski says that bringing back Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) in a surprise reboot of the films helped her manage grief. She said at the International Literature Festival Berlin: “My dad died, then this friend died, then my mom died. 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.
She leaned in. “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.”
She also said that after showing the film to Reeves, “he was really blown away by it, and he said something that was typically Keanu, where it's incredibly insightful. And he's just sort of sitting there, and you don't expect some incredible revelation to come out of him at that moment, like casual brilliance just kind of rolls off of Keanu. And he was just sitting there, and he goes, 'Twenty years ago you told a story in which you described the coming twenty years and the problems of the nature of digital, virtual life and how it was going to impact us and how we think about it, and gave us a frame to be able to think about it and talk about it. And you took the same character and the same stories and the same stuff, and somehow you made it about the next twenty years.' And he was like, 'How did you do that?'”
The film will land in theaters and on HBO Max December 22nd.