The Matrix Resurrections, more so than perhaps any other installment in the venerable Matrix film series, is a story centered on the relationship between Neo and Trinity. In the long-awaited sequel, Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprise their roles as the leather-coated, mirror shades-wearing resistance fighters introduced in the original Matrix trilogy, along with the return of co-creator Lana Wachowski as the film’s director. Nearly two decades have passed since the release of 2003’s The Matrix Revolutions, to say nothing of the 60 years that elapsed between the events at the end of that film and the beginning of The Matrix Resurrections.
For Resurrections co-writers David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon, both of whom previously collaborated with the Wachowskis’ on the Netflix original sci-fi series Sense8, approaching the task of writing Trinity was much a matter of addressing how the legacy and culture surrounding the franchise had transformed over the past 18 years as it was crafting the next logical step in her own arc.
“Trinity was a character in the original trilogy and a woman with such power and agency and ability,” Hemon said in an interview with Polygon. “The Matrix set a standard for female action heroes, and so in some ways we had to live up to that while also taking into account the passage of time. We had to, in some ways, update Trinity while giving her the same amount of agency she had in the first trilogy. A lot of things have changed for the better in many ways, but not entirely, for women in cinema and for women in the world. Trinity’s role had to reflect that.”
Of the many scenes throughout The Matrix Resurrections that illustrate this evolution of Trinity’s character, Mitchell and Hemon cited her and Neo’s conversation in a coffee shop as both the “beating heart” of not just her arc, but the film as a whole.
“It’s one of the quietest scenes in the whole film, where Thomas and Tiffany are simply talking, and she’s doing most of the talking,” Mitchell said. “She’s just talking about her life, its sacrifices, its disappointments, and it’s not operatic or over-the-top. It’s almost Chekhovian, if I can get away with that, how she explains the quiet disappointments in her life and he doesn’t contradict her. He doesn’t correct her, he doesn’t argue with her. He doesn’t explain anything. He just sits there, listens, and that’s quietly revolutionary. I can’t think of many films where a man does that, especially as many films with the level of action and explosions that you get in a Matrix film.”
As to the question of whether Trinity’s arc in The Matrix Resurrections was a reaction to the past 20 years of cultural evolution regarding gender relations or a decision born naturally out of the process of writing the film, Mitchell believes the answer exists between the two.
“Yes, the film is responding to what’s happened in the world with regard to gender relations, and in other ways, over the last 20 years. As it should, as art should. It’s also true that, maybe more than the trilogy, this film really is about both [Neo and Trinity] and the third thing they make, which is love. The Matrix Resurrections is an action movie, it’s a visually sumptuous all-you-can-eat feast. However, at its heart, it’s also a love story.”