The co-writer of “The Matrix Resurrections” wants to “reclaim” the franchise’s Red Pill/Blue Pill trope after it was “kidnapped by the right-wing.”
In the original film Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus asks Keanu Reeves Neo if he wants to wake up to reality or live in ignorance in the Matrix.
“You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe,” Morpheus explains. “You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes … remember, all I’m offering is the truth, nothing more.”
Taking the red pill has since come to signify defecting from the left to embrace conservatism. In 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted “Take the red pill,” and Ivanka Trump replied, “Taken!” The original co-director of “The Matrix,” Lily Wachowski, tweeted back, “F–k both of you.”
Lily, who along with her director sister Lana, is trans, said that taking the red pill really was an allegory for transitioning, as hormone pills are red. “I’m glad that it has gotten out that that was the original intention,” she remarked after the Twitter exchange.
“The Matrix Resurrections” co-writer, Aleksandar Hemon, who worked under the Wachowski’s on the Netflix series “Sense8,” didn’t corroborate Lily’s claim, but did make an effort to take back the “red pill” in the new film.
“Things like the Red Pill/Blue Pill trope or meme and how it was kidnapped by the right-wing. The verb “to red pill” and so on,” Hemon said. “So one thing we were mindful of is how to reclaim that trope. To renew the meaning of Red Pill/Blue Pill.”
Hemon explained that he’s “infused with a need to confront” issues happening in the country, but didn’t “set out to get into arguments with right-wingers” while imagining the script.
“I think, at some point, there was a joke about Red Pill and Blue Pill, and Lana decided that she did not want to give any credence to that position, even a semblance of dialogue with that. There’s nothing to talk about with that,” he continued.
“My personal position is I don’t discuss things with Nazis and fascists. There’s nothing to talk about,” the liberal writer concluded. “One of us is just going to be left standing, and I want it to be me and my people.”
The film has been panned as “laughably bad,” a “misfire,” and “another truly horrible sequel” by critics.
“Devoid of its trademark style, action and depth, it’s a pointless follow-up that falls back on cheeky self-referentiality in order to justify its existence.” Daily Beast reviewer Nick Schager wrote.