While director Lana Wachowski doesn’t always love opening up about her creative processes, she’s talking more as the release of The Matrix Resurrections creeps closer. And specifically about why she decided to return to the virtual world, bringing Keanu Reeves‘ Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss‘ Trinity along for the ride. Turns out, she had a powerfully personal reason.

Speaking as part of a panel on scriptwriting at the Berlin International Literature Festival (as spotted by Collider), Wachowski talked about dealing with deep grief and how that led to coming up with a basic concept for a new Matrix story.

“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,” she says. “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. It was immediately comforting to have these two characters alive again, and it’s super simple. 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.”

So far, the Resurrections team has teased us with new looks at the film, and the first proper trailer arrived with much fanfare last week. The Matrix Resurrections will finally be with us on 22 December. You can watch the panel below.

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