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‘The Matrix’ Co-Director Lilly Wachowski Comes Out as Transgender

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The duo formerly known as the Wachowski brothers, the creators and directors of The Matrix trilogy and the sorely underrated Speed Racer, previously became known as the Wachowski siblings when Lana Wachowski came out as a transgender woman in 2012. Now they will be known as the Wachowski sisters, as Lilly Wachowski, formerly called Andy Wachowski, has also come out as transgender.

Here’s the full statement she delivered to The Windy City Times, a paper in her hometown of Chicago:

“SEX CHANGE SHOCKER—WACHOWSKI BROTHERS NOW SISTERS!!!”

There’s the headline I’ve been waiting for this past year. Up until now with dread and/or eye rolling exasperation. The “news” has almost come out a couple of times. Each was preceded by an ominous email from my agent—reporters have been asking for statements regarding the “Andy Wachowski gender transition” story they were about to publish. In response to this threatened public outing against my will, I had a prepared a statement that was one part piss, one part vinegar and 12 parts gasoline.

It had a lot of politically relevant insights regarding the dangers of outing trans people, and the statistical horrors of transgender suicide and murder rates. Not to mention a slightly sarcastic wrap-up that “revealed” my father had injected praying mantis blood into his paternal ball-sac before conceiving each of his children to produce a brood of super women, hellbent on female domination. Okay, mega sarcastic.

But it didn’t happen. The editors of these publications didn’t print a story that was only salacious in substance and could possibly have a potentially fatal effect. And being the optimist that I am, I was happy to chalk it up to progress.

Then last night while getting ready to go out for dinner my doorbell rang. Standing on my front porch was a man I did not recognize.

“This might be a little awkward,” he said in an English accent.

I remember sighing.

Sometimes it’s really tough work to be an optimist.

He proceeded to explain he was a journalist from the Daily Mail, which was the largest news service in the UK and was most definitely not a tabloid. And that I really had to sit down with him tomorrow or the next day or next week so that I could have my picture taken and tell my story which was so inspirational! And that I really didn’t want to have someone from the National Enquirer following me around, did I? BTW—The Daily Mail is so definitely not a tabloid.

My sister Lana and I have largely avoided the press. I find talking about my art frustratingly tedious and talking about myself a wholly mortifying experience. I knew at some point I would have to come out publicly. You know, when you’re living as an out transgender person it’s … kind of difficult to hide. I just wanted—needed some time to get my head right, to feel comfortable.

But apparently I don’t get to decide this.

After he had given me his card, and I closed the door it began to dawn on me where I had heard of the Daily Mail. It was the “news” organization that had played a huge part in the national public outing of Lucy Meadows, an elementary school teacher and trans woman in the UK. An editorial in the “not-a-tabloid” demonized her as a damaging influence on the children’s delicate innocence and summarized “he’s not only trapped in the wrong body, he’s in the wrong job.” The reason I knew about her wasn’t because she was transgender it was because three months after the Daily Mail article came out, Lucy committed suicide.

And now here they were, at my front door, almost as if to say—

“There’s another one! Let’s drag ’em out in the open so we can all have a look!”

Being transgender is not easy. We live in a majority-enforced gender binary world. This means when you’re transgender you have to face the hard reality of living the rest of your life in a world that is openly hostile to you.

I am one of the lucky ones. Having the support of my family and the means to afford doctors and therapists has given me the chance to actually survive this process. Transgender people without support, means and privilege do not have this luxury. And many do not survive. In 2015, the transgender murder rate hit an all-time high in this country. A horrifying disproportionate number of the victims were trans women of color. These are only the recorded homicides so, since trans people do not all fit in the tidy gender binary statistics of murder rates, it means the actual numbers are higher.

And though we have come a long way since Silence of the Lambs, we continue to be demonized and vilified in the media where attack ads portray us as potential predators to keep us from even using the goddamn bathroom. The so-called bathroom bills that are popping up all over this country do not keep children safe, they force trans people into using bathrooms where they can be beaten and or murdered. We are not predators, we are prey.

So yeah, I’m transgender.

And yeah, I’ve transitioned.

I’m out to my friends and family. Most people at work know too. Everyone is cool with it. Yes, thanks to my fabulous sister they’ve done it before, but also because they’re fantastic people. Without the love and support of my wife and friends and family I would not be where I am today.

But these words, “transgender” and “transitioned” are hard for me because they both have lost their complexity in their assimilation into the mainstream. There is a lack of nuance of time and space. To be transgender is something largely understood as existing within the dogmatic terminus of male or female. And to “transition” imparts a sense of immediacy, a before and after from one terminus to another. But the reality, my reality is that I’ve been transitioning and will continue to transition all of my life, through the infinite that exists between male and female as it does in the infinite between the binary of zero and one. We need to elevate the dialogue beyond the simplicity of binary. Binary is a false idol.

Now, gender theory and queer theory hurt my tiny brain. The combinations of words, like freeform jazz, clang disjointed and discordant in my ears. I long for understanding of queer and gender theory but it’s a struggle as is the struggle for understanding of my own identity. I have a quote in my office though by José Muñoz given to me by a good friend. I stare at it in contemplation sometimes trying to decipher its meaning but the last sentence resonates:

“Queerness is essentially about the rejection of a here and now and an insistence on potentiality for another world.”

So I will continue to be an optimist adding my shoulder to the Sisyphean struggle of progress and in my very being, be an example of the potentiality of another world.

Lilly Wachowski

If you’re looking to educate yourself on transgender issues, check out GLAAD’s reference guide on the matter right here.

 

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James Wan to Produce ‘Train to Busan’ Remake

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Gary Dauberman will write and James Wan will produce an English-language remake of popular zombie flick ‘Train to Busan’.

Dauberman recently scripted  The Nun, and coming on the heels of his script work on the Andy Muschietti-directed It and its sequel. I’m hearing that five bidders are circling or have made bids, and that the rights package will sell this week for a seven-figure sum. New Line, Universal (which just stepped out), Paramount, Lionsgate and Screen Gems are all in the mix.

The original was directed by San-ho Yeon and was a monster hit in South Korea, grossing $85 million overseas and only $2 million in the U.S. The setup: While a zombie virus breaks out in South Korea, passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.

Though he’s not attached right now as director, Dauberman wrote Annabelle and is now directing the next installment which he also scripted. That films is at New Line, which is chasing this one like a zombie on a slow-moving human. Stay tuned.

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Disney set to use James Gunn’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3’ Script

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One of the many questions surrounding Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is whether Disney will use the script completed by writer/director James Gunn shortly before his firing in July. An early report suggested the studio likely intends to do just that, something now confirmed by the filmmaker’s brother Sean Gunn.

The actor, who plays the Ravager Kraglin and provides the motion-capture performance for Rocket Raccoon, assured Tulsa World the plan is to eventually move forward with Guardians 3, with James Gunn’s script.

“I know Disney still wants to make the movie,” he said. “I know that they have every intention of using the script that my brother wrote.”

Disney severed ties with James Gunn in July after old tweets, some dating back more than a decade, resurfaced in which he made offensive comments about rape and pedophilia. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was targeted to being production in early 2019, but last month Disney placed the project on indefinite hold

“Obviously, that was a very unfortunate situation for everybody, most of all him,” Sean Gunn told the newspaper, “but I am also somebody who had been preparing to spend half a year making that movie and now that’s up in the air. Obviously, I think it’s a tricky proposition for them to find another director to step in — and also the scheduling of a lot of other actors who are incredibly busy can’t be easy. But I know that they plan on making the movie. I had not been contacted at all for a while, but I was recently contacted by Marvel saying, ‘Yeah, we do plan to make this movie. We’re just not sure when yet.’”.

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Mel Gibson To Write, Direct The Wild Bunch Remake

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Controversial actor and director, and noted anti-Semite, Mel Gibson still somehow seems to be getting work. The What Women Want star has signed on to write and direct a remake of The Wild Bunch.

Gibson will co-write the new version of the Sam Peckinpah western with Bryan Bagby, and the feature will tell the tale of a group of legendary criminals looking for a final score during the twilight days of the great wild west.

The Wild Bunch will be the Mel Gibson’s first stab at directing since Hacksaw Ridge (back in 2016), which starred Andrew Garfield, and for which Gibson earned an Oscar nomination.

Warner Bros. have reportedly been attempting to force the feature through to the production stage for over a decade now, at one point even having Will Smith tentatively on board to star. Gibson was previously trying to get WWII thriller Destroyer into production instead, though that seems to have been put on a temporary hold.

It is currently unknown when The Wild Bunch will begin shooting, and no release date has been finalised.

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