According to The Matrix Resurrections writers Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell, one of their many politically motivated goals when approaching the script for Lana Wachaowski’s latest entry in the cyberpunk franchise was to reclaim the trope of the Red Pill after, in their opinion, it was “kidnapped by the right-wing.”

Source: The Matrix Resurrections (2021), Warner Bros.

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Hemon (author, The Lazarus Project) and Mitchell (original book author, Cloud Atlas) revealed the political lens through which they wrote The Matrix Resurrections during an interview with The A.V. Club given in promotion of the film’s release.

Opining that “Resurrections is so much more specific in its aims” and “a very personal film” that touches upon such real-world topics as “Cambridge Analytica, precursors to the ‘Metaverse,’ [and] social media radicalization,” The A.V. Club staff reporter Matt Schimkowitz asked the pair of writers if said topics were things they “were talking about while writing the film,” to which Hemon replied, “We were aware because you bring it into The Pit [the self-ascribed name for Hemon, Mitchell, and Wachowski’s writing collective], all that’s happening in the world, so we talked about specific things.”

Source: The Matrix Resurrections (2021), Warner Bros.

“Things like the Red Pill/Blue Pill trope or meme and how it was kidnapped by the right-wing,” he explained. “The verb ‘to red pill’ and so on. So one thing we were mindful of is how to reclaim that trope. To renew the meaning of Red Pill/Blue Pill.”

Hemon continued, “Obviously, we weren’t involved, but the first Matrix was so present in the world while also being ahead of its time.”

“So with this movie, too, we were deeply embedded in the time, early 2019, but also we were thinking about the future,” added the writer. “I had to catch up with them on that.”

Source: The Matrix Resurrections (2021), Warner Bros.

Schimkowitz then noted that “The scenes with the Analyst [Neil Patrick Harris] were especially pointed, as “he’s using some of the terminology of right-wing radicalization like the conservative retort ‘facts don’t care about your feeling,” leading him to ask Hemon and Mitchell, “Was it empowering to write a rebuttal to the weaponization of Lana and Lilly’s work?”

Source: The Matrix Resurrections (2021), Warner Bros.

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The first to answer, Mitchell posited, “I suppose the short answer is yes. I don’t see myself as a frontline fighter in the culture war, but you also want your work to mean something, to have an ethical edge.”

“One of the many reasons I’m proud of Resurrections is it does have that,” said Mitchell. “What I’m trying to say is, I think the film has integrity, and perhaps that’s the source of the integrity.”

Source: The Matrix Resurrections (2021), Warner Bros.

Taking his turn to speak, Hemon asserted, “I concur. There is a bit of a difference between my and Mr. Mitchell’s situation in that. Well, he’s a kinder person so he doesn’t get angry as much. But largely because I live in the United States.”

“The Pit is a kind and warm space,” declared Hemon. “We don’t argue or get angry with each other. But I am infused with a need to confront some of the things that are taking place in this country. That was the case before and after.”

Source: The Matrix Resurrections (2021), Warner Bros.

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He then clarified, “But we did not set out to get into arguments with right-wingers.”

“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,” he recalled. “There’s nothing to talk about with that.”

“It’s like having debates with creationists,” Schimkowitz replied. “By inviting them to the podium, it’s a tacit endorsement that the idea is up for debate.”

Source: The Matrix Resurrections (2021), Warner Bros.

In conclusion to their discussion of the film’s politics, Hemon adamantly told Schimkowitz, “My personal position is I don’t discuss things with Nazis and fascists.”

“There’s nothing to talk about,” he maintained. “One of us is just going to be left standing, and I want it to be me and my people.”

Source: The Matrix Resurrections

What do you make of Mitchell and Hemon’s aim of reclaiming the Red Pill trope from ‘right-wingers’? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!

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    Spencer Baculi

    Spencer is the Editor for Bounding Into Comics. A life-long anime fan, comic book reader, and video game player, Spencer believes in supporting every claim with evidence and that Ben Reilly is the best version of Spider-Man. He can be found on Twitter @kabutoridermav.