‘Matrix’ Director Lana Wachowski Rocks Transgendered in a Cis System

A new normal is on the horizon, so close that it’s in the ‘Cloud Atlas.’

Co-directors Tom, Lana and Andy are all demonstrably happy with the way things have turned out for ‘Cloud Atlas.’

Jul 31, 2012
Allan MacDonell is TakePart’s News + Opinion editor, with a focus on social justice.

The upcoming genre-bending, time-twisting movie epic Cloud Atlas is unusual by Hollywood standards, and not because co-director Lana Wachowski achieved directorial superstardom with 1999’s The Matrix while still named and gendered as Larry Wachowski.

Lana, 47, began the transition process 10 years ago after separating from then-wife Thea Bloom, but here’s the actually weird thing about Cloud Atlas: It is one movie, and it has three directors.

The Wachowski siblings, Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski, the family team behind the Matrix movies, V for Vendetta and Speed Racer, have thrown their formidable talents and resources in with Tom Tykwer, German-born director of 1998’s girl-on-a-treadmill cult sensation Run Lola Run, to create a movie that has stoked fan-boy expectations while eluding categorization.

MORE: Isis King and Janet Mock on Transcending Transgender 101

Responding to uncertainties raised by Cloud Atlas’s five-minute-plus trailer, Lana, Andy and Tom have released a self-conducted panel discussion to pitch the project directly to you, the audience.

For a bit over two minutes, the Wachowski duo and Tykwer talk up the events and processes that lead to Cloud Atlas, adapted from a mind-expanding novel, Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell.

Maybe it’s that the logistics of the film are fascinating, that the big ideas are hugely engrossing, or that the three directors are so enamored of one another and their work, but 20 seconds into the pitch, the fact that one of them has transitioned from a world-famous male movie director to a world-famous female movie director is the least extraordinary aspect of the discussion.

Or maybe we’re just realizing that transgender people are as natural to this life as anybody else. Either way is good news for film fans!

So, if you’re hungry for something a little strange, gorge on the time-hopping, five-minute-plus Cloud Atlas trailer with Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant.

The movie will appear on big screens October 26.

How has your perception and acceptance of transgender people evolved? Tell the tales in COMMENTS.

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