Lana Wachowski (born June 21, 1965; formerly known as Larry Wachowski) and Lilly Wachowski (born December 29, 1967; formerly known as Andy Wachowski) are American film and television directors, writers and producers. The sisters are both trans women. Collectively known as the Wachowskis, they have worked as a writing and directing team through most of their professional film careers.
Their first produced screenplay was the Richard Donner directed action thriller Assassins (1995), with Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas, Julianne Moore. They stated that their script was “totally rewritten” by Brian Helgeland, and that they tried to remove their names from the film but failed.
They made their directing debut with Bound (1996), with Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon, and Joe Pantalion; and achieved fame with their second film The Matrix (1999), with Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Pantoliano; a major box office success for which they won the Saturn Award for Best Director. They wrote and directed its two sequels: The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions (both in 2003), and were involved in the writing and production of other works in that franchise.
Following the commercial success of The Matrix series, they wrote and produced the 2005 film V for Vendetta (an adaptation of the graphic novel by Alan Moore & David Lloyd), with with Natalie Portman, Weaving, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, and John Hurt; and in 2008 released the film Speed Racer, with Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, John Goodman, Susan Sarandon, Matthew Fox, Roger Allam, Benno Fürmann, Hiroyuki Sanada, Rain and Richard Roundtree; a live-action adaptation of the Japanese anime series.
Their next film was Cloud Atlas (2012), with with Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, Zhou Xun, Keith David, Sarandon, and Hugh Grant; based on the novel by David Mitchell and co-written and co-directed by Tom Tykwer. The last film they worked on together was Jupiter Ascending (2015), with Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, and Douglas Booth.
They also co-created the Netflix series Sense8, with J. Michael Straczynski, which debuted in 2015; the second season of Sense8 ended the series in 2018 and was Lana’s first major creative undertaking without Lilly. Since the series finale of Sense8, the Wachowskis have been working separately on different projects: Lilly is writing and executive-producing Showtime’s Work in Progress (2019) with creators Abby McEnany and Tim Mason, while Lana is filming a fourth Matrix film planned for 2021, which she co-wrote with David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon.
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- Assassins (1995) – directed by Richard Donner – co-written with Brian Helgeland, story
- Bound (1996) – directors, writers, executive producers
- The Matrix (1999)** – directors, writers, executive producers
- The Animatrix (2003) – directed by Kōji Morimoto, Shinichiro Watanabe, Mahiro Maeda, Peter Chung, Andy Jones, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, & Takeshi Koike – co-writers, producers- anthology
- The Matrix Reloaded (2003) – directors, writers, executive producers
- The Matrix Revolutions (2003) – directors, writers, executive producers
- V for Vendetta (2005) – directed by James McTeigue – writers, producers, uncredited second unit directors
- The Invasion (2007) – directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel & James McTeigue (uncredited) – uncredited rewrites
- Speed Racer (2008)* – directors, writers, producers – last film credited as The Wachowski Brothers
- Ninja Assassin (2009)* – directed by James McTeigue – producers
- Could Atlas (2012) – co-directed & co-wrote with Tom Tykwer
- Jupiter Ascending (2015)* – directors, writers, producers – first film credited as The Wachowskis
- The Matrix 4 (2021) – directed & co-written by Lana only