A few months ago we repeatedly asked: Would WB treat J.K. Rowling the way DC treated Alan Moore? We may never know the answer to that one, but we can now definitely answer this: Lana and Andy Wachowski would not treat CLOUD ATLAS author David Mitchell that way.

A long, sympathetic profile of the (now) brother/sister directing duo has the following on their upcoming movie based on CLOUD ATLAS:

By August, the trio had a completed draft to send to Mitchell. The Wachowskis had had a difficult experience adapting “V for Vendetta,” from a comic book whose author, Alan Moore, hated the very idea of Hollywood adaptation and berated the project publicly. “We decided in Costa Rica that—as hard and as long as it might take to write this script—if David didn’t like it, we were just going to kill the project,” Lana said.

BTW, we’re not blaming the Wachowskis for the larger Alan Moore situation. As we mentioned in the above piece, that all goes back to old, deep wounds.

In case you’re curious —and of course you are—the piece also discusses Lana Wachowski’s personal journey:

Perhaps not coincidentally, Lana’s gender consciousness started to emerge at around the same time. In third grade, Larry transferred to a Catholic school, where boys and girls wore different uniforms and stood in separate lines before class. “I have a formative memory of walking through the girls’ line and hesitating, knowing that my clothes didn’t match,” Lana told me. “But as I continued on I felt I did not belong in the other line, so I just stopped in between them. I stood for a long moment with everyone staring at me, including the nun. She told me to get in line. I was stuck—I couldn’t move. I think some unconscious part of me figured I was exactly where I belonged: betwixt.” Larry was often bullied for his betwixtness. “As a result, I hid and found tremendous solace in books, vastly preferring imagined worlds to this world,” Lana said.

The whole piece is well worth a read…and CLOUD ATLAS, starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and many more, and co-directed by the Wachowskis and Thomas Tykwer, opens on the 28th.

PS: the piece, which as we mentioned, if very friendly towards the Wachowskis, goes over their career in depth, with even a mention of their Marvel work. But not one word about SPEED RACER. Burn. Someday that movie will be safe to love! Mark our words!


  1. I saw Speed Racer on a date, and I know the guy was absolutely baffled by what I saw in it, but I could not stop babbling about it.

    Suffice to say, he picked the movie for our next date. There Will Be Blood was good, but I was not left babbling by it.

    Can’t wait to see Cloud Atlas!

  2. While the Wachowskis definitely walked into a bad situation with V for Vendetta, and while there was probably nothing they could have done to make Alan Moore happy, I do tend to agree with his criticisms. It sucked a lot of the Britishness out of the story, and turned the opposing extremes of anarchy and fascism into more of an allegory for the modern American liberal/conservative divide.

    And the last 15 minutes is really a mess. Finch is reduced to point-of-view character who accomplishes absolutely nothing, Evey’s journey never reaches its destination — the only person who SHOULD be wearing a Guy Fawkes mask isn’t, while all the people in the streets are, because nothing says “anarchy” like 20,000 people dressed exactly alike — and dagger time.

    I guess what I’m saying is, it’s one of the best film adapatations of any Alan Moore comic.

  3. Speed Racer was a dreadfully boring movie. The plot was nonsense even for a Speed Racer story. The races are virtually the same drift race shown over and over. I saw it on a Saturday afternoon and there were maybe 8 people in the theatre (including me and my wife). My wife fell asleep before it ended.

  4. SPEED RACER is totally amazing, and I’m glad to hear others say so, too. I’m not a big Wachowskis fan but think that movie is pretty dang fantastic.

    THERE WILL BE BLOOD–that movie’s a total masterpiece. Gets deeper and stronger and more resonant every time I see it.

    And for God’s sake, the number of people who were in the theatre is no measure of whether a movie is a worthwhile piece of art.

  5. The way they kept Speed Racer moving pretty brilliant -and was much better than anything in Matrix 2 or 3 – but the character never did anything to take charge of his own movie.

  6. Speed Racer was not a great drama, like THERE WILL BE BLOOD, but it was a near-perfect fever dream of cotton candy and speed lines and monkeys and kung fu.

  7. And the last 15 minutes is really a mess.

    How about the first 15 minutes??

    In the GN the girl is poor and desperate — lives in a dump and is driven out into the street to sell herself for food – and then is accosted by the police — that is what the world has become for this (as we see) decent person – and only V can save her from last, awful blow – that is why the world of in the GN needs V.

    In the movie she is a “upwardly mobile” TV professional — she does not get attacked because she has been driven into a desperate situation – What a joke!

    The people who made the V movie seemed to have no clue what the very first scene in the GN -or the main character- or the setting – was supposed to be all about. An amazing shame.

  8. P.S. There Will Be Blood fans–THE MASTER, Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film, is showing in theatres in 70mm. I’m so excited to get to see it at the Cinerama in Seattle, I’m counting the days…

  9. I LOVED Speed Racer. It was a visionary movie that makes you wish you were 10 years old in order to be able to love it with pure passion and without any of that grown-up dissimulation that we all absorb as we become adults.

    The scene of Speed Racer racing against the ghost of his dead brother was incredible as well as the last race that definitely had a vibe of Luke closing his eyes and shooting torpedos into the exhaust vent of the Death Star.

  10. Liz – what’s the problem? The Wachowski that is now a man used to be a woman. Now brother/sister is indeed an accurate descriptor. Whether that’s relevant to the article, that’s another question.

  11. Zach, I’m not the op, but what Liz is saying is that Lana (from what I glean from this article) has always identified as a woman, even if that self-identity didn’t match how others identified her. So saying “(now) brother/sister” can rankle. I know it made me cringe a little.

    It is relevant in that it was a big part of the New Yorker article Heidi is talking about. Probably not relevant to the Speed Racer discussion that’s unfolding in the comments, but doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant altogether.

    I’m super excited to see Cloud Atlas, and the article is a great read, especially if you like the Wachowskis. They don’t usually do pieces like this, being notoriously press-shy, so it’s a real treat.

  12. It was on the day before they left Costa Rica that they had a breakthrough: they could convey the idea of eternal recurrence, which was so central to the novel, by having the same actors appear in multiple story lines—“playing souls, not characters,” in Tykwer’s words. well duh ! That’s a breakthrough??? pretty frickin basic VISUAL storytelling .

  13. The only reason I added the “Now” is because the two were commonly known as the W BROTHERS for so long, and now as the Wachowskis…But I’m sorry if it offended anyone. From the article (and from my own friendships oevr the years with a couple of people who made this transition) I know its a very profound experience to embrace one’s proper gender. It sounds like a really wonderful transition for Lana Wachowski to finally be who she should be.

  14. I absolutely didn’t take it as you being blithe about it, Heidi, I understand why you made the choice to include it.

  15. Liz Day said “Just because she only recently came out doesn’t mean she hasn’t always been what she is.”

    But in fairness it also doesn’t mean that she has. In the New Yorker profile the Beat links to she says that in third grade she had a sense of ‘betwixtness’. “I think some unconscious part of me figured I was exactly where I belonged: betwixt”. She didn’t come out to herself – and it would seem almost immediately to her family – until during the making of Matrix 2 + 3. In talking about this time she says “For years, I couldn’t even say the words ‘transgendered’ or ‘transsexual”. These aren’t synonym’s of course (and she doesn’t say in this article that she identifies as transsexual). For some transgender people identifying as such is an expression of the way they choose to respond to their situation not the expression of an essential nature.

    She has only started discussing the matter publicly this summer, and I think the New Yorker article is the first in which she talks about her situation and history in any detail. The article states that she is transgender and quotes her statement “I chose to change my exteriority to bring it closer into alignment with my interiority,” which could of course mean many things. And that’s really as much as we know.

    In the absence of any clearer sense of what being transgender means to her (which, unless she chooses to share it, is just as much not our business as the nature of any realignment she has undertaken) for us to say she was always transgender means us imposing a history and definition on her.

  16. The way Larry refers to Lana in the article doesn’t seem that far off from Heidi’s description of them:

    ” “She’s a lot easier to work with than Larry,” Andy told me. “Understandably, Larry had issues, but he could take them out on people. On me. Lana is much more open-minded.” ”

    It’s an understandably difficult issue, the way one should refer to a transgender person’s past, particularly when one can’t actually ask the person in question what they would prefer, but Heidi’s article seems to me to be clearly positive in intent.

    And given that this is the first film, I think, where they’re not billed as “The Wachowski Brothers,” but as the Wachowskis, what Heidi has written doesn’t seem inappropriate, in my opinion.

  17. I teach Principles of Video Communication at a Texas high school. Every semester I show the students Buster Keaton, Citizen Kane, Errol Morris, and Stanley Kubrick. At the end of the semester, I show them Speed Racer. It is the future of movie making.

  18. Speed Racer is the most boring movie I have ever watched. I know it has its fans, and I’m not saying my opinion should trump any of theirs’, but I don’t get the appeal…at all. It was just one long exposition where they talked about everything rather than showing it.

  19. Xi, just curious – if you don’t mind answering, as an otherkin – how do you identify yourself to others? Or how would you prefer to be identified? Are you a therian or a multiple systems? You don’t have to answer if you don’t feel like it. Just genuinely interested. Thanks.

  20. But they did treat V for Vendetta author Alan Moore that way. Also, the V for Vendetta film was dreadful, even though no film version could have succeeded that didn’t completely excise that very creepy extended brainwashing storyline.

  21. Vendetta film was dreadful, even though no film version could have succeeded that didn’t completely excise that very creepy extended brainwashing storyline.


    @Speaking as a Thetan:

    To this day movies (even mass market movies) still are full of all sorts of weird ideas – and succeed.. the REAL problem with the V movie was the people who made the movie were too lazy (or too talentless) to actually deal with the the source material from anything but the most narrow and cynical marketing prospective — and from reading your comments, I would guess you have no respect (whatsoever) for the intelligence of people who watch movie.

  22. Remember, kids, now matter how open and accepting you are, someone will complain that you weren’t using the ‘right’ words to be open and accepting enough.

  23. @bad wolf:

    And some people will only be happy when everybody else walks, talks, acts, dresses, has sex, has the same skin color, has the same hair, biases, has the same job, has the same income, thinks (including idiotic biases), talks and pisses just like them.

Comments are closed.