Lana Wachowski (Director) – Overview, Biography

Name:Lana Wachowski
Occupation: Director
Birth Day: June 21,
Age: 55
Birth Place: Chicago,
United States
Zodiac Sign:Cancer

Lana Wachowski

Lana Wachowski was born on June 21, 1965 in Chicago, United States (55 years old). Lana Wachowski is a Director, zodiac sign: Cancer. Nationality: United States. Approx. Net Worth: $125 Million. With the net worth of $125 Million, Lana Wachowski is the # richest person on earth all the time in our database.

Brief Info

Writer and director alongside her sister Lilly Wachowski who is best known for creating The Matrix trilogy. Lana Wachowski and Lilly also directed Speed RacerCloud Atlas and Jupiter Ascending


Lana Wachowski and Lilly created the Netflix original series Sense8. Lana Wachowski received the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award.

Net Worth 2020

$125 Million
Find out more about Lana Wachowski net worth here.


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Before Fame

Lana Wachowski was born Laurence Wachowski and began undergoing gender transitioning in the early 2000s. Lana Wachowski’s full transition was revealed in 2008.


Biography Timeline


Lana was born Laurence Wachowski in Chicago in 1965; Lilly was born Andrew Paul Wachowski two and a half years later, in 1967. Their mother, Lynne (née Luckinbill), was a nurse and painter. Their father, Ron Wachowski, was a businessman of Polish descent. Their uncle is the actor and Primetime Emmy Award-winning producer Laurence Luckinbill. They have two other sisters: Julie and Laura. Julie was credited as assistant coordinator in the film Bound; she is a novelist and screenwriter.


The Wachowskis returned to directing with Speed Racer (2008) which starred Emile Hirsch. The film, which was again produced by Silver, was an adaptation of a 1960s Japanese manga series originally called Mach GoGoGo, which had previously been adapted as an anime television series in 1967. The Wachowskis were attracted to the project because the series was the first anime they had watched and they wanted to make a family-friendly film for their nieces and nephews to enjoy. In an effort to simulate the look of anime in live action the Wachowskis had cinematographer David Tattersall shoot the movie digitally on a digital backlot with the intention of adding extensive visual effects in post-production. The movie was considered a critical and commercial disappointment. While its special effects were noted as outstanding, the storyline is considered lacking. It was nominated in the category of “Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel” for the 29th Golden Raspberry Awards. Its box office gross was $93 million compared to a production budget of $120 million. Since then, critics periodically have put the film on lists of underrated or cult films.


The Wachowskis attended the Kellogg Elementary School in Chicago’s Beverly area, and graduated from Whitney Young High School, known for its performing arts and science curriculum, in 1983 and 1985, respectively. Former classmates recall them playing Dungeons & Dragons and working in the school’s theater and TV program.


Lilly married Alisa Blasingame in 1991. In 2016 Lilly mentioned having a boyfriend. In 2019, she said Mickey Ray Mahoney has now become her partner and has moved in with her. Mahoney is an adjunct professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a trans man.


Beginning in 1993 they wrote several issues of Ectokid for Marvel Comics’ Razorline imprint (created by horror novelist Clive Barker), which were credited to Lana. They also wrote for the series Clive Barker’s Hellraiser and Clive Barker’s Nightbreed for Marvel’s Epic Comics imprint.

Lana married Thea Bloom in 1993; they divorced in 2002. Lana subsequently began dating Karin Winslow; they married in 2009. Winslow is a board member of the Chicago House and Social Service Agency.


In the mid-1990s they went into film writing, including the script for Assassins in 1994, which was directed by Richard Donner and released in 1995. Warner Bros. bought the script and included two more pictures in the contract. Donner had their script “totally rewritten” by Brian Helgeland and the Wachowskis tried unsuccessfully to remove their names from the film. They say the experience gave them the perspective that they should become directors or “[they will] never survive as writers in this town”.


In 1998, in the context of explaining how they got their start in filmmaking, the Wachowskis mentioned Roger Corman’s book, How I Made A Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime, and indicated, with laughter, that they liked his movies, and began by wanting to “make a low-budget horror movie.” In the same interview, they expressed being flattered, after their first film, by comparisons to the Coen brothers, who had “made five, maybe six great movies…” at that time.


They completed The Matrix, a science fiction action film, in 1999. The movie stars Keanu Reeves as Neo, a hacker recruited by a rebellion to aid them in the fight against machines who have taken over the world and placed humanity inside a simulated reality called “the Matrix”. Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving and Joe Pantoliano also star. The movie was a critical and commercial hit for Warner Bros. It won four Academy Awards, including for “Best Visual Effects” for popularizing the bullet time visual effect. The Matrix came to be a major influence for action movies and has appeared in several “greatest science fiction films” lists. In 2012, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.”

Speaking to Bernard Weintraub of The New York Times in April 1999, the Wachowskis mention explicitly preparing for their first Matrix production by studying the works of John Woo “and other Hong Kong filmmakers”, as well as reading and rereading Homer’s Odyssey, and studying the works of John Huston, Stanley Kubrick, Fritz Lang, George Lucas, Ridley Scott, and Billy Wilder.

The Wachowskis’ first script was a thriller called Carnivore. It has been described as “a Corman-style, low-budget horror movie that dealt with cannibalism or, more specifically, rich people being eaten by cannibals”. The writing was well received and the script made the duo noticed, although interest in making the movie was low as executives told them “This is a bad idea. I can’t make this. I’m rich.” Years later, on April 6, 1999, a week after The Matrix opened in American theaters, Variety reported Trimark was looking to buy the script and were in talks with George Romero to direct it with production scheduled to begin in August. In April 2001, news of the Wachowskis producing it for Lionsgate and looking for a director surfaced again, and in August 2003 a second time, with their go-to cinematographer Bill Pope rumored to be making his directorial debut with it. The film ultimately went unproduced.

On the video game front, they had been exchanging letters with Hideo Kojima and met him during a Famitsu interview in late 1999. Metal Gear Solid was the first video game they played after finishing work on The Matrix. Candidates for an adaptation of the first Matrix movie to video game form included Kojima, Bungie and Shiny Entertainment, whose Messiah PC game impressed them. Shiny’s David Perry, who ultimately had his company develop and collaborate with them on the Enter the Matrix and The Matrix: Path of Neo video games, was impressed with their familiarity with the medium; this proved helpful during development. The Wachowskis owned both a PlayStation 2 and Xbox video game console and played several games such as Splinter Cell and Halo 2. They reportedly destroyed their Xbox during a Halo deathmatch. Actor Collin Chou recounts an instance of visiting their office and finding them playing video games on the floor. Lilly is a fan of the Death Jr. PlayStation Portable game.


In November 2000, Variety reported the Wachowskis would produce, co-create and direct second unit on a new Conan the Barbarian movie for Warner Bros. which was to be written and directed by John Milius and which could see Arnold Schwarzenegger make an appearance. The Wachowskis were planning to juggle their pre-production involvement on the movie and work on The Matrix sequels at the same time. In January 2004 it was reported that development on King Conan: Crown of Iron had stalled for years because of the Wachowskis’ involvement in The Matrix sequels and now that the movies were complete they decided to abandon the project of their own volition because of the frequent clashes they had experienced with Milius concerning the tone and direction of the movie. Lana once suggested Conan the Barbarian as her favorite movie based on comics to which Lilly also responded enthusiastically.


After its success, the Wachowskis directed two sequels back-to-back, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, both released in 2003. The Matrix Reloaded received positive critical reception, although not on the level of the original. It became a major box office hit, retaining the spot of the highest-grossing R-rated film for over a decade (until 2016’s Deadpool). The Matrix Revolutions received a mixed critical reception and performed only moderately in the box office. Although profitable, it was slightly less so compared to the original film.

During production of the first film, the Wachowskis and Spencer Lamm, who ran the film’s official website, developed comics based on the setting of the film, which were published free of charge on the website. These and a few short stories were released in three series from 1999 to 2003, with several of them (along with new material) collected in two print volumes in 2003 and 2004. The Wachowskis themselves contributed “Bits and Pieces”, a prequel to the movie that explains the origins of the Matrix, featuring illustrations by Geof Darrow, the movie’s conceptual designer. Other writers and artists that contributed to the series include Neil Gaiman, Dave Gibbons, Paul Chadwick, Ted McKeever, Poppy Z. Brite, and Steve Skroce.

Mark Miller, writing in Wired in 2003, also listed Homer, Hermann Hesse, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and philosopher Cornel West. In an interview with Gadfly in 1998 (after their first movie), the Wachowskis reiterated their influence by or enjoyment of Huston (e.g. Treasure of the Sierra Madre) and Wilder (e.g., Sunset Boulevard and Lost Weekend), and added to these the impacts of Alfred Hitchcock (e.g. Strangers on a Train and Psycho), Roman Polanski (e.g. Repulsion), and Francis Ford Coppola (the Godfather movies, and The Conversation).

In 2003, they created Burlyman Entertainment and released comic books based on The Matrix as well as two original bi-monthly series:

Rumors that Lana Wachowski was transitioning spread in the early 2000s, though neither sibling spoke directly on the subject at the time. In 2003, Gothamist reported the possible transition. In a 2007 interview, Joel Silver, the producer of numerous Wachowski films, said that the rumors concerning the transition were “all untrue”, saying that “they just don’t do interviews, so people make things up.” Crew members working on Speed Racer said similar things.


During The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, The Animatrix and Enter the Matrix production, the Wachowskis created EON Entertainment (not to be confused with Eon Productions), their production company to coordinate and direct all involved partners. It is also where the films were edited together, after the various FX vendors sent their finished work. EON’s internal VFX team, ESC, did a number of visual effect shots for the two Matrix sequels and coordinated the other vendors. ESC was shut down in summer 2004. Anarchos Productions (credited in Cloud Atlas as Anarchos Pictures) is their production company that has been billed for all their films starting with V for Vendetta up to the first season of Sense8. In the second season and following Lilly’s break from the show, Anarchos is replaced by Venus Castina Productions, a production company created by Lana Wachowski and her wife Karin Winslow. Venus Castina is an epithet of the Roman goddess Venus, who in this form, was supposedly associated with “the yearnings of feminine souls locked up in male bodies”. In the Sense8 series finale, the real book Venus Castina: Famous Female Impersonators Celestial and Human makes an appearance as the unlikely object that brought a lesbian couple together; according to Lana and the actresses that portray the couple, the duo have been based on Lana and Karin.


The Wachowskis’ next feature film was V for Vendetta, an adaptation of Alan Moore & David Lloyd’s graphic novel of the same name, starring Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving. They wrote and produced the film with Matrix producer Joel Silver, who had previously purchased the film rights to the graphic novel. The Wachowskis offered the film to James McTeigue, the first assistant director of The Matrix trilogy, as his directorial debut. Moore did not participate in the production, as he was disappointed by previous Hollywood adaptations of his work, and disagreed with differences between his graphic novel and the screenplay. Following a statement to the press by Silver that Moore was supposedly excited to learn more about the movie, Moore demanded that Silver retract it, and had his own name removed from the credits when he didn’t. The film’s controversial storyline and themes have been both criticized and praised by sociopolitical groups. It was released in 2005 and was well received critically; it was a box office success but did not rank on the scale of The Matrix films. The film popularized the image of the Guy Fawkes mask, as the version designed by David Lloyd for the graphic novel and used in the movie was adopted as a symbol by the online hacktivist group Anonymous two years later.


In 2006, Silver had the Wachowskis and McTeigue hired to revamp The Invasion for Warner Bros. The studio was disappointed in the film as produced by director Oliver Hirschbiegel and hired the Wachowskis to rewrite a portion of the script and add new action scenes, which McTeigue directed. The film, the fourth adaptation of the novel The Body Snatchers, was released in 2007 and was not a critical or box office success. The Wachowskis and McTeigue are not credited on the film.


In 2008, the Wachowskis were producing for Madhouse an animated film based on their comic book company’s Shaolin Cowboy, titled Shaolin Cowboy in The Tomb of Doom. The feature is co-directed by the comic book’s creator Geof Darrow and Seiji Mizushima, a Japanese director. When the American financiers backed out, the film was left half-finished and in need of $3 million. Darrow does not believe that the required amount of money to finish it will be found.

Lana completed her transition after Speed Racer’s release in 2008, and by at least December 2010, trade magazines and newspapers referred to her as “Lana Wachowski”, and to the duo as “Andy and Lana Wachowski.” On some documents her name is shown as Laurenca Wachowski. In July 2012, Lana made her first public appearance after transitioning, in a video discussing the creative process behind Cloud Atlas. Lana is the first major Hollywood director to come out as transgender.


The Wachowskis’ next film project was Ninja Assassin, a martial arts film starring Rain that was released in 2009. It was inspired by Rain’s fighting scene in Speed Racer. It was produced by the Wachowskis in their last involvement with Silver, and directed by McTeigue. The screenplay was written by Matthew Sand and J. Michael Straczynski, whom the Wachowskis called six weeks before filming to ask him for a total rewrite completed within a week, because they were dissatisfied with the earlier drafts and were running out of time. Ninja Assassin received negative reviews and performed lukewarmly in the theaters but respectably on home video.

In December 2009, Arianna Huffington tweeted pictures of herself on the set of “a Wachowskis movie on Iraq from the perspective of the future”. reported what the Wachowskis were doing was camera tests and shooting of test footage on the Red digital camera for a future movie, but not shooting the movie itself. In March 2010, Jesse Ventura said he had also shot for the project right before Huffington. Both of them were dressed as people from roughly 100 years in the future and they were asked to improvise without a script about the Iraq War. In May 2010, Deadline reported the movie was going to be a hard-R story that would begin in the future but move back to the then-current war in Iraq and center on the homosexual relationship between an American soldier and an Iraqi. The Wachowskis completed the script and were searching for funding to direct it. In July 2010, the movie was reported to have begun casting under the codename CN9 (or CN-9), and in August 2010 the full name was revealed as Cobalt Neural 9. In September 2010, Vulture posted additional details about the script and revealed the movie would be told in found footage-style from the perspective of digital archaeologists from the future. An estimated $20 million budget was reported although they were told a studio would “never, ever” finance it but perhaps the Wachowskis could do it themselves. In December 2010, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Salman Rushdie and Cornel West had also shot talking head sequences along with the previously reported involvement of Huffington and Ventura but the Wachowskis were looking into other movies because of troubles financing it. In September 2012, Aleksandar Hemon wrote about the making of Cloud Atlas and recalled he too was one of the people the Wachowskis had invited to interview in December 2009, to help inspire the script of Cobalt Neural 9. The last update on the film was in October 2012, when the Wachowskis were asked about it and they responded they were still keen to make it, because they had invested both financially ($5 million) and emotionally into it, even if that ends up being in a different form than film.


In December 2010, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the Wachowskis were planning to direct for Warner Bros. a script of theirs called Hood, which was a modern adaptation of the Robin Hood legend. The Wachowskis were said to be reaching out to actors, including Will Smith.


Their next directorial outing was Cloud Atlas, which was adapted from David Mitchell’s 2004 novel of the same name and starred an ensemble cast which included Tom Hanks and Halle Berry. Cloud Atlas was written and directed in collaboration with German filmmaker Tom Tykwer, to whom the Wachowskis had introduced the novel several years earlier. The filmmakers failed to secure funding from a studio (save for $20 million by Warner Bros.) and the film was produced independently after much trouble. With a budget of over $100 million it was noted as the most expensive independent movie to that date and the first attempt at a German blockbuster. The movie opened at the 37th annual Toronto International Film Festival in September 2012 to acclaim and received a loud and lengthy standing ovation. In its general release a month later, it received polarizing reviews and eventually appeared in both “Best Film” and “Worst Film” lists. Overall reviews were mixed to positive. The film received many nominations and awards, particularly for its technical aspects, including 10 nominations in the German Film Awards, out of which it won five, and five Saturn Award nominations, out of which it won two. David Mitchell liked the script of Cloud Atlas, spent some time on the set (including filming a cameo), and had a positive impression about the end result. According to the Wachowskis the movie was the hardest of their films to make, the one they are the most proud of, and the one they have been told has touched people’s lives the most. They believe Cloud Atlas will be the film for which they will be remembered.

In October 2012, Lana Wachowski received the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award. In her acceptance speech, she revealed that once during her youth, she had considered suicide because of her feelings of confusion about her gender identity. Her acceptance speech was one of the longest public appearances by either of the reclusive sisters. Lana said that, although she and Lilly had not publicly commented on her transitioning during the previous decade, it was not because she was ashamed of it, nor had she kept it a secret from her family and friends. Rather, she stated, the two are generally shy about the news media and prefer to maintain their privacy. Comparing media exposure to losing one’s virginity as an irreversible event that only happens once, the Wachowskis had tried to stay out of the public eye. They feared losing their privacy and the ability to go to public places without being noticed and harassed as celebrities.


In February 2014, Lana received the Freedom Award from Equality Illinois at their annual gala in Chicago.


The Wachowskis subsequently produced and directed Jupiter Ascending, an original space opera screenplay they wrote. The film was released in 2015. It stars Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis, and features the Wachowskis’ regular collaborators John Gaeta on visual effects and Kym Barrett on costumes. According to Deadline, the financial and critical failure of Jupiter Ascending caused their business relationship with Warner Bros, that began with The Matrix franchise, to be terminated.

Their next project was the Netflix science fiction drama series Sense8, created and written with J. Michael Straczynski. Sense8 features an international ensemble cast and was shot in multiple cities around the world. The Wachowskis directed most of the episodes of the first season, with the rest being handled by McTeigue, Tykwer, and their go-to visual effects supervisor on their movies, Dan Glass, in his directorial debut. The first season premiered in 2015 to generally positive reviews, particularly for the scale of the production and the presentation of diverse and LGBT characters and themes, winning the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Drama Series. It also received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music. After the first season, Lilly took a break from it, for what turned out to be the remainder of the series. A Christmas special was released December 23, 2016 with the remainder of the show’s second season released in May 2017. Subsequently, the third season was cancelled, and Sense8 concluded with a two-hour finale which aired in June 2018.


In June 2016, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invited the Wachowskis to join its ranks.

In March 2016, Lilly Wachowski also came out as a transgender woman, issuing a statement to the Windy City Times after a visit from a reporter from the Daily Mail newspaper, who had attempted to get an interview with her about it. In that article, she said, “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.”


Kinowerks is their pre- and post-production and effects studio, based in the Ravenswood neighbourhood of Chicago. It has been acclaimed for its green-friendly design, including solar panels, a planted roof, countertops and floors made of recycled materials, plug-in car stations, a water reuse and filtration system, skylights, and a pneumatic elevator. Roger Ebert was invited to watch a restored print of The Godfather in the Kinowerks facilities and met the Wachowskis, but he was oblivious to the fact the studio belonged to them. According to the Chicago Tribune’s Christopher Pirelli, the facility is very low-key: “an industrial building that appears neither old nor especially new” and “It could be an upscale dentist’s office” while the “inside is rather unexpected” and has numerous mementos of past film projects. On October 22, 2018, the Wachowskis announced their plans to close and list Kinowerks for $5 million.


In May 2019, it was reported that Lilly would co-write, and co-showrun the eight-episode first season of a drama comedy series called Work in Progress, created by Abby McEnany and Tim Mason for Showtime. The series premiered in December 2019. In January 2020, the series was renewed for a 10-episode second season, with which Lilly will continue to be involved.

In August 2019, it was announced that Lana would be returning to write, direct and produce the fourth installment of the Matrix series, with Reeves and Moss also reprising their roles; it will mark the first film made by only one of the Wachowskis. Instead, Lana wrote the script with David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon. The film is expected to be released in May 2021.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Lana Wachowski is 56 years, 5 months and 18 days old. Lana Wachowski will celebrate 57th birthday on a Tuesday 21st of June 2022.

Find out about Lana Wachowski birthday activities in timeline view here.

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