The Wachowskis’ 1999 science fiction epic The Matrix is being adapted for the stage, with the ambitious undertaking being spearheaded by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle.
The project, which is titled Free Your Mind, is set to be produced in Manchester, England’s £186m Factory arts venue. This venue seats 7000 people. Free Your Mind will not be your average stage show but “a large-scale immersive performance, ”utilizing “dance, music and visual effects.”
A statement about the show elaborated: “Spectacular visual effects, a cast of professional dancers and hundreds of Manchester participants will recreate some of the film’s most iconic scenes, provoking visions of an alternative future.”
Although Boyle was not attached to the creation of the original film which serves as the source material, he was moved by it. He believes it was “an extraordinarily prophetic film and a wonderfully enjoyable film.” He goes on to say: “I remember seeing the first one and, as I think was true for a lot of people, not really understanding what I was seeing, except enjoying it on a visceral level and being bewildered and intrigued on it.” The meaning of the film became clear to him over time. “And it’s not often that a film reveals itself to you over the next 10 to 15 years, which is what’s happened.”
Although most know Boyle because of his films such as Slumdog Millionaire, he is no stranger to the stage. He studied English and Drama at the University College of North Wales, while some of his many theater directing credits include Frankenstein for the National Theater, and Saved by Edward Bond at the Royal Court Theater. Boyle was born in Radcliffe, Lancashire, England, which is just 6 miles north of Manchester, so this project is a homecoming of sorts for him.