If you’ve never heard of the name Sophia Stewart, you’re not alone. If you have heard of the name Sophia Stewart and have strong opinions on the matter, you’re not alone either.
For those of you who are not familiar with the name, Sophia Stewart is a writer and paralegal who is referred to by some as “The Mother of Matrix.” That is because she claims she was the brilliant mind behind The Matrix and Terminator, brining lawsuit agains the creators of both films in the early 2000s.
According truthebehindmatrix.com, Sophia is: “Child prodigy, prolific writer, poet and creative genius are just a few of the terms used to describe Sophia Stewart.”
How did Hollywood cheat Sophia Stewart?
Sophia Stewart’s Claim
According to Sophia Stewart, she wrote a science fiction story titled “The Third Eye” in 1983 and copyrighted it in 1984. The unpublished work includes screen treatment, illustrations, and character analyses among other things. Sophia claims she saw an ad in a national magazine (she was unable to name the magazine) for a a science fiction competition hosted by the Wachowski brothers in 1986.
Excited to get a chance to get her work some exposure, Sophia allegedly sent in “The Third Eye” for the science fiction competition. Sophia says she neither heard back from the competition nor got her manuscript back. She moved on from the matter until 1999 hit. That year, “The Matrix” was released.
I am the owner of the Matrix and Terminator Film Franchises and the 4 Matrix Oscars belongs to me. This Oscar I hold symbolizes that truth.
The 4 Matrix Oscars won in 2000 belongs to me. pic.twitter.com/oE2kObwS32
— Sophia Stewart (@Sophia_Stewart) February 13, 2020
Sophia went to see the film with her a friend in Salt Lake City and, according to her, recognized the story as her writing. She filed a complaint with the FBI in 1999 and filed a lawsuit in 2003.
The Billion Dollar Lawsuit
In the lawsuit filed in 2003, Sophia Stewart represented herself. She went after the Wachowski brothers, Terminator director James Cameron, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, and producers Gale Anne Hurd and Joe Silver. The lawsuit was for copyright infringement, and Sophia was seeking over $1 billion in damages.
After filing the lawsuit, Sophia circulated a news release hoping to get some attention from the media. Although no major publications would pick up the story, one newspaper did.
The Globe, produced by Salt Lake Community College, run the story under the headline “‘Mother of the Matrix’ Victorious.” Soon after, the story took off and spread like wildfire. The problem was that the new article was filled with errors.
The following snippet is from the original article from Globe.
“Monday, October 4th 2004 ended a six-year dispute involving Sophia Stewart, the Wachowski Brothers, Joel Silver and Warner Brothers. Stewart’s allegations, involving copyright infringement and racketeering, were received and acknowledged by the Central District of California, Judge Margaret Morrow residing. Stewart, a New Yorker who has resided in Salt Lake City for the past five years, will recover damages from the films, The Matrix I, II and III, as well as The Terminator and its sequels. She will soon receive one of the biggest payoffs in the history of Hollywood, as the gross receipts of both films and their sequels total over 2.5 billion dollars.”
The error was that Sophia Stewart had not won her case. She simply won the temporary right to proceed with her case when the defendants made an attempt to have the case dismissed. Recognizing the error they made, Globe published the following correction:
“In reference to the recent article entitled “Mother of the Matrix Victorious,” some information has been deemed misleading. Ms. Sophia Stewart has not yet won her case against Joel Silver, Time Warner and the Wachowski Bros. The decision on October 4th enabled Ms. Stewart to proceed with her case, as all attempts to have it dismissed were unsuccessful. Ms. Stewart’s case will proceed through the Central District Court of California.”
The Problem with Sophia Stewart’s Claims
After doing some research on the matter, it should be clear to any logical person that Sophia Stewart’s story has holes. First, Sophia was not able to produce any evidence that the ad for the science fiction competition existed. There was no evidence that she had sent in her writing in 1986.
The Wachowski brothers denied that they ever posted an ad on a nation magazine for a science fiction competition. In 1986, Andy Wachowski was 18 and Larry Wachowski was 21 and in college.
Second, if Sophia Stewart is also going after Terminator, why did she not do so when the first movie came out in the 1980s? According to NPR, Sophia said while studying film at the University of California in the early ’80s, she shopped her work around Hollywood. But there was no evidence presented that she had any connection with the creators of Terminator. No work of hers was produced in court that showed undoubtable similarities with the film.
On truthebehindmatrix.com, a website clearly created by either Sophia Stewart herself or one of her supporters, there is a page titled “The Copyright Evidence.” The page showcases copyright documents for various writings including “Matrix 4: The Evolution Cracking The Genetic Codes”, “Enter The Matrix, Third Eye Movie Treatments”, and “Terminator 5”. All of the copyrights show that they were registered between 2010 and 2013, although one of them has a year of completion of 1981.
This might further confuse people into thinking she might have written these back in the ’80s or is the true writer of all The Matrix movies when in reality, these copyright documents don’t prove anything.
Did Sophia Stewart win?
The short and very straight answer is no, Sophia Stewart did not win her lawsuit against the creators of The Matrix and Terminator. In June 2005, Sophia’s case was dismissed by Judge Margaret Morrow of the Central District Court of California in a 53-page ruling.
Judge Margaret Morrow stated that no evidence was provided that the creators of The Matrix or Terminator stole any story ideas from Sophia Stewart.
If it’s a clear cut ruling and case, why is there still conspiracy lingering that Sophia Stewart is indeed the true creator of The Matrix?
There are many people, especially Black people, who wanted the story to be true. It symbolized a Black person, especially a Black woman, finally winning against the system. When Sophia Stewart spoke about how mainstream media would not give her the time of day because almost all of them were owned by Warner Brothers, some Black media embraced her. Blogs spread her story, especially the initial story on Globe that contained errors about the case.
But the story is not true. Sophia Stewart did not become the richest Black person in the country. But that did not deter her from going on several shows and publications to tell her story.
“The Third Eye” by Sophia Stewart is available on Amazon, but, according to a significant amount of the reviews, most of the “book” is simply court documents. The book description reads, “Stewart’s epic story created two of Hollywood’s biggest franchises, the Matrix and Terminator movies series and trilogy.”
The conspiracy might always float around the internet as all conspiracies do, but this is an easy one to terminate.