Volume 23, Number 03, Spring, 2005

V for Vendetta adapted for the screen

By Anders Monsen

On March 4, 2005, Andy and Larry Wachowski, along with Joel Silver announced the launch of production on the action thriller V For Vendetta, starring Natalie Portman, James Purefoy, and Stephen Rhea in Berlin, Germany. The press release stated:

Set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, V For Vendetta tells the story of a mild-mannered young woman named Evey (Natalie Portman) who is rescued from a life-and-death situation by a masked vigilante (James Purefoy) known only as “V.” Incomparably charismatic and ferociously skilled in the art of combat and deception, V ignites a revolution when he detonates two London landmarks and takes over the government-controlled airwaves, urging his fellow citizens to rise up against tyranny and oppression. As Evey uncovers the truth about V’s mysterious background, she also discovers the truth about herself – and emerges as his unlikely ally in the culmination of his plot to bring freedom and justice back to a society fraught with cruelty and corruption.

The screenplay, written by the Wachowski brothers, is based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. A finalist for the 1992 Prometheus Award, V for Vendatta will be filmed on location in Berlin and London, with a three to four month shoot. The movie will be released beginning November 4, 2005.

Portman spoke at the press conference, saying candidly, “I think this film is about the power of people to play an active role when the government is not looking after the people; the people have the right to revolt, to make their minds heard, and to speak their opinions. It is about a very oppressive regime, it’s based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and very true to that spirit of the Guy Fawkes November 5th gunpowder plot. It’s all about…governments being afraid of their people, not the people being afraid of their governments.”

The official site for the movie — vforvendetta.warnerbros.com — launched on March 4, 2005. Visitors will find the entire transcript of the press conference, the official press release, some photos of the main cast, and promises of video and news of the production.

This is not the first adaptation of Alan Moore’s work. The previous movies (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, From Hell) received lukewarm reviews, but from the producers’s statements, maybe this effort will be different. The Wachowski brothers appear to play more of a background role with this movie. V For Vendetta Director James McTeigue served as the First Assistant Director on the Wachowski brothers’ Matrix trilogy.There is no doubt that if they stick closely to the original comic book version, V for Vendetta should fuel controversy across the globe for its radical anti-government stance.

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