V for Vendetta
(V for Vendetta)
The Fifth of November
The gunpowder treason and plot
I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot
Set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, V For Vendetta tells the story of a young working-class woman named Evey who is rescued from a life-and-death situation by a masked man known only as “V.” Profoundly complex, V is at once literary, flamboyant, tender and intellectual, a man dedicated to freeing his fellow citizens from those who have terrorized them into compliance. He is also bitter, revenge-seeking, lonely and violent, driven by a personal vendetta.
In the spirit of that rebellion, in remembrance of that day, V vows to carry out the plot that Fawkes was executed for attempting on November 5th in 1605: he will blow up Parliament. As Evey uncovers the truth about V’s mysterious past, she also discovers the truth about herself -- and emerges as his unlikely ally in the culmination of his plan to ignite a revolution, bringing freedom and justice back to a society fraught with cruelty and corruption.
V For Vendetta cautions against the dangers of corruption, control, manipulation and repression, while exploring the perils of extremism– whether it be a government abusing its power or an individual taking the law into his own hands. The film is based on the graphic novel co-created by Alan Moore and David Lloyd of the same name – V for Vendetta first appeared in Warrior, an independent monthly comic magazine published in 1981. V For Vendetta is set slightly in the future, where modern day London is still very recognizable. Creators Moore and Lloyd were influenced by the times in which they lived. “Our attitude towards Margaret Thatcher’s ultra-conservative government was one of the driving forces behind the fascist British police state we created in Vendetta,” Lloyd explains. “The destruction of this system was V’s primary reason for existence.” .
Acclaimed writer/directors Andy and Larry Wachowski, the inspired minds behind the revolutionary Matrix trilogy, were fans of Moore and Lloyd’s original work, and first wrote a screen adaptation of the graphic novel in the mid-1990s, before embarking on the Herculean task of filming the Matrix trilogy. During post-production on the second and third installments of The Matrix, the Wachowskis revisited the Vendetta script and brought it to the attention of their first assistant director, James McTeigue, with whom they had worked on all three Matrix films. McTeigue had been directing commercials at the time and was looking to transition to feature films.
In V For Vendetta, the man behind that eerily grinning mask is multifaceted actor Hugo Weaving, whose impressive and varied career includes starring roles as the deadly Agent Smith in the Matrix trilogy and as Elrond in all three installments of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well as memorable turns in the indie sensations The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Proof. Natalie Portman, who stars alongside Weaving as Evey Hammond, is the young woman in whom V awakens a latent activism. A highly accomplished young actress, Portman’s career already boasts roles in Star Wars: Episode I, II and III, as well as acclaimed performances in such films as Closer, Garden State and Everyone Says I Love You. Having previously worked with Portman as first assistant director on StarWars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, McTeigue had witnessed firsthand her incredible talent and focus. “She’s completely professional, and looks luminous,” compliments the director. “But more than anything, her fearlessness and intelligence were perfect for the role.”