Alan Moore might have retired from writing, but his works still continue to inspire the comic-book industry and Hollywood. Despite his explicit annoyance with his works being adapted for movies, the towering giant of comic-books has been responsible for some classics like From Hell, The Extraordinary League of Gentlemen, Watchmen, and V for Vendetta. While the first three adaptations received mixed reviews, V for Vendetta is widely acclaimed by fans of both the original comics and movies. Released back in 2005, V for Vendetta was directed by James McTeigue with a screenplay by the Wachowskis, who are best known for The Matrix Trilogy. Starring Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Stephen Fry, John Hurt, and Stephen Rea, V for Vendetta became an instant favorite, and is cited to be one of the most important works that perfectly capture the essence of government oppression. Having popularized the Guy Fawkes mask, V for Vendetta also has a few interesting details that will definitely make you go for a re-watch.
1. V Was Played By Four Different Actors
Initially, actor James Purefoy was hired to play the role of V. But after six weeks of filming, Purefoy left the movie because he couldn’t act with the mask on. As a result, Hugo Weaving was brought in. But to save costs, Purefoy’s scenes were kept and dubbed. For the stunt scenes, V for Vendetta hired Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. Stahelski has now become a popular name for his widely acclaimed John Wick franchise in which he serves as the director. David Leitch has now directed Deadpool 2, Atomic Blonde, and Hobbs & Shaw. In V for Vendetta, Chad Stahelski played him in the Larkhill scene where the double actually had to walk through real fire and David Leitch, a fight coordinator, played him during the Victoria Station fight, where instead of shooting in slow motion, he moved at normal speed and everyone else moved slowly to save money.
2. The Anti-Listening Device Was Actually A…
In the movie, the Chief Inspector of the New Scotland Yard and Minister of Investigations, Finch, uses an anti-listening device that actually is a $5 book light from the early 2000s with a red LED instead of a white one.
3. Lewis Prothero And His Dolls
In the movie, Lewis Prothero is killed by V in his bathroom. However, in the comics, Lewis Prothero is kidnapped and tortured by V. To torture him, V burns his entire doll collection which makes Prothero go senile. As a reference to Prothero’s obsession with dolls, his collection can be briefly seen moments before he gets murdered by V.
4. The Devil Lies In The Details
In V’s valiant battle with Creedy and his henchmen, he throws a knife to take down the last remaining guy. For a brief moment, his shocked expression can be seen in the reflection of the blade.
5. V’s Gallery Is His Personal Journey
In V for Vendetta, The Shadow Gallery is filled with symbols of personal transformation – a major theme of the movie. Butterflies on the wall, V watching The Count of Monte Christo, the painting “Puberty” in the background. This is also where Evey has her transformative personal revelation.
6. Evey Is Missed By The Fingermen
In the movie, everyone shows up on the monitor set by the Fingermen in the surveillance van. However, the secret police missed Evey due to carelessness, thus letting her live to see V’s plan come to fruition.
7. V’s Mirror Has A Hidden Message
In the movie, V’s mirror has a quote written in Latin. The quote is Vi Veri Vniversvm Vivus Vici, which translates into “By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe”. Interestingly, the quote has five V’s in their initials. In the Roman numeral system, V means 5, symbolizing the 5th of November gunpowder plot.
8. The Hidden Gun’s Symbolism
Filled with symbolism and allegories, V for Vendetta showcased a bible that had a gun hidden inside it, very much similar to The Shawshank Redemption. The gun hidden inside of a Bible symbolized the corrupt government that was perceived as a religious government, while it actually was responsible for many deaths undercover.
9. V’s Entrance Was Inspired By The Matrix
With a screenplay by the Wachowskis, it was quite obvious that the movie would be influenced by their most famous work, The Matrix Trilogy. When V walks into the TV studio the same way that Neo walks into the office building: boot shot followed by throwing open the trench to reveal guns (Neo) or bomb (V).
10. V Leaves A Mark With His Blood
After his brutal fight with Mr. Creedy and his henchmen, an injured V barely manages to make his way from the encounter. While he struggles to walk and uses the wall for support, V leaves a bloody mark that resembles the letter V.
11. The Timing Also Looks Like V
As V manages to inspire people to topple down the fascist government, hundreds of people wearing the Guy Fawkes mask appear as an army of V when the clock strikes 11:05 on the 5th of November. If you look closely, 11:05 on the clock resembles V.
12. V’s Mask Is Super Durable
In his first encounter with a member of the Fingermen, V’s mask was shown to be extremely durable. When a member of the Fingermen punched V in his face, the impact fractured his hand. Later in the movie when V faced Mr. Creedy and his henchmen, he survived despite getting hit on the face with bullets. The reinforced mask was stron enough to deflect bullets, and give V a fighting chance.
13. Sutler’s Dilated Pupils Were Inspired By Hitler
In the movie, John Hurt played the role of Adam Sutler, the High Chancellor of Norsefire and Britain’s authoritarian elected leader. Whenever on-screen, Sutler’s eyes were shown to be dilated, subtly hinting at drug abuse. This is particularly inspired by the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, who was addicted to stimulants at the end of the Second World War. Interestingly, John Hurt had previously played the role of Winston Smith, a victim of a dystopian and authoritarian regime in the movie adaptation of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.
14. Sutler Was Everywhere
In V for Vendetta, the UK’s currency shown briefly in the ‘Anarchy Scene’ sports the face of the High Chancellor played by John Hurt, further highlighting his inescapable presence within the film.
15. V’s Body Had Burn Marks
In V for Vendetta, after Evey’s torture, you find out that it was V all along that had her. But if you look carefully at the masked man that grabs her as she tries to leave Dietrich’s house, you can see burn scars around the eyes much like how V’s hand looks the first morning Evey is with him. Also, you can see he is wearing gloves in every scene during the torture as a further indication that it is him.
16. V Knew All About Guns
In the movie, V says “[You hope] when your guns are empty, I’m no longer standing. Because if I am, you’ll all be dead before you’ve reloaded.” Creedy still managed to reload his gun and shot him 5 times. However, his revolver capacity was 6-7 rounds, meaning he couldn’t do a full reload.
17. Deitrich’s Secret Room Was Never Uncovered
When Evey approaches Gordon after running away from Bishop, he tells her that if the government searched his house, she would be the least for his problems. He proceeds to show her the secret room which stored prohibited things such as the Quran, painting of God save the Queen, and also homoerotic photos revealing his homosexuality. After Gordon performs the satire gimmick on his show, the government/secret police raid his house. They never searched his house for anything else. If they would have found his secret room, he would have executed. Rather, he is set free and marches towards the parliament like everyone on the night of 5th November.
18. Valarie And Ruth Managed To Survive
In V For Vendetta, Valerie Page and her girlfriend Ruth who are abducted, tortured, and presumably killed as political prisoners, are revealed at the end of the film while everyone removes their masks as still being alive. However, in the comics, Valerie is executed for being a lesbian.