Director: James McTeigue
Stars: Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Rupert Graves
Plot: Tells the story of Evey Hammond and her unlikely but instrumental part in bringing down the fascist government that has taken control of a futuristic Great Britain. Saved from a life-and-death situation by a man in a Guy Fawkes mask who calls himself V, she learns a general summary of V's past and, after a time, decides to help him bring down those who committed the atrocities that led to Britain being in the shape that it is in.
The domino scene, where V tips over black and red dominoes to form a giant letter V, involved 22,000 dominoes. It took 4 professional domino assemblers 200 hours to set it up.
Certain scenes within the film feature James Purefoy as V, who was originally cast in the role but replaced by Hugo Weaving four weeks into filming. Weaving's voice was simply dubbed over Purefoy's performance.
The reason the secret police are called "Fingermen" is because the New Order was arranged on the model of the human body. The Chancellor was the Head; the television station BTN was the mouth; visual and audio surveillance were the Eye and the Ear; Inspector Finch was part of The Nose, the police force, and Creedy's secret police were the Hand.
During the introduction of V to Evey, starting with "Voila" and ending with "coincidence", V uses words that begin with "V" 48 times. Also, the total number of v's in the statement is 55.
Evey mentions to Gordon Dietrich that "eggie in the basket" is the same breakfast V made for her the first morning she spent at his place. She fails to mention (or doesn't notice) that Dietrich and V also both greeted her in exactly the same way, not with "good morning" but with, "bonjour mademoiselle." Also, Stan Getz is playing in the background in both instances.
Natalie Portman looked forward to shaving her head bald, saying she'd wanted to do that for a long time.
The original comic series was originally created by Alan Moore. However, following his negative experience with From Hell (2001) and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), Moore decided to reject all money and credit from Hollywood on any adaptations of his work. Thus, he gave all the money he would've gotten to the artist who drew the character with him, and rejected his own "created by" credit from the film.
V wears a mask in the guise of Guy Fawkes who is most famous for his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, which he was placed in charge of executing due to his military and explosives experience. The plot, masterminded by Robert Catesby, was a failed attempt by a group of provincial English Roman Catholic conspirators to kill King James the First of England (the Sixth of Scotland), his family, and most of the Protestant aristocracy in one swoop by blowing up the Houses of Parliament during its State Opening.
The plot of the film is remotely similar to that of the Alexandre Dumas père novel 'The Count of Monte Cristo' as both stories revolve around characters who escape from imprisonment and proceed in seeking revenge on all of those responsible for their incarceration.
In the original graphic novel, V's cause was anarchy, not freedom. Alan Moore was very critical of the movie for changing what he called the "anarchy vs. fascism" structure of his graphic novel into what he saw as an exploration of "American neo-liberalism vs. American neo-conservatism" that should have been set in the U.S. instead of Britain.
The Guy Fawkes mask, which V wears in the film, inspired the appearance of the computer hacking group "Anonymous".
Hugo Weaving based his accent on Harold Wilson, British Prime Minister from 1964-1970 and 1974-1976.
In the memorial for those that died as a result of the virus, the statues are of children playing "Ring a Ring o' Roses". It is often assumed that the nursery rhyme was created in reference to the Great Plague of the mid 17th century, however this connection is considered baseless.
If you look closely to the interrogator, when Evey gets questioned, you will see that it's not only V (Hugo Weaving) who is shown. The first and last interrogation are being done by Creedy and it is him how stands in the door while telling here she is been sentenced to dead. At the end when the interrogator "begs" her for information, it's Weaving again.
Prior to shooting the movie, director James McTeigue studied the Gillo Pontecorvo film The Battle of Algiers (1966)
The movie omits or changes several important details in order to make V and his actions more morally appealing. Also, the government, while more sinister in the film, is at the same time less human, with the authorities in the graphic novel being more complex. For instance, chancellor Sutler (Adam Susan in the novel) is an awkward and timid man who sincerely believes in fascism and leaves all important decisions to F.A.T.E., a supercomputer also absent in the movie. V, on the other side, is way more violent and less selective in who he kills, often murdering innocents in the process. His aim is not liberty, but anarchy, and he is actually abusive with Evey, an illiterate 16-year-old prostitute in the novel. Gordon Deitrich is a criminal -and Evey's lover- and he is killed by another criminal. Also, the central plot of the movie of the government actually targeting the population with a virus attack is not present in the book, and while it is hinted that a nuclear war happened, the ones responsible are left unseen. All these changes infuriated Allan Moore, who claimed that the fascist government in his work had been "defanged", and refused to have any credit for the film.
There is a duality in the movie between V and Evey. As it is shown at the beginning of the movie, V was created through fire (laboratory fire scene), signifying destruction and vengeance. In contrast, Evey is reborn through water (rooftop scene), signifying rebirth and forgiveness. The movie ends with V's death, symbolizing the end of suffering and vengeance, leaving room for Evey and forgiveness. And so destruction yields to rebirth.
When the commandos capture Evey outside Dietrich's house, one commando is obviously V. If you look closely, you can see burnt flesh through the eye holes in the commando's mask for a split second.
In the end where the people remove their masks, you can see briefly characters who have died in the movie, including the girl with glasses, Deitrich and Valerie, suggesting that their cause and their memory live on.
There are repeated references to the letter "V" and the number five throughout the film. For example, V's introductory monologue to Evey begins and ends with "V", has five sentences, and contains 49 words that begin with "V". Similar references are made through V's background, choice of words and action. V is held in Larkhill cell number "V". A favorite Latin phrase of V's is said to be from "Faust" but in fact was a motto of the notorious occultist Aleister Crowley: "Vi Veri Vniversum Vivus Vici" ("By the power of truth, I, a living man, have conquered the universe". The word "Vniversum" is mis-spelled in the movie and original comic as Veniversum). In a dance with Evey, the song V chooses is number five on his jukebox, though all the songs on his jukebox are numbered "5". When V confronts Creedy in his home, he plays Beethoven's "Fifth" Symphony, whose opening notes have a rhythmic pattern that resembles the letter "V" in Morse code (...-). The Symphony's opening was used as a call-sign in the European broadcasts of the BBC during World War II in reference to Winston Churchill's "V for Victory". The film's title itself, is also a reference to "V for Victory". In the battle with Creedy and his men at Victoria station, V forms a "V" with his daggers just before he throws them. After the battle, when V is mortally wounded, he leaves a "V" signature in his own blood. The destruction of Parliament results in a display of fireworks which form the letter "V" (just like at the beginning with Old Bailey), which is also an inverted red-on-black "A" symbol for anarchy. Like the Old Bailey and Larkhill, Parliament was destroyed on the fifth of November. Also, Big Ben shows the start of the group of Vs at 11:05 pm, creating a giant V on the clock face. 11:05 is also the month and day format for the 5th of November. The fireworks at the end of the movie also form the letter V. It is also noted that in roman numerals, the number 5 is represented by a V symbol.