13 Riotous Facts About V For Vendetta

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Based on the classic dystopian graphic novel series by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, V for Vendetta starred Hugo Weaving as V, a Guy Fawkes mask-wearing anarchist intent on destroying British Parliament in a totalitarian England of the future. Along the way he saves Evey, played by Natalie Portman, and successfully draws her into his revolutionary plans.

Here are some facts about the movie to remember, particularly on the fifth of November.

1. THE GRAPHIC NOVEL WAS INSPIRED BY MARGARET THATCHER.

“Our attitude toward Margaret Thatcher’s ultra-conservative government was one of the driving forces behind the fascist British police state we created in Vendetta,” illustrator David Lloyd explained of his and Moore’s original story, which was written in the early 1980s. “The destruction of this system was V’s primary reason for existence.”

2. THE WRITER OF ROAD HOUSE GOT THE FIRST CRACK AT ADAPTING THE STORY.

Hilary Henkin (Road House, Romeo is Bleeding) wrote an early adaptation of the graphic novel, which was singled out as one of Hollywood's best unproduced scripts in a 1993 Los Angeles Times article. Her script was described as a “wild, over-the-top saga” and a cross between Les Misérables and A Clockwork Orange. In 1998, Henkin was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing Wag the Dog (1997).

3. ANDY AND LANA WACHOWSKI WROTE A SCRIPT FOR V FOR VENDETTA BEFORE THEY WORKED ON THE MATRIX TRILOGY.

The Wachowskis acquired the rights to V for Vendetta in the mid-1990s, then promptly wrote their own screenplay. After directing the three Matrix films, the Wachowskis weren’t interested in returning to directing right away, but they did make alterations to their Vendetta script, including moving the story forward in time and making Evey older.

4. IT WAS JAMES MCTEIGUE'S DIRECTORIAL DEBUT.

James McTeigue was first assistant director on the Matrix movies, as well as on Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002), and was picked by the Wachowskis to take charge. "A lot of the filmmaking process is about trust, and at the point that those guys said, 'We want you to direct it,' they were about trusting me to go off and give it the vision it needed to be directed with, so they kind of left me alone," said McTeigue. "They were there if I needed them, and sometimes I’d go, 'Hey, what do you think about this?' and they’d put their two cents worth in, and I could either take it on board or leave it at the door."

5. ALAN MOORE DECLINED TO WATCH THE FILM, OR BE CREDITED ON IT.

Moore had read the screenplay and considered it “rubbish.” Moore believed DC Comics and the film industry had knowingly stolen from him. Conversely, David Lloyd praised the movie moments after he had seen it for the first time, declaring it a “fantastic representation” of the work they did, according to McTeigue.

6. JAMES PUREFOY WAS FIRED AS V THREE WEEKS INTO FILMING.

James Purefoy (A Knight’s Tale, Resident Evil) was allegedly not a “dynamic enough presence” for the filmmakers. Purefoy denied rumors that his departure had anything to do with being uncomfortable wearing a mask all the time and swore that “it was genuine creative differences.” He was replaced by Hugo Weaving (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, The Matrix), who broke the ice with Natalie Portman over a “very nice Thai meal.”

7. NATALIE PORTMAN AND JAMES MCTEIGUE DID SOME HOMEWORK.

McTeigue studied Gillo Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers (1966), which dived into the Algerian revolution against the French. Portman watched the documentary The Weather Underground (2002), about the late 1960s/1970s American radicals, as well as read the autobiography of former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin, who was shaped by his imprisonment by Soviets, as well as Antonia Fraser’s Faith and Treason, a book on the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

8. IT WAS MOSTLY FILMED IN GERMANY.

Producer Joel Silver claimed moving most of the production there was economically advantageous for the studio. V’s “Shadow Gallery” was filmed at Babelsberg Studio in the Berlin suburb of Potsdam, the site of Nosferatu (1922) and Metropolis (1927). John Hurt, who played High Chancellor Adam Sutler, found it “strange” to play an Adolf Hitler-type character in the middle of Berlin, sometimes in locations where Hitler gave speeches.

9. THE FILM RECEIVED UNPRECEDENTED PERMISSION TO CLOSE DOWN DOWNING STREET.

It took nine months of negotiating with 14 government departments for the filmmakers to gain permission to film on Whitehall, London's famous thoroughfare that runs from Trafalgar Square to the Parliament Buildings. The film shot three nights in a row between midnight and 5 a.m.

10. PORTMAN’S HEAD-SHAVING SCENE HAD TO BE SHOT IN ONE TAKE.

McTeigue utilized three cameras for the scene. "It was a one-shot deal, and that was the most stressful thing about the experience," said Portman. She also claimed that her shaved head made her more recognizable to onlookers.

11. THE CINEMATOGRAPHER DIED BEFORE THE FILM'S RELEASE.

Oscar-nominated cinematographer Adrian Biddle (The Princess Bride, Thelma and Louise) passed away on December 7, 2005, at the age of 53, following a heart attack. V for Vendetta, which was released in the U.S. on March 17, 2006, was his last movie.

12. IT TOOK 200 HOURS TO BUILD THE DOMINOES.

Four professional domino assemblers prepared the 22,000 dominoes in the Netherlands before the two-day shoot.

13. IT WAS SUPPOSED TO COME OUT IN TIME FOR GUY FAWKES DAY.

The plan was to release the film on November 5th—early trailers said to “remember, remember the 5th of November”—before it got delayed in post-production. Instead it came out on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, and was number one at the box office, making over $25.6 million in its first few days.

Bran Reveals Meaning of the Three-Eyed Raven and How That Impacts Future of Westeros

Helen Sloan/HBO
Helen Sloan/HBO

Earlier this year, Night King actor Vladimir Furdik confirmed that his Game of Thrones character "has a target he wants to kill," and it appears that last night's episode, "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms," may have revealed who that person is: Bran Stark, who is now the Three-Eyed Raven. In a meeting before the dead march on Winterfell, Bran says, “He’ll come for me. He’s tried before. Many times, with many Three-eyed Ravens.”

When explaining why it's him the Night King wants, Bran revealed what the Three-Eyed Raven does, and what his death would mean for Westeros.

According to Bran, the Night King's goal is "An endless night. He wants to erase this world." Bran goes on to say, "I am its memory," referring to the fact that he, as the Three-Eyed Raven, knows everything that has happened in the history of Westeros. To this, Sam Tarly replies, "Memories don’t come from books. And your stories aren’t just stories. If I wanted to erase the world of men, I’d start with you.”

The Night King was able to get his hands on Bran in a vision, and Bran is permanently marked from the encounter, which means the Night King always knows where he is. Now, Bran—guarded by Theon—will serve as bait to lure the Night King into Winterfell.

Could this be foreshadowing the fact that Bran won't see the end of the season? We'll just have to wait and see what's coming in episode three and beyond.

Game of Thrones's Episode 3 Teaser May Contain a Hidden Message from Daenerys to Jon

Helen Sloan/HBO
Helen Sloan/HBO

Season 8, episode 2 of Game of Thrones, "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms," had its fair share of moments that could have given away hints for episodes to come, like in the writers' decision to include "Jenny's Song," or in Jon Snow telling Daenerys Targaryen that they're related.

One fan theory about the fate of Westeros, however, comes from the previews for next week's episode. Posted by Reddit user IgnorantSportsFan, the theory centers around one pivotal line uttered during a conversation between Daenerys and Jon: "The dead are already here."

"That line happens between Dany and Jon, and felt super significant—but we already see the army of the dead, felt it was too obvious to be their reaction to them," the theory begins."Then it clicked: The crypt is full of dead people. All episode they keep repeating and emphasizing how safe it was in the crypt, but its GOT and we cannot have nice things. So is it possible we have old Starks rising from the crypts? Or is that too far fetched?"

The theory certainly adds up, emphasized by the reminder that there were clips included of Arya Stark fighting in the crypts.

Could the dead be rising in the crypts of Winterfell as the White Walkers rapidly approach? We'll find out soon.

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