Watch: All the Differences Between the V for Vendetta Graphic Novel and Film

Friday, 02 October 2015 - 3:14PM
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Friday, 02 October 2015 - 3:14PM
Watch: All the Differences Between the V for Vendetta Graphic Novel and Film
Alan Moore famously disassociated himself from the film version of V for Vendetta, which starred Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman, on the basis that the Wachowskis had changed the core theme of the graphic novel (granted, he had never actually seen the movie). But how different is the film version exactly? Cinefix went through the film and crafted a fascinating 14-minute video tracking all of the major and minor changes, particularly in regards to the political overtones:



The official description for the video reads:

Opening quote
V for Vendetta is a story that pits anarchism against fascism. Main character V is a revolutionary with big plans to take down the government, who takes on a protege, Evey Hammond, in an attempt to create his successor. The book and film have many similarities, both dealing with government oppression and the backlash that it causes, but some of the biggest differences can be seen with the change in themes from fascism vs anarchism to liberalism vs neo-conservativism. At that, it's time pull back the proverbial shower curtain on all the differences between the book and the film.
Closing quote


The filmmakers never denied that the political context had changed between the book and the film, as Moore is a British writer, while V for Vendetta is an American film, and the two works came out almost two decades apart. While Moore wrote the graphic novel in 1988 as a reaction to Margaret Thatcher's administration, it can be read in any time period as a general indictment of big government. By the time the Wachowskis made the film in 2006, it became a critique of the Bush administration, especially the Patriot Act. This can be seen in certain details that were added for the film that did not appear in the comics; for example, the people sent to internment camps had black bags over their heads, a clear reference to the famous photos of Guantanamo Bay detainees.

The settings are also significantly different; while the film retains the general concept of a post-apocalyptic dystopia involving a totalitarian government, the graphic novel takes place in a 1997 world that has been ravaged by nuclear war, and the movie takes place in 2020 in the midst of a pandemic. 

It's difficult to say whether this means the film wasn't "faithful" to the novel; political themes can be applicable in various contexts, albeit with a few nuances changed. It makes sense that the Wachowskis would want to make the film more timely and relevant to their American audience, although since they're openly admitting that they changed the political themes somewhat, it's easy to see why Moore would have objections.

Via Geek Tyrant.
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