V for Vendetta is a 2006 American-German political thriller film directed by James McTeigue and written by the Wachowskis, based on the 1982 Vertigo graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. Hugo Weaving portrays V, an anarchist freedom fighter who attempts to ignite a revolution against the brutal fascist regime that has subjugated the dystopian United Kingdom and exterminated its opponents in concentration camps. Natalie Portman plays Evey, a working class girl caught up in V’s mission, and Stephen Rea portrays the detective leading a desperate quest to stop V.
The film was originally scheduled for release by Warner Bros. on Friday, November 4, 2005 (a day before the 400th Guy Fawkes Night), but was delayed; it opened on March 17, 2006, to positive reviews. Alan Moore, having been disappointed with the film adaptations of two of his other graphic novels, From Hell (2001) and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), refused to view the film and asked not to be credited.
V for Vendetta has been seen by many political groups as an allegory of oppression by government; libertarians and anarchists have used it to promote their beliefs. David Lloyd stated: “The Guy Fawkes mask has now become a common brand and a convenient placard to use in protest against tyranny – and I’m happy with people using it, it seems quite unique, an icon of popular culture being used this way.”