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V FOR VENDETTA (STARRING NATALIE PORTMAN)

An adaptation of Alan Moore's graphic novel of the same name, action-heavy script was penned by the "Matrix" scribes. Their longtime first assistant director James McTeigue will make his helming debut on the pic. The Wachowskis will produce "Vendetta" with Warners-based Silver.

"Vendetta" takes place in an alternate future in which Germany wins WWII and Great Britain becomes a fascist state. A terrorist freedom fighter known only as "V" begins a violent guerrilla campaign to destroy those who've succumbed to totalitarianism, and recruits a young woman he's rescued -- or possibly kidnapped --from the secret police to join him.

PRESS CONFERENCE: March 4, 2005

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MC: I would like to welcome you on behalf of Warner Bros. and the Babelsberg Studios to a very special press conference in a very unique location. This upcoming Monday the Babelsberg Studios and this set - that will be the rooftop of the Old Bailey - will be the center of attention for one of the most anticipated movies that are currently being filmed. The Wachowski Brothers and Joel Silver have gathered an amazing team of in front of and behind the camera to bring Alan Moore’s and David Lloyd’s comic book, V FOR VENDETTA, to life.

So let’s welcome the cast and crew of V FOR VENDETTA, starting with the Director James McTeigue, Golden Globe winning actress Natalie Portman [in the role of Evey], Producer Joel Silver, actor James Purefoy [in the role of V], and last but not least, Producer Grant Hill.

Welcome to Berlin.

Mr. Silver, let’s get started straight away, you’ve been working with the Wachowski Brothers on a couple of movies; how much convincing did it actually take them to get you working on V FOR VENDETTA?

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JOEL SILVER: We worked on V FOR VENDETTA long before we made The Matrix. The Brothers had done a script for this project several years ago and they then jumped onto The Matrix and we did all those three movies. They came to me in the post-production of those movies, saying they’d like to revive that picture. James had worked very closely with us on The Matrix films and had directed all the advertising, publicity and promotional things we did for The Matrix, so the boys said why don’t we have James direct it. That was a great idea, so they went back to the script and re-crafted it and thought about what it would be like today, and they re-wrote it and brought it to the board and here we are today.

Q to Natalie Portman: Is this some sort of classic damsel in distress kind of a role; what kind of a woman are you playing?

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NATALIE PORTMAN: Definitely not a damsel in distress. Maybe she begins as a damsel in distress, and then she sort of learns how to take matters into her own hands.

Q to James McTeigue: You have worked with the Wachowski Brothers and with George Lucas; what did you learn from them?

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JAMES McTEIGUE: Well obviously they’re both - the Wachowskis and George - are both great filmmakers; it is always a pleasure to be surrounded by very intelligent filmmakers. The things that I have learnt from them I will bring into this film. They’re all great at their craft so it is a learning process the whole time.

Q to Natalie Portman: Describe a little more what this movie is about and the role you play in it.

NATALIE PORTMAN: This film is about the power of people to play an active role when the government is not looking after the people; the people have the right to revolt, to make their minds heard, and to speak their opinions. It is about a very oppressive regime, it’s based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and very true to that spirit of the Guy Fawkes November 5th gunpowder plot. It’s all about - as I’m sure you’ll hear - governments being afraid of their people, not the people being afraid of their governments.

Q to Natalie Portman: Is your character a freedom fighter or a terrorist?

NATALIE PORTMAN: That’s one of the big questions that this film raises and sparks debate about.

Q to James McTeigue: How close to the original spirit of the comic is the film going to be; what have you kept and what have you changed?

JAMES McTEIGUE: It is very close to the themes of Alan Moore’s graphic novel, however like all great adaptations for film there are things that you have to lose and things that you keep; it runs very close to what Alan Moore wrote and what he was trying to say.

Q to James McTeigue: Was there a particular reason why this is being filmed in East Germany about a totalitarian state? For example, is the architecture useful or are there many outdoor scenes, or was it a matter of economics?

JAMES McTEIGUE: Our pre-production time was very limited and Berlin, as you can see around you, has a great history of filmmaking. We wanted to come somewhere where we could start up and get going in a very short amount of time, where we knew we’d have the support, so that’s more or less why we came to Berlin. As you can see around you a lot of our work is on stages, and there are great stages here, as well as the great production value and crew we can get from here.

Q to Natalie Portman: Are you much of a comic fan, and if not what was the factor in accepting this role?

NATALIE PORTMAN: I am not a big comic person in general, but this film was just… I got it [the script] and I didn’t expect to leave with days and days and days of thinking about it, and thinking about all the questions it brought up: the moral issues, the philosophical issues and political issues, that you think about after you read this script. It’s an amazing character too… I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s really relevant to our times I think, although unfortunately these kinds of events repeat themselves, so it’s sort of relevant to all times I suppose.

Q to Joel Silver: This movie is one of those big special effects monsters, can you talk a little bit about numbers; how much of the money will go into special effects? I see there is a big green screen over here that makes me think we can expect a lot of CGI.

JOEL SILVER: It’s more a kind of people centered picture than The Matrix was. There are a lot of visual effects in the movie - not so much CGI - and there’s a lot of miniature work in this picture too. We’re making the movie here and in the UK; it was economically advantageous for us to do that. There are wonderful opportunities for us now to make these pictures in these kinds of locales. We’ve shot many films in Australia, which were also good to shoot there as well, but we do need the architecture in the UK and we do need exterior sets and locations here in Germany, so it’s the perfect place to make the picture. It’s not an enormously expensive movie, but it is not a low budget film either.

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Q to James Purefoy: Could you explain a little bit what you are doing in this movie and is this maybe your big break as you are the main lead of the film? I was hoping you would get a main part so you could have your biggest break through yet. Is this the movie that could deliver that for you?

JAMES PUREFOY: That’s a very good question… when you’re wearing a mask, there’s going to be a very big challenge involved for me. As you can see that mask up there is the thing that I’ll be wearing all through the movie; we’ll never see my face. I think that’s something that the fans of the comic book are going to be very pleased about: you should never see the guy’s face because it makes him infinitely more mysterious. So I’m looking forward to it, I think it’s a great acting challenge, and frankly if it was good enough for Escalus, it is good enough for me.

Q to Joel Silver: The book had three stories in ten chapters and Mr. Silver you are the master of franchise movies, so will this be a one-off movie, or is this planned as being one, two, three, four, five V FOR VENDETTAS?

JOEL SILVER: This is it; this is the story. It doesn’t go past this movie, that is the intention.

Q to Joel Silver: So you are saying the whole movie is based on the book?

JOEL SILVER: Absolutely, from the beginning to the end.

Q to Natalie Portman: You have played a lot of very different and challenging roles; what will be the challenge on this film for you?

NATALIE PORTMAN: The challenge on this film is I think for this woman is there’s a real transformation in who she is, from being someone who is very passive in her political setting, to being a much more active voice. That transformation I think is going to be the main point of interest for me working on this film.

Q to James McTeigue: It’s a comic book, so therefore it’s a virtual storyboard; is that limiting for you visually, or is that the best thing you could possibly have?

JAMES McTEIGUE: It has its advantages sometimes… if I ever got stuck for a shot I know where I could go to! It is great because the great thing about graphic novels, even though there are visuals there, it’s about you starting with that as a point and then taking it somewhere else. That’s what we’ve done with the film: we’ve tried to amalgamate all the themes that Alan Moore so brilliantly portrayed and David Lloyd the artist drew, and we’ve taken it as a leaping off point.

Q to James McTeigue: This is your first role as a Director rather than as a First Assistant Director; how do you feel about that?

JAMES McTEIGUE: I feel good about that!

Q to James McTeigue: Are you looking forward to it? Do you imagine there’ll be many problems? Do you think your previous experience is going to help?

JAMES McTEIGUE: Obviously my previous experience will help a lot. Films can sometimes be daunting, but I do have a lot of experience with small budget films to very large budget films. It’ll help in the process, it certainly won’t hinder.

Q to Natalie Portman: Evey goes through a very tough time, she is put in jail and subjected to torture, I was wondering how much of a method actress are you; will you be losing weight and shaving your head for the role?

NATALIE PORTMAN: I will be shaving my head and losing weight… not to a self endangering point, but I won’t be getting tortured at home. I will be going through a physical transformation.

Q to Joel Silver: Several movies have been made from Alan Moore’s work, but he’s been famously reluctant to get involved, and cynical about the whole process. Did you have any dialogue with Alan Moore, has he had any commentary with you about this movie, or any involvement on the actual project?

JOEL SILVER: Larry Wachowski has spoken with Alan and with David and he hasn’t been very happy with some of the movies that have been made from some of his comic books. He was very excited about what Larry had to say and Larry sent the script, so we hope to see him at some point when we’re in the UK. We’d just like him to know what we’re doing and to be involved in what we’re trying to do together.

Q to Joel Silver: How much are the production costs and how much is to be spent in Germany?

JOEL SILVER: The bulk of the movie will be shot here [in Germany], we’re shooting here for about ten of the twelve weeks, so the bulk of the production will be spent her,e and then we will be shooting for two weeks in the UK and finishing the movie in the UK. It’s a costly film, I can’t sit and give you actual budget figures, but it isn’t outrageous in that there are movies we’ve done that are far more costly. We’re very happy to have a facility here - it’s a great facility - the stages are exactly the way we want them. The craftspeople who have been working with Owen Paterson, who is our Production Designer who came from Australia and worked on the Matrix films with us, is very happy with his crews here, so I think we’ll probably end up being here again as well.

Q to Joel Silver: I have a question for Mr. Joel Silver about Alan Moore adaptations. I understand that you were also previously the producer of Watchmen, so I’d like to ask you if this is the right time to do complicated and challenging comic adaptations like V FOR VENDETTA and Watchmen; do you think post 9/11 is the perfect zeitgeist?

JOEL SILVER: I was involved with Watchmen for a while, but I am no longer involved with Watchmen. I just think that the certain matter of this project is right for now; it feels right for now, it’s a project that I think has great resonance right now. I think that the way the boys have constructed the story and they’ve crafted the characters with James and Natalie and how they’ve worked on the characters with James McTeigue the Director, it’s really the perfect time and place for this movie. Everything has just lined up great, so I’m very excited right now.

Q to Natalie Portman: What are your experiences with Germany so far, and with Berlin? Have you gotten to see anything, are you going to try weird German food while you are here; how is the German experience going to be for you?

NATALIE PORTMAN: I am very excited to spend time here, I have only been here for two days and have been working a lot so I haven’t had a chance too see anything substantial although I have had two very good restaurant experiences so far. Weird German food I don’t know about because I’m vegetarian, so it’s sort of limited to how weird I can get, but anything that is vegetarian I am willing to try. Otherwise I am really looking forward to checking out the city, it has such an incredible history and all the people I’ve met here have been really, really, really wonderful, so I’m looking forward to spending time here.

Q to Natalie Portman: As you are used to working away from home, how do you prepare for such stints here or in Australia or in England?

NATALIE PORTMAN: A lot of books, CDs, things that remind me of home, and hopefully getting my parents come visit and friends come visit, and really trying to interact with the environment, checking out the city, becoming friendly with the people we work with and forging those bonds so you have your own little family while you’re away from home.

Q to James McTeigue: Will you be seeking to put any sort of James McTeigue stamp on this film and how much creative latitude have you been given, or have you been strictly advised to stick slavishly to the original comic?

JAMES McTEIGUE: Let me answer this in two ways. Slavishly to the comic: the comic is a very dense work so in all adaptations you have to streamline it for the filmmaking process. As far as creativity: lots. There are no restrictions or bounds put on it… with the boys and with me it is the interpretation. All great films have great scripts and you’ll usually find that a great film is based on a great script, so that’s where we’re taking it from: it is a great script.

Q to Joel Silver: The original graphic novel is a very dark book, it’s not a simple pure good vs evil thing. You have fascists with homes and feelings and family, and you also have V being a terrorist and killing people, so it’s not a real simple story. How much will you have to step back from the original novel not to get an R rating for instance?

JOEL SILVER: We’re not really worried about the rating right now, we’re trying to make the best movie we can, it may be an R rating, we aren’t sure. I mean, the essence of the movie is what Natalie said, that people shouldn’t be afraid of their governments, the governments should be afraid of their people, and that’s the essence of the story and that’s what we’re going to be pursuing; that’s the story. It is a smart, intelligent piece of material but also very visual and very exciting. There is a hero and heroine and it’s really a wonderful journey that we can take with the story, and I think the audience will take the journey with us. So we’re going to venture into a magical unusual world and an unusual time and I think the movie will bode well.

Q to James Purefoy: You already said that it’s a challenging role to play V because he’s wearing a mask all the time, he is also in very good physical shape and he talks in poems and riddles all the time; how did you actually get into the vibe, into the character V, what did you do in preparation, is there anything you can do?

JAMES PUREFOY: Yes, the script is dialogue heavy really, what Joel said about it being a character based piece is absolutely true, it’s not really very effects driven in that way. He speaks a great deal, so it’s really about color of voice and the way you use the mask, and looking at Noh theatre and Kabuki theatre, and talking to mask specialists - people who know the subconscious way a mask works. There are various devices you can use to make the feelings of this man very clear to an audience. I spend a lot of time looking at myself, V, in the mirror and using different lights and different shades of light, and the way that the mask works in those different shades of light is one of the things that’s been interesting me. I fell asleep the other night with it on, which is kind of spooky because somebody called me up at about 11 o’clock and I was like… what the hell is this on my face? I was just working with it and thinking about it and I think the more I love the mask the more I’ll understand it.

Q to James McTeigue: You’re making the movie in eight months; does that put any additional pressure on you?

JAMES McTEIGUE: Yes, it does put additional pressure on, but it’s a great thing to start a movie in a year and release it within the year. There are such long gestation periods on films, and whether it’s through the process or the distribution process it’s fantastic to be able to release it within the year. The release is also for the four hundredth year anniversary of Guy Fawkes, so it seems very prescient and timely to do it, so it is really something to strive for.

Q to Joel Silver: For somebody who doesn’t know anything about this film, how do you explain it in ten seconds?

JOEL SILVER: I think we’re in a time when that’s not necessary any more. I think that there was an era where we wanted to do that, when we wanted to be able to explain something in seconds, but I think that it is more complex than that and we found with The Matrix that you couldn’t explain that in 10 second either.

Q to Joel Silver: Can you set the scene, what is this movie about?

JOEL SILVER: It’s a futuristic story, as Natalie was saying, about a totalitarian system and how the people involved in that system contribute to bring it down. It’s about how we do that and how the characters interact and how they work with each other that makes the excitement of the picture.

NATALIE PORTMAN: It takes place in futuristic London where the government is oppressive and the people help to bring it down. It’s a very human story and because it’s human it’s not black and white, it is much more complicated and ambiguous than one person is good, one person is bad, the government is good, the people are bad, or the government is bad the people are good; it’s a lot more complex.

Q to Natalie Portman: Where will you stay for these 10 weeks here in Berlin?

NATALIE PORTMAN: I have an apartment here…

JAMES PUREFOY: I think it’s very important to have an apartment… you go to make a movie in a city and you’re there for a long time, don’t stay in hotel. You can stay in hotels that feel like every other hotel in the world. It is very important to stay in an apartment so that you can involve yourself with your local community there.

Q to Natalie Portman: How do you feel about being shaven headed for the role; are you a bit apprehensive about that?

NATALIE PORTMAN: I’m really excited about it, I have been wanting to do it for a while and now I have a reason to do it for work, so that’s exciting.

Q to Joel Silver: Did the Wachoswkis ever write V for themselves to direct? What was the process there?

JOEL SILVER: When they wrote the script it was before they had directed anything, so maybe they were thinking at some point they would do that. Their intention following The Matrix was to take some time off from directing so they’re producing the picture with us… it is being produced by myself and Grant and Andy and Larry. They’re here and they’re very involved and they’re kind of support for James and they’re very anxious for James; people often do this and it’s working very well so far.

Q to Joel Silver: Why did you decide to go with James as a Director, and how did it come about?

JOEL SILVER: We had a great experience with James on the movies [The Matrix trilogy] of course and the boys were very happy to work with him through the whole process; he was important to them, they worked very closely with him. I told you when we did all the promotional and advertising areas of The Matrix James directed all that for us because the boys were just too busy to do that, although they were very involved with a lot of those things as well. They liked the way James handled that and then their solution following that was let’s take the script, let’s rewrite it, we’ll produce it, and let James direct it. It’s a great opportunity for him and it allows them to not have to be involved in a move that they want to do, and to let James step out there in front. It was fortunate that James knew Natalie before - they worked together on Star Wars - it worked out for us and I think it’s a weave of a team. Whenever we work with the Wachowski Brothers we work well together; it’s a team. I think that that team continues from Sydney here to Berlin, and it’s very effective.

Q to Natalie Portman: You have stated in various interviews that acting is not the most important thing in your life. What made you take up this movie and what are you doing with the rest of your life at the moment?

NATALIE PORTMAN: I love acting, but I think it’s always important to keep your life full and fulfilling… especially to be an actor I think you need to be a human being first and full and satisfied and complete human being, as complete as you can be. Before this I was studying in Israel for a semester doing Middle Eastern studies, and I have all my life and family and friends in New York as well so I am very, very lucky to be able to have both. I feel that one feeds the other; that my life feeds my work and gives me a lot of ideas and knowledge and the capacity to work with material that is as challenging as this.

Q to James McTeigue: Whereabouts will you be shooting in London? It’s a famously complicated and expensive place to make movies, so I presume it is location stuff you’re doing there. What are the problems involved in shooting in London also?

JAMES McTEIGUE: Our experience with London so far has been fantastic, although in the past there has probably been a reputation. Now all the film boroughs have gotten together and they’ve made the process very easy for us. We’re filming all over London, no sort of central one point that there’ll be, we’ll be pretty much all over the place there. Everyone is on side, we’ve had a couple of very big extensive meetings with the authorities over there and they’re being nothing but helpful at the moment.

Q to James McTeigue: How do you plan to raise the bar of comic book adaptations visually, and who will be doing the post production and CGI?

JAMES McTEIGUE: To raise the bar on graphic novel adaptations is to start with a great script, and we’ve got a great script, so from there I think it’ll be an easy process. On the digital front, people that were involved on The Matrix are with us, we have Dan Glass who is our Visual Effects Supervisor, and then our visual effects houses will come out of London.

Q to James McTeigue: Dealing with the issue of a revolution against a government by the people; what sort of sensitivities do you think will ultimately come into play by the time this film gets a release?

JAMES McTEIGUE: I think it’s timely for the film. I don’t think the issues have really changed that much from whether it was twenty years ago or whether it will be twenty years into the future. I think the story that we’re dealing with at the moment is forever ongoing… I don’t think it’s any more prescient right at this moment than it will be in the future, I feel very comfortable that when the film gets released we’ll probably be in exactly the same political climate.

Q to Grant Hill: We’ve been talking about the production value and V being produced and filmed in Berlin; has the German media board stepped up with some money as well, because there have been rumors.

GRANT HILL: Yes, we’ve had cooperation at all levels really, from the first time we came here to Babelsberg we've been helped through the process. We’ve had application to and been successful with the media board [Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg], we were given a subsidy of 635,000 Euros [approximately US$840,000] and we also have an application with the federal people. As Joel indicated earlier we were a film that was in a sense like a lot of these films, looking for a home at one point, we had looked at other options, Babelsberg became available, and a deal was put together that worked very well for us and with the aid of all the tradespeople here it has been fantastic.

Q to James McTeigue: How would you describe the visual style you are going for?

JAMES McTEIGUE: I like to describe it as a near futurist look. The script is very firmly set in London, it’s a London that could be now or it could be the future, so it’s as you find London at the moment; that’s how it will be visually shot through.

Q to Joel Silver: By shooting in Berlin and England, how much money do you actually save - could you give a percentage - by not producing in America and saving all the union money?

JOEL SILVER: The picture is set in kind of an alternate version of the UK, it is a fantasy world that we’re dealing with but it is based in a fantasy version of the UK, so we would have to be shooting there at some point. It worked out that we were able to shoot here in Babelsberg because they were looking to entice some big production entities to come in here and experience the facility, which was very smart of them… we haven’t started shooting yet, but it has been extremely effective and I can easily see coming back here and shooting again. It’s always hard to do that, we don’t like to discuss the figures that we spend on these movies, it’s not that you guys shouldn’t be obsessed with it, we don’t like to talk about it. We were the first major film to shoot in Australia because of the financial advantages of doing that, and it worked very well for us because we found we loved shooting there, and here we are again. It helps us make better movies, it helps us be able to do what we can for the money they want us to spend. We are living in a world cinema, so here we have a Warner Bros. movie based in the UK shooting in Berlin, so it’s pretty great.

Q to James Purefoy: I was intrigued by your story earlier of falling asleep with the mask on and going to answer the phone… I was wondering, does wearing the mask make you feel any different?

JAMES PUREFOY: It’s quite an isolating experience to tell you the truth, but then the character is very isolated. You know he has been through a great deal in his time, certainly in the graphic novel and in the film as well. He is very much the loner and that mask certainly helps the feeling.

Q to James Purefoy: Do you carry that feeling off set?

JAMES PUREFOY: No, not really off set, once the mask comes off I go back to being me. But certainly when I am wearing the mask, it’s a slightly melancholic and isolating experience, but as I say those are all reflections and parts of the man himself, he is an incredibly complex character and it’s a really great privilege to play him.

Q to James McTeigue: Could you tell us a little bit about the different sets built up here in Babelsberg?

JAMES McTEIGUE: Behind us here, as you’ve probably guessed, is a London rooftop. We have scattered around the stages various sets: Evey Hammond’s place where she lives, the V character’s shadow gallery for those who know the graphic novel, and various sort of alley ways and streets. We have quite a few stages here, and Owen Paterson our Production Designer has a very tough job filling them up and then breaking them down, and then filling them up. As he will tell you, there are a lot of sets in this movie and he is doing a fantastic job, and all the craftspeople here are doing a fantastic job helping him complete them.

Q to Joel Silver: Now that you’ve come to Berlin to film, does that mean you have moved on from Australia, or could you see yourself doing more films in Australia in the future?

JOEL SILVER: It depends on the movie. We are planning a picture (Grant and myself) that we may shoot in Australia next year, which we’re planning to that now. It depends on the movies; as the movies come together we see the best place to do them. We have to analyze each picture separately and this movie was best suited here, other movies will be best suited in LA, some in Australia. I am very clear that I do like what has happened here so far and I do think that it is some place where we would come back and shoot again.

MC: Thank you very much to the cast and crew of V FOR VENDETTA for being here, we wish you the best of luck and we’re looking forward to the release date of V FOR VENDETTA.

V FOR VENDETTA OFFICIAL WARNER BROTHERS WEBSITE

RELEASE DATES

France = 2 November 2005
USA = 4 November 2005
UK = 5 November 2005
Germany = 10 November 2005
Netherlands = 10 November 2005
Belgium = 21 December 2005
Czech Republic = 22 December 2005
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    Press Release Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

    The Wachowski Brothers and Producer Joel Silver Launch ``V For Vendetta'' Starring Natalie Portman and James Purefoy
    Friday March 4, 1:49 pm ET
    Action Thriller Based on Groundbreaking Graphic Novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

    BERLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 4, 2005--
    The Wachowski Brothers and Joel Silver, the creators and producer of the revolutionary, $1.6 billion-grossing Matrix trilogy, have launched production on the action thriller "V For Vendetta," starring Natalie Portman ("Star Wars: Episodes I-III," "Closer," "Garden State"), James Purefoy ("Vanity Fair," "Resident Evil") and Stephen Rea ("Interview With the Vampire," "The Crying Game") in Berlin, Germany.

    Produced by Joel Silver, Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski, "V For Vendetta" is directed by James McTeigue, who served as the First Assistant Director on the "Matrix" trilogy.

    Set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, "V For Vendetta" tells the story of a mild-mannered young woman named Evey (Natalie Portman) who is rescued from a life-and-death situation by a masked vigilante (James Purefoy) known only as "V." Incomparably charismatic and ferociously skilled in the art of combat and deception, V ignites a revolution when he detonates two London landmarks and takes over the government-controlled airwaves, urging his fellow citizens to rise up against tyranny and oppression. As Evey uncovers the truth about V's mysterious background, she also discovers the truth about herself -- and emerges as his unlikely ally in the culmination of his plot to bring freedom and justice back to a society fraught with cruelty and corruption.

    The screenplay by Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski is based on the acclaimed graphic novel "V For Vendetta" by Alan Moore ("The Watchmen," "From Hell") and illustrator David Lloyd. Originally published by DC Comics as a ten-part series in 1988, "V For Vendetta" has been praised for its vision, potency and eloquence. Moore is widely considered to be one of the finest comic writers of all time, and has been credited with single-handedly expanding the potential of the comic book medium with his work.

    A UK-German co-production between Warner Bros. Productions Ltd. and Funfte Babelsberg Film GmbH, "V For Vendetta" will be filmed on location in Berlin and London. "V For Vendetta" is supported by the local subsidy fund Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.

    "V For Vendetta" will be released on November 4, 2005, by Warner Bros. Pictures.

    For more information, please visit the website at http://vforvendetta.com

    Contact:

    Warner Bros. Pictures, Burbank
    Jan Craft, 818-954-2279 (Domestic)
    [email protected]
    Mic Kramer, 818-954-6597 (International)
    [email protected]
    Bronwyn Preston, 49-331-7215-776 (Unit Publicist)
  • Rea joins cast for sci-fi epic
    09/03/2005 - 12:40:46 PM

    Irish actor Stephen Rea is keeping extra busy these days.

    The star of such big-screen hits as The Crying Game has just signed to join the cast of director James McTeigue's epic sci-fi film V For Vendetta, based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Alan Moore.

    The film will be produced and directed by The Matrix team of Larry and Andy Wachowski and Joel Silver and Rea will co-star with James Purefoy and Natalie Portman in the tale of a young woman rescued from a deadly situation by a masked vigilante.

    Coming up soon for Rea are Neil Jordan's Belfast-shot Breakfast on Pluto, Tara Road for Gilles MacKinnon and Vincent Wards The River Queen.

    ARTICLE LINK

    NATALIE PORTMAN:
    I will be shaving my head and losing weight… not to a self endangering point, but I won’t be getting tortured at home. I will be going through a physical transformation.

    FOR FULL PRESS CONFERENCE COVERAGE AVAILABLE @ THE OFFICIAL V FOR VENDETTA WEBSITE You will need quicktime 6 to view the video clips on the official website. You can click here to download it for FREE.
  • Wachowskis Shoot Some V

    The Wachowski brothers, who are producing and co-wrote the upcoming film adaptation of Alan Moore's SF graphic novel V for Vendetta, will also direct some second-unit photography for the movie, producer Joel Silver told SCI FI Wire. It's the first film to be directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski since they finished their Matrix trilogy of films. Interestingly, the Wachowskis' own Matrix first assistant director, James McTeigue, makes his feature directorial debut on V for Vendetta.

    "[The Wachowskis] are shooting a unit as we speak in Berlin," Silver said in an interview. "It's a very different movie. It has elements of The Matrix, but it's very different."

    V for Vendetta stars James Purefoy (A Knight's Tale) as a mysterious freedom fighter in a dystopic future Great Britain, who takes up with a young woman (Natalie Portman), whom he rescues from the secret police.

    Silver said that the Wachowskis placed a high premium on making sure the special effects did not overwhelm the emotional content of the story. "I think you're always going to have to deal with the story, the emotional content of the story," Silver said. "I mean, it's what the stories are going to convey and what the characters are doing. I mean, yes, we can do anything with visual effects, but it's not enough just to do anything with visual effects. You've got to find a way to kind of attract the audience and get the audience to want to see the movie, and they have to be fresh and unique and original. And I think if you do that then you can make it good."

    Silver added that neither he nor the Wachowskis intended for the film to respond to critics of the last two Matrix, films, which were critically assaulted. "From all sources, [the Matrix films] made $3 billion, so it's hard to say they weren't successful or they were disappointing," Silver said. "But the audience feels the way they feel. So the boys never saw it as a continuing saga; that was the end of the story. But it's them. They're very talented guys, and they do what they want to do." V for Vendetta is filming now with an eye on a November release.

    http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire2005/index.php?category=0&id=30903

    ===================================================

    Fry Leaks V Casting

    Steven Fry told Empire Online that he is being joined by fellow British thespians John Hurt, Tim Pigott-Smith and Sinead Cusack in the Wachowski brothers' upcoming V for Vendetta, based on Alan Moore's dystopic graphic novel. James Purefoy, Natalie Portman and Stephen Rea round out the cast.

    Fry described his character. "I'm playing the character of Gordon Deitrich, who's a chat show host who questions the authority of the people who run Britain in this post-viral facist state, as it were," he told the site. He added: "I just got back from Berlin today, in fact. I've been filming there all the time, and I'm going back on Sunday."

    The Wachowski brothers are producing the film, with James McTeigue, the first assistant director on the Wachowskis' Matrix films, making his feature-film directing debut. V for Vendetta is currently shooting in Berlin with an eye to a November release.

    http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire2005/index.php?category=0&id=30881

    ===================================================

    PORTMAN TO SHAVE HEAD

    Screen beauty NATALIE PORTMAN will shaving her head for her role in upcoming film V FOR VENDETTA.

    The 23-year-old actress plays a woman who is jailed and tortured in the fantasy movie set in a post-war Britain under Nazi rule.

    Portman's demanding role involves her losing weight and ditching her luscious locks, but she is enthusiastic about undergoing the drastic "physical transformation".

    She says, "I will be shaving my head and losing weight... not to a self-endangering point, but I won't be getting tortured at home.

    "I will be going through a physical transformation."
    15/04/2005 17:33

    http://www.contactmusic.com/new/xmlfeed.nsf/mndwebpages/portman%20to%20shave%20head

    ===================================================

    Here's A PIC of Natalie Portman and her transformation and lost of weight. This is a promo cap from a Star Wars Ep 3 promotion!

    sw3np1nt.jpg
  • I'm definitely watching this movie.
  • By Gregg Kilday Sun May 8, 9:56 PM ET

    CANNES (Hollywood Reporter) - Hugo Weaving ("The Matrix") has replaced James Purefoy as the title character in the futuristic thriller "V for Vendetta," which is shooting in Berlin.
    ADVERTISEMENT

    Natalie Portman, Stephen Rea,
    Rupert Graves and
    Stephen Fry also star in the Warner Bros. project, which is set for a Nov. 4 release in North America. No reason was given for Purefoy's exit.

    Set in totalitarian Britain, "Vendetta" tells the story of a mild-mannered woman named Evey (Portman) who is rescued from a life-and-death situation by a masked vigilante known only as V, who ignites a revolution.

    The screenplay, by the "Matrix" team of Andy and Larry Wachowski, is based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Alan Moore, whose work also includes "The Watchmen" and "From Hell," and illustrator David Lloyd. James McTeigue is directing.

    Weaving played Agent Smith in the "Matrix" trilogy. He also has appeared as Elrond in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and his other credits include "The Interview," "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" and "Proof."

    Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

    http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20050509/film_nm/film_weaving_dc_1
  • From the Magazine | People
    No, It Wasn't A Bad Perm
    By REBECCA WINTERS
    SUBSCRIBE TO TIMEPRINTE-MAILMORE BY AUTHOR

    Posted Monday, May. 16, 2005

    Level-headed young NATALIE PORTMAN is anticipating a range of responses to her spare new hairdo. "Some people will think I'm a neo-Nazi," the Garden State star suspects, "or that I have cancer or I'm a lesbian." We would also like to warn her of a probable "Hey, Sin?ad!" faction. You see, this isn't like Britney Spears going brunet. Portman, the exotically coiffed Padm? Amidala in Star Wars: Episode III--Revenge of the Sith, allowed her petite pate to be shaved on camera in Berlin last week, a process she describes as "really exciting." The 23-year-old's shoulder-length chestnut locks were sheared for a prison scene in this fall's futuristic drama V for Vendetta. In this next film from the makers of the Matrix trilogy, Portman plays a suspected terrorist in a totalitarian state. Days after the shoot, she says, "I can't stop rubbing my head. It's so soft, I might keep it for a while." Hmm, a hot new bald star with action-adventure experience? Somewhere Vin Diesel's agent is quietly freaking out.

    From the May. 16, 2005 issue of TIME magazine

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1059038,00.html?promoid=rss_arts
  • baldportmanvsml7lw.jpg

    Here's a pic of Natalie Portman's BALDNESS for this movie!

    ENJOY!
  • bumping this up.... will be back within a week to post an update!!!

    but for now this will do!
    ========
    Smooth operators: Why going hairless can work

    By Donna Freydkin, USA TODAY Wed May 25, 6:39 AM ET

    In the entertainment world, what's hair today is gone tomorrow.

    Oscar nominee Natalie Portman has become the latest actress to shave her head in the line of duty for her role as freedom fighter Evey in the upcoming film V for Vendetta.

    USA TODAY's looks at celebs who have shorn their locks while superstar hair whiz Fr?d?ric Fekkai explains why each star successfully pulled off her hairless look.

    http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/usatoday/20050525/en_usatoday/smoothoperatorswhygoinghairlesscanwork
  • grabe pa rin siya sa closer
  • havent read the book...it seems i need to borrow it from my bro-in-law. maganda raw.

    strange but Moore never watch the movies based on his GN. eccentric tlg siya.
  • Natalie Portman was on MTV's TRL in the U.S.A. and premiered the trailer... IT IS GOOD! Here you can view the trailer for this movie here... but you'll need quicktime 6 to view it right.... enjoy!

    http://vforvendetta.warnerbros.com/trailer.html

    check out this poster too

    vposter22xi.jpg
  • the trailer was pretty awesome...definitely had a matrix-y dark feel to it...i wonder though why hugo weaving's name wasn't on the trailer? i guess this really is natalie's movie!
  • Heard Alan Moore wasn't too happy with how this movie's script deviated from his graphic novel. I hope it doesn't turn out to be another LXG.
  • Portman's Vendetta to keep London bomb storyline

    Producers of Natalie Portman's forthcoming film V For Vendetta have refused to edit out scenes of bombings on the London Underground train network, despite the recent terrorist attacks in the British capital.

    Fifty-five people were killed and over 700 injured when a double-decker bus and three trains were targetted by suicide bombers on July 7. Last week, one person was injured during four failed terror attacks on different underground railway lines and a bus in east London.

    In V For Vendetta, a futuristic London is the target of a terrorist attacks and sees the tube lines destroyed by bombings.

    Executive producer Joel Silver says: "It's a great time for this movie. It's a controversial film and it's a controversial time. It's going to make people think."

    Fellow producer David Lloyd adds: "In terms of what happened in London it's important to try and understand what leads people to terrorism. There should be lots of movies made about terrorists."

    Director James McTiegue explains: "Terrorism is one of those themes that never really goes away."

    http://www.examiner.ie/breaking/story.asp?j=176986710&p=y7698754x&n=176987623&x=

    Silver Talks Moore And V

    Joel Silver, producer of the upcoming feature film based on Alan Moore's V for Vendetta graphic novel, sidestepped a question from SCI FI Wire about Moore's public comments against the producer after a Warner Brothers press release incorrectly implied that Moore had endorsed the movie. "He doesn't really want to be involved in this process, so he won't be involved," Silver said in an interview at Comic-Con International in San Diego over the weekend.

    Earlier this year, a press release, quoting Silver, initially suggested that Moore had approved the script, by Larry and Andy Wachowski (the Matrix films). But when Moore publicly disavowed the film, the comments were corrected. Subsequently, Moore (Watchmen, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) cut his ties with DC Comics, which like Warner is owned by AOL Time Warner; asked that his fee be given to his V partner, artist David Lloyd; and requested that his name be removed from all publicity for the movie.

    For his part, Silver defended the movie version of Moore's graphic novel, set in a dystopic future Great Britain. "I know it's a faithful transition between the graphic novel that Alan and David [Lloyd] created and the script that the [Wachowski] boys wrote," Silver said. "And I had met Alan years ago, when we had lunch one day with Alan and [Moore's Watchmen co-creator] Dave Gibbons years ago, when we acquired these projects. But, you know, since that time, a lot has happened with other Alan Moore projects, and he just doesn't want to be involved in these projects. But David liked the script."

    Indeed, Lloyd sat beside Silver during a news conference to promote V for Vendetta at Comic-Con and offered his own endorsement of the movie.

    "He liked how it was kind of faithful to the material, and I'm happy to have him with us to talk to you about the material," Silver said. V for Vendetta, starring Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving, opens in November.

    http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire2005/index.php?category=0&id=31700

    Jack Black, Natalie Portman, Rob Zombie Animate Comic-Con
    Naomi Watts, director Bryan Singer also turn out for year's biggest comic-book event.


    SAN DIEGO — A leather-clad dominatrix, an undercover Man of Steel and a gigantic prehistoric primate reigned supreme at the 2005 Comic-Con International over the weekend.

    The four-day event, which kicked off Thursday, saw more than 100,000 fanboys (and girls) descend into the ultimate comic haven, where the star-studded lineup included Charlize Theron, Rob Zombie, Natalie Portman and Jack Black.

    "I've never been to Comic-Con [before], and it's pretty rad," said Black, who appeared with "King Kong" co-stars Naomi Watts and Adrien Brody on Saturday to promote the upcoming flick. "I just wish I had worn a mask, because dude, I got really mobbed out there."

    The cast wound down the evening by fielding questions from the audience, followed by a quick music set from Black's Tenacious D. Director Peter Jackson was a no-show as he was still working on "Kong" back in New Zealand, but he provided a taped introduction to a sneak peek of the film, which is due in theaters December 14.

    Charlize Theron, also a Comic-Con virgin, says she was warned about the enormity of the event, but still felt overwhelmed. Dressed to kill in a black lace top, pants and heels, the statuesque Oscar-winner debuted a clip from her turn as Lycra-clad, raven-haired dominatrix Aeon Flux (see "Thong? Gravity-Defying Curls? Not Quite: A First Look At Aeon Flux").

    "The fans seem really excited about the film and the couple clips we showed them, so that was really nice," Theron said after her panel was through. "[It was] pretty intense, and it was really nice to see how many people came out and supported this. I really wasn't quite prepared for that."

    Director Bryan Singer, the man behind next year's "Superman Returns" (see "At Last! Man Of Steel Photos Surface"), previewed a clip of the flick for a roomful of eager fans. No stranger to the Comic-Con madness, Singer has attended the conference for the last three years in support of "X-Men" and "X2" and has since become one of the event's main attractions.

    "The first time I went into the room [for 'X-Men'], there was about 2,000 people and they thought I was the kid changing the water for the next guest," the director said. "Now the room has 7,000 people in it, with standing ovations. I feel like it's the only chance a director gets to feel like a rock star."

    Singer flew in directly from the Australian set of "Superman." for the event. "[This is] the most significant comic-book convention in the world, and it's just a great chance to take a day or two to remind myself there are fans out there, because very often we get caught up in our cocoons of shooting and forget these things."

    Rob Zombie and Natalie Portman also made appearances to promote their respective films "The Devil's Rejects" and "V for Vendetta," and a slew of onlookers stopped by an exhibit for Tim Burton's stop-motion film "Corpse Bride."

    The event wound down Sunday with a sneak peek of Disney's "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," based on C.S. Lewis' classic children's series. During the panel, director Andrew Adamson revealed that Liam Neeson, who was tapped at the last minute for the project, has already recorded the voice parts for Aslan, the lion king. The film opens December 9.

    Check out everything we've got on "Aeon Flux," "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe," "King Kong" and "Superman Returns."

    Visit Movies on MTV.com for more from Hollywood, including news, interviews, trailers and more.

    — Brandee J. Tecson

    http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1505923/07182005/story.jhtml


    ONE-ON-ONE WITH "V FOR VENDETTA" STAR NATALIE PORTMAN
    by Jonah Weiland, Executive Producer
    Posted: July 22, 2005


    This November sees the release of the feature film adaptation of Alan Moore & David Lloyd's seminal graphic novel "V for Vendetta," which tells the story of a dystopian future London with one being who rises above it all to fight against the government and return control of their world back to the people. The film stars Natalie Portman as Evey Hammond, our protagonist who's taken on a journey of self-exploration guided by V, played by Hugo Weaving, who is effectively a terrorist fighting back against the threats of an overly aggressive government. Frankly, that description alone doesn't capture the complexities of the graphic novel, but it gives you an idea where the story is going.

    The film finished shooting last month in London, wrapping up a number of exterior shots outside the Houses of Parliament, the seat of British government. As is true with most comics-to-film productions, the fan base has cried out a bit regarding the changes that have been made with the film script written by "The Matrix" creators Larry and Andy Wachowski. It didn't help when Alan Moore very publicly slammed the script and the various changes made, nor have early script reviews from those who've read the graphic novel been all that favorable, but at the same time it must be remembered that the Wachowski's and director James McTeigue are making a movie, not a graphic novel, so changes should and have been expected.

    Thus far video and images from "V for Vendetta" have been very sparse, but today fans got their first look at the trailer to the film when it was released on the official Web site. With that in mind we thought we'd share CBR's own one-on-one interview with star Natalie Portman, conducted last week on a terrace outside the San Diego Convention Center during Comic-Con International.

    Ultimately, what was it that attracted you to the role of Evey Hammond in "V for Vendetta?"

    Well, I liked that the story wasn't preachy. It didn't tell you what to think. It has a hero that's not completely good and has a political situation with many facets. So, the story, as a whole, I felt was really respectful of a thinking audience. Also, I thought the character was interesting because she's someone who's a-political and tries to keep her hands clean in this society. She tries to stay out of trouble and conform, but then she develops a political consciousness and I found that transformation fascinating.

    You brought up the politics of the film. "V for Vendetta" is a rather incendiary story and the current worldwide political climate sees governments and ideologies battling with each other and shares some similarities to the story in the movie. Do you think the current political climate makes this a better or worse time for "V" to hit theaters?

    What the movie does is it makes you question how you justify violence or if violence can ever be justified. I think that's really important for us to consider because we have so many labels we place on things and such lingo and categorizations of violence that exist within our legal systems and they're debatable-- is a hate crime worse than a crime of intent? Is state sanctioned violence worse than individual violence? All those things are worth examining especially in an environment where we use violence as a way to solve problems. That's how the world works right now and if we can't find distinctions between these, maybe it legitimizes all violence.

    How do the recent bombings in London affect your feelings on the themes explored in this film? Suddenly there are some eerie comparisons.

    It depends. The way I think about it is that we each have some sort of threshold for violence. Some people say there's no excuse in the world for violence and would rather risk their own life than commit violence against someone else. However, I think most people would agree that even if they wouldn't commit violence against someone else, they probably would to save their child. They would risk bloodying their hands under those circumstances. Now, if you extend that to the leader of a country, maybe he or she feels that their people are their children and you'd be willing to commit violence to save or protect them. Then we have all these perceived dangers and threats in our world. I think you think violence is justified if you agree with the reasons behind it, if you agree there's a threat to someone. So, it's all really a matter of perspective and when you come to that conclusion you really can't judge any violence unless you say all violence is bad. So, especially following these recent events, the story in "V For Vendetta" asks us to reevaluate our perceptions that are often culturally formed of what is and isn't acceptable violence.

    Talk about the challenges of working against the mask worn by your co-star Hugo Weaving. When he has it on, you have little to no visual feedback from him and he's wearing that mask throughout most of the film.

    It wasn't that bad. There's a lot of feedback in the physical and vocal portrayal of the role and because my character's also wondering what's going on behind that mask-- is he smiling, sad, hurt, angry, etc.-- it helps because you imagine him a lot of different ways.

    Did Hugo end up giving a more "theatrical" style performance as a result?

    I don't think theatrical in terms of overdoing it, but yes in terms of exploring more how to use physicality and vocal performance and expressions because, like is true for audience members in the back row watching a stage play, you can't see the facial details on stage and can't rely on those for your primary cues, but there are many other cues an actor can pick up on when working together and that helped a lot.

    You've played in the realm of genre film a couple of times now, twice this year with "Star Wars" and now "V for Vendetta." Is that an area you're comfortable with and are you looking to explore it further?

    It just happened that way. I've certainly done a number of films recently that aren't genre films like "Cold Mountain" and "Closer." I think it's interesting to do different things all the time and it's exciting to see people be so passionate about these types of films. Really, people get passionate about good films and if there's a genre film that's not good, they tend to not care. They get excited because they feel an attachment to the material.

    Is playing in the world of genre films something you'd like to do more of?

    It doesn't matter to me. As long as it's interesting and can be good entertainment, I'll do it.

    Have you read the graphic novel? What did you think?

    I loved it. I read it after the script and I felt the script is very faithful to the graphic novel. Mainly, the script excised some subplots that would have made the film overly long. They [Larry & Andy] made it a bit more condensed and quick paced. It is very similar to the graphic novel and it's amazing to see how much you can fuse history, visual art, literature, politics and imagination. Moore and Lloyd really did some amazing stuff with this and the graphic novel is clearly a modern form of literary expression.

    Have you read any other graphic novels?

    No, it's something I've just been introduced to with "V," but it's definitely something I'm interested in finding more about because I think it's an amazing medium worth exploring.

    http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=5636
  • PandaemonaeonPandaemonaeon Moderator PEx Moderator
    There's a trailer already?? I thought they were still casting?

    panda23xg.gif
  • PandaemonaeonPandaemonaeon Moderator PEx Moderator
    Finally saw it. Looks great!

    Remember, remember, the fifth of November...
  • jdlcjdlc PExer
    Looks promising but I'm a bit weary with the Wachowskis. Hopefully they (along with their director) will deliver.

    Funny thing that I noticed though at 1:12 mark onwards in the trailer, they used a cue from the Batman Begins main theme. Oh yeah... Warner Brothers :D.
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