Watch: Trailer for the 2020 restoration of V for Vendetta
As if 2020 couldn’t get any worse, it appears we’re living through the opening of V for Vendetta.
The plot summary of the 2006 movie has gone viral on social media today given its spooky parallels to a world reeling from the coronavirus pandemic and a massively contentious US election.
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The synopsis on Wikipedia begins: “The world is in turmoil, with the United States fractured as a result of a second civil war and a pandemic of the ‘St. Mary's Virus’ ravaging Europe.”
Some online sources — including the late Roger Ebert’s review — state the setting of the movie as specifically 2020, while others suggest 2027 or some unspecified year during the 2020s or 2030s.
These parallels were enough to spark feverish discussion on Twitter, while many also referenced the film as an annual Guy Fawkes’ Night viewing.
Remember, remember the fifth of November...
Wait, I didn’t know V for Vendetta was a documentary 🤔 pic.twitter.com/UO6PHkmkun
— Luca Fury (@FurysFightPicks) November 5, 2020
Happy V for Vendetta day....
a film (made in 2005) set in UK in the year 2020. The story of where a tyrannical government imposes restrictions on people's living following the outbreak of a virus 😷 ending in defiance by the people...... 😬 #VforVendetta pic.twitter.com/jQPt4E3uNH
— Frank | Screenwriter | Co-founder FratelliWren (@FratelliWren) November 5, 2020
At a time when the US is so divided, the UK is governed by a severe right wing party, and a virus is devastating Europe, it's perhaps poignant to remember this classic V for Vendetta quote... pic.twitter.com/TA1Wp2hoSe
— Steve Day (@SteveDayWriting) November 5, 2020
The movie follows the titular anarchist as he encourages people to wear Guy Fawkes masks and gather outside Parliament on Bonfire Night in an act of mass civil disobedience.
The masks have since become a common sight at protests and demonstrations in the real world, as well as being the hallmark of the hacker collective Anonymous.
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V for Vendetta was created in comic book form by Alan Moore and directed for the big screen by James McTeigue, working from a script penned by the Wachowski siblings.
Hugo Weaving portrays the mysterious, masked V, with Natalie Portman as the TV network employee sucked into his world.
The film earned a solid $133m (£102m) at the global box office, but has also been a consistent and considerable hit on DVD and Blu-ray, with Warner Bros also earning revenue from the sale of hundreds of thousands of Guy Fawkes masks every year.
V for Vendetta had been due for a re-release in UK cinemas around Bonfire Night, but many screenings have had to be cancelled as a result of multiplexes in England shutting their doors for the second national lockdown.
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The movie remains popular, with talk arising in 2017 of a possible TV series adaptation of the graphic novel.
It’s possible though that, in 2020, it all feels a little too close to home.
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