Hollywood, which has heretofore adored Moore's work and turned three of his creations (the graphic novels "From Hell" and "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," as well as the supernatural investigator John Constantine) into very bad movies. Moore's densely complex 1987 graphic novel, "Watchmen" (illustrated by Dave Gibbons), has been banging around Hollywood for years (director Terry Gilliam was once attached to it), but has yet to be made. "V for Vendetta," however, the '80s series he did with artist David Lloyd, has — and Moore is not happy about it.
First I want to work in this lead off to put things into perspective. Every Hollywood attempt to do Moore's work has been horrifically botched.
MTV starts it off with a question.
MTV: But couldn't there ever be an exception? And since you haven't seen it, couldn't "V for Vendetta" be that exception?
And here comes the shot across the bow
When I wrote "V," politics were taking a serious turn for the worse over here. We'd had [Conservative Party Prime Minister] Margaret Thatcher in for two or three years, we'd had anti-Thatcher riots, we'd got the National Front and the right wing making serious advances. "V for Vendetta" was specifically about things like fascism and anarchy.
Those words, "fascism" and "anarchy," occur nowhere in the film. It's been turned into a Bush-era parable by people too timid to set a political satire in their own country. In my original story there had been a limited nuclear war, which had isolated Britain, caused a lot of chaos and a collapse of government, and a fascist totalitarian dictatorship had sprung up. Now, in the film, you've got a sinister group of right-wing figures — not fascists, but you know that they're bad guys — and what they have done is manufactured a bio-terror weapon in secret, so that they can fake a massive terrorist incident to get everybody on their side, so that they can pursue their right-wing agenda. It's a thwarted and frustrated and perhaps largely impotent American liberal fantasy of someone with American liberal values [standing up] against a state run by neo-conservatives — which is not what "V for Vendetta" was about. It was about fascism, it was about anarchy, it was about [England].
I may see it still for gun and explosion porn but this is a huge black mark on the film's soul