Dotan read the VfV press conference transcript at Newsarama, as well as Rich Johnston's little rant at the same website, and came away… not very optimistic. He looked at the official website and became a little more optimistic.
I read the same things and looked at the site and came away MUCH more optimistic.
First, Rich's rant. I like Rich. I read one of the issues of his comic and laughed, and I read and enjoy his column. But the rant is a rush to judgement if I ever saw one. He's ranting about the logo and some early art. I hope somebody tells him that the studio's publicity does not, in fact, make the movie. And, amusingly, by the time the press conference came around (a few days after the rant) they had the correct logo, and a better looking mask. Way to leap before you think, Rich. Also, he complains that they cast a star as V. Really? James Purefoy is a star? In what bizzarro world?
The Website looks nice. As I mentioned, the art is even correct, and I love the look of the mask.
There were several things to like about the press conference – first and foremost, the mask. Purefoy will be in the mask for the entire duration of the film. This is of the good. At no point do they shy away from the complexities. This is also good. Portman will be losing weight and shaving her head and will be undergoing a rather nasty treatment in the film. Not shying away from the nastyness is also good. And when Purefoy is asked about V's dialogues and monologues, he doesn't say "poetry? No, we made is understandable for the audience." this is critical.
Changes will be made, that is obvious. But I think this may be the first case in which the Warren Ellis quote Dotan uses about Hollywood's tendency to locate the hook in any Alan Moore work and tossing it away may be unwarranted.
My one concern is McTeigue. V is a big project for a first time director, and one which will require both brains and balls. He's worked with people with both brains and balls who've managed to create some of the best and worst mega-budget films ever. Let's hope he's learned to shoot for the fences, but managed to completely unlearn anything Lucas might have told him about directing actors.