50 Richest Movie Characters

Adrian Veidt

Wealth: $74bn

From: Entertainment, self-help, energy, technology, genetics, cosmetics

As Seen In:
Watchmen (2009)

The Veidt tower, some 90-storeys tall, pierces the skyline of New York city. A golden V symbol sits atop the tower as an ever-prominent reminder of a man who has become as much a godlike icon in everyday culture as a godlike influence on the global economy.

Once known as masked hero Ozymandias, Adrian Veidt has seen vast profits from the marketing of his own image. Abandoning superhero work in favour of the business world only two years before the Keene Act, he set his empire on the foundation of self-modelled action figures.

Since those humble beginnings, Veidt Industries has expanded into a global conglomerate, spanning cosmetics (with the world-famous Nostalgia perfume range), self-help programmes, technology and genetics.

The company currently has a market capitalisation of over $160bn, while Veidt has sufficient personal wealth to privately fund his research projects in Antarctica – the complex alone costing well in excess of $500m.

Although extroverted when in the public eye, Veidt is surprisingly reclusive, spending much of his time in his Antarctic fortress with his genetically engineered cat Bubastis. There he is rumoured to watch upward of 20 separately tuned television screens to determine his forthcoming investment portfolio – a tactic that once made Veidt billions when he championed erotic entertainment, baby foods and maternity products in anticipation of worldwide nuclear anxiety.

Recent investments into electric cars have proved vastly successful, with Veidt energy hydrants now worldwide. Subsidiaries of Veidt Enterprises as small as Gordian Knot Lock Co., Pyramid Transnational and Promethean Cab have shown substantial strength in the development of Veidt’s vast mythologically themed conglomerate.

Despite inheriting a substantial fortune from his parents – themselves self-made millionaire immigrants – he gave the entirety of his wealth to charity. “I wanted to prove that I could accomplish anything I wanted starting from absolutely nothing. Also, I wanted to free myself of concern for money. Consequently, it’s never been a problem for me.”

He credits much of his worldly success to his Eastern pilgrimage following the life of his idol, Alexander of Macedonia. It was his interpretation of Alexander’s life that forced his resolve to pioneer a new renewable source of world energy – an aspiration that has caused conflict between Veidt and energy conglomerates worldwide, prompting his famous taunt to magnates that he was privately worth more than all of their corporations combined.

It is no wonder then that sustained high stock prices are hinged on his remaining tenure. Yet Veidt, ever modest in his approach to his persona, simply responds to his title, “No, that isn’t true, but it’s very flattering... I don’t mind being the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn’t this one.”