There no denying that writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson and his wife/go-to leading lady, Milla Jovovich have something good going with the Resident Evil franchise. Last year, the fourth installment (Resident Evil: Afterlife) proved to be the most lucrative chapter in the video game movie series yet - and next year's Resident Evil: Retribution is aiming to soar even higher at the box office.
Jovovich has so far been actively involved in keeping fans updated on the status of Retribution, which starts shooting on location in Toronto within the week. It's (apparently) Anderson's turn to do likewise.
Anderson sat down for an interview with Collider, where he touched on some of the early revelations about the plot of Retribution - such as how it will finally incorporate fan-favorite characters like Leon Kennedy (Johann Urb) and the Las Plagas breed of zombie into the action.
On the topic of finally introducing certain fan-favorite characters from the RE video game/computer-animated movie universe:
“[The new characters are' something that’s kind of come out of [Milla] and I talking to fans, feeling the characters that people wanted to come in. [We chose] three of those that seem to be the fan-favorites that we’d never touched on: Leon Kennedy, Ada Wong, and Barry Burton. We really went out of our way to get people who looked as much like their characters as possible from the game…This actor Johann Urb, who I’m very excited to be working with, not only is he a really good actor but he looks like Leon Kennedy. I mean you put photographs of them side-by-side, it’s almost like he was manufactured by Capcom.”
With regards to Capcom's influence and why the RE live-action films often depart (or, alternatively, sometimes do not depart) from the continuity of the video games:
"... There’s a very open dialogue between me and Capcom. They know what the stories are, they get the script, they make comments, sometimes we change things because of those comments. I certainly don’t wanna kill a character that they want to continue, or I don’t want characters to do things that they feel would be wrong within the world of the video games. The world of the video game and the world of the movies, they exist within the same universe, but they’re running on slightly separate tracks.”
The action quotient has been steadily rising with each subsequent RE movie and Anderson says that Retribution will be no exception - saying that he'll even draw inspiration directly from the games, this time around:
“We’re bringing in the Las Plagas parasite, which I love because it allows the undead to basically run around, ride motorbikes, and shoot machine guns, which no one’s done before. There’s a great action sequence which we’ve been inspired by from the fifth game, which is where the characters are driving in a Hummer through the desert and they’re being chased by zombies shooting machine guns on motorbikes. We’ve taken that and we’ve kind of run with it. We’re not gonna use a Hummer this time we’re gonna use a Rolls Royce Phantom, cause no one’s ever done a car chase with a Rolls Royce Phantom before. And I’ve discovered why, because it’s really, really expensive.”
On the topic of why the RE films have become more action-oriented - and not just been more exercises in pure horror:
"... Well, that’s one of the things that the games have done as well, they’ve always kept an element of horror but they’ve become increasingly action-driven games with these phenomenal action sequences. That’s something that I think has kept the game alive, and also it’s one of the reasons why I think the movies have kind of broadened out in terms of audience as well. If you make just hardcore horror, there’s a limited audience for that. Whereas if it’s horror mixed with action, I think you kinda broaden your potential fanbase.”
Dedicated RE fans are sure to have mixed feelings about everything Anderson is saying - not to mention, the news that several deceased characters will be appearing via flashback, in Retribution - so be sure to let us know what you think of all this in the comments section.
Resident Evil: Retribution will star the likes of Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez, Johann Urb, Kevin Durand, Shawn Roberts, Boris Kodjoe, Oded Fehr, and Colin Salmon. It is scheduled to hit 2D and 3D theaters around the U.S. on September 14th, 2012.