Resident Evil: Retribution Details from Director Paul W.S. Anderson
10.04.11 by Ryan
Last year's Resident Evil: Afterlife grossed an impressive $296 million worldwide, the highest of any movie in the franchise, and proved that Paul W.S. Anderson's return to the Resident Evil director's chair was a successful move (of course, the 3-D surcharge probably didn't hurt, either).
The fifth installment, Resident Evil: Retribution, is due out next year, with Anderson back behind the camera for a third time. Star Milla Jovovich has already been active on her Twitter announcing castings, stunt choreography details and, even, a spoiler or two, including a reveal that Retribution would include the "Las Plagas parasite".
Fans of the Resident Evil games will no doubt be familiar with the virus, which first appeared in Resident Evil 4. Anderson finally spoke up about the virus (and more) in a recent interview with Collider.
We’re bringing in the Las Plagas parasite, which I love, of course, 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. Of course, we have to trash the car, so we need multiples of the car. It's phenomenal what we're building right now. One of the things we had to do once we bought the Rolls is, is basically tear them apart and rebuild them, you know, with roll cages to protect the stunt guys, with even bigger and beefier engines with stiffened suspension. So, you spend all this money and you still don't have the car you want. But anyway...so it's a car chase, very much like the Resident Evil 5 game, but replaced with the Rolls Royce Phantom and zombies, motorbikes, machine guns...what's not to like?
Retribution will also include some Resident Evil game characters in Leon S. Kennedy, Barry Burton and Ada Wong, all of whom have yet to appear in a Resident Evil movie. Recent casting reports have revealed that Johann Urb (2012) and Kevin Durand (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) have been added to the cast, with Jovovich confirming (of course, via Twitter) that Urb "is our Leon Kennedy" (we'll just assume that Durand will play Burton). Anderson said that including characters like Kennedy was due to "talking to fans".
[The new characters are] something that’s kind of come out of Mila 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.
As if the Rolls Royce sequence wasn't enough of an indication, Anderson also said that Retribution will borrow from the games in other ways as well.
I think people really responded to how heavily we leaned on the action scenes from the game...but I think that was one of the things that certainly came out of the interactions with fans is that they liked the fight scene with Wesker (Shawn Roberts) and some of the shots being exactly as they were from the game. And we;re doing a lot of that again. And then also bringing in more creatures, I think people are always excited when they are new creatures from the game coming in. And the new undead as well — the Las Plagas.
It's one of the strengths of the Resident Evil game franchise is that they keep changing it up. Some people complain about that, and it’s a complaint I hear sometimes about the movies as well, "Resident Evil is horror, why do you keep doing action?" 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.
Retribution is set to start production in Toronto and Tokyo next week. Jovovich returns in her franchise role of Alice alongside several familiar faces, including Sienna Guillory as Jill Valentine, Boris Kodjoe as Luther, and Colin Salmon, who played One in the original Resident Evil. Michelle Rodriguez and Oded Fehr are also set to return.