Resident Evil: Retribution Panel Reveals Two Minutes of Climactic Fight Sequence
07.16.12 by Ryan
Sony Pictures' panel at the San Diego Comic-Con was preceded by subsidiary Sony Screen Gems' panel for Resident Evil: Retribution, the fifth installment in the Resident Evil franchise. Writer-director Paul W.S. Anderson was joined by cast members Mika Nakashima, Boris Kodjoe, Oded Fehr, Michelle Rodriguez and, of course, Milla Jovovich. Before bringing out the cast, Anderson came out first and talked about what to expect in Retribution.
We really wanted to blow out the franchise and make it much bigger for fans that have been sticking with us. It's been a long journey for us so far, and we really feel that this franchise is reaching a climax and we really wanted to make this an epic movie. I wanted to try and make this first truly, post-apocalyptic epic film and, to that end, we went all around the world to make this global event. We shot in Red Square in Moscow, we shot the center of Tokyo, we shot in Washington D.C., we destroyed the White House — not for real, but we did build a post-apocalyptic version of it — we shot in Times Square in New York City. So this movie really goes above and beyond any of the Resident Evil movies so far.
We tried to make the movie as big as possible in terms of scale and action, but then also (we made) it as small as possible and as intimate as possible in terms of the Milla character and I think you'll see a side of the character in the movie that you've never seen. You'll see that she has a child, she has a husband, and so Milla gets to play that kind of real, suburban character that you've never seen in the Resident Evil franchise. That gave me the opportunity to really deliver some of the best and the most terrifying scares in the franchise. Because she's not super-powered, she has no training, she has no machine guns; it's just her versus the horror.
The audience was then shown a trailer, which was the same trailer released last month. Once the cast joined the panel, Jovovich was asked about what it was like to play Alice in a new light. "Horrifying," she responded.
Because, to be honest, I didn't really appreciate what it was like to be a superhero until I played a normal person in the Resident Evil world. And normal people have it really bad. They just run and scream and get killed really horrifically — I don't know if that happens to me or not, but it might.
The rest of the cast all seemed happy to return, with Kodjoe calling it "a homecoming" while Fehr said that returning was "fantastic and somewhat unexpected since I died in the third one."
Anderson did bring some footage with him, but only what the director called "a small taste of the climactic fight at the end of the movie" between Jovovich's Alice and Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) with Kodjoe's Luther and Leon Kennedy (Johann Urb) there to handle Rodriguez. Actually nine minutes long in the finished movie, fans were treated to the start of a fight in the middle of a snowy location, where Rodriguez injects herself with whatever new virus Umbrella has made and is suddenly able to take bullet wounds and spit them out of her fingers. Meanwhile, Alice and Jill go at one another in hand-to-hand (and other weaponry) combat.
Anderson said the whole scene took "weeks and weeks and weeks" to shoot and "on top of that is all the preparation and fight training." Anderson admitted that "we actually positioned this fight at the end of principal photography for two reasons: one was to give the actors enough time to train and the other was because I was a little worried they might get too damaged."
Of course, the topic of women in action movies was brought up, and Rodriguez admitted that she has "a lot of respect for this Russian hardcore broad right here" and, when asked if she felt that she paved the way for other female actresses in action movies, said that Jovovich was the one who truly blazed the trail. "Milla was doing that s**t way before I even started," said Rodriguez. "I started in a little movie called Girlfight, a little independent film, but I was already watching Milla kick ass and take names long before that."
"I think there never been a better time to be a woman who wants to kick butt in theaters than there is today," said Jovovich when asked if she felt she was a pioneer for women in action movies. "I think we all helped pave the way, please, I mean every single person who does something that other people say, 'Oh, that's not going to work' or 'no you can't do it' and they still do it, I mean we're all paving the way."
Rodriguez gave further praise to Anderson for giving women a chance to fight in movies. "You gotta give thanks for Paul's wonderful English upbringing," said Rodriguez. "It's rare that an American director to have that open-mindedness about having a female lead and fight the way that Paul did to be able to pull that off."
As for whether Anderson will employ them all for another installment, the director admitted that Retribution is "the beginning of the end" and "has a lot of big revelations in it and a lot of death in it so a lot of characters die. No one is safe in this one."
After Anderson's statement, an attendee asked if they would consider moving forward with a Resident Evil movie without Alice. "Resident Evil has a life after Alice and before Alice," said Jovovich before saying that Anderson has told her how he would end the franchise.
I married to the guy, you don't think I know? He told me last year what was going to happen, vaguely. It's potentially — we never talk about making another movie while we're doing on Resident Evil, it's only about Retribution right now — but Paul did tell me an idea he had for a Resident Evil 6. I don't know like details and all that, and I don't think he knew all the details when he told me about it over a year ago. He said, you know, "I really want to bring this to a closure and if we did do another one, I'd want to end the story."
"Oh, that was a cop out," said Rodriguez. "I thought you were going to give us something juicy!"
Maybe if Retribution is a hit, we'll learn more.
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