Resident Evil: Afterlife's Paul W. S. Anderson on Why Zombies are Scary and Why He's Directing The Three Musketeers
08.06.10 by Ryan
Paul W.S. Anderson has been tied to the Resident Evil franchise since he wrote and directed the first movie in 2002. Anderson wrote and produced the two subsequent sequels, but returns to the director's chair for Resident Evil: Afterlife, which again sees Milla Jovovich fight off zombies on her quest to bring down the evil Umbrella Corporation. The movies are based on Capcom's game franchise, which popularized the concept of "survival horror" video games and has given video game players a venue to destroy zombies since the first game premiered in 1996.
Zombies have enjoyed cinematic success as well, taking their current incarnation George Romero's Night of the Living Dead changed zombies from those suffering from a voodoo curse to members of the undead. The concept of zombies is clearly an interesting one for Anderson, who explained to Collider why the creatures have such an enduring place in modern cinema.
In the modern world, there’s a real genuine fear of loss of individuality and I think the undead speak to that. I also think the idea of the dead coming back to life, and this unstoppable foe that just keeps coming and coming, but rather slowly just chases you, is a real primal fear. It’s like a fear of claustrophobia, heights or water. I've had that recurring dream, since I was a child, and a lot of people have different versions of that same dream, where you're running away from something and it’s going kind of slowly, but it’s catching up with you and it will not stop, and you cannot get away from it. Those dreams are manifested in different ways, but most people have them. That’s really what they undead are. They just won't stop. There’s something very terrifying about that and very primal about it.
Anderson is shooting Afterlife in 3-D, which is a first for Anderson and zombie movies, in general. Anderson has admitted that he is in love with the 3-D format and plans to use it for his next movie, an adaptation of Alexandre Dumas's classic novel The Three Musketeers. Anderson said that his interest in The Three Musketeers initially stemmed from a wish to move away from a future setting to one in the past, but admitted he wanted to make the movie mostly because he was a "big fan of the original book."
I think it’s really one of the classic stories. It’s an amazing story, which is why I think it deserves to be retold, and it is retold. Every generation has their Three Musketeers, and I'm very happy that we're going to be this generation’s Three Musketeers. We're going to tell it in a slightly different way, but it’s going to be the classic story. The idea of doing a period movie, some people say, "Isn't it odd that you're doing a period movie? That’s a change of pace for you." And, I'm like, "Not really." When you're doing a science fiction movie, it’s almost exactly the same. You have to design every set and you have to design every costume. There’s really so much in common because they're all about creating a world that the audience can be immersed in. I certainly have the skill set to make a period movie, and I'm very excited to be doing that.
Anderson revealed that parts of The Three Musketeers will be shot in Bavaria where "they have these amazing palaces that have just never been put on film before."
You go see these places and you're like, "I can't believe no one’s been here with a film camera and shot this place." They're just unbelievable. So, for two months, we'll be trekking around these places you've never heard of, shooting these palaces you've never seen before, but they're really going to give the movie an epic look.
Resident Evil: Afterlife opens September 10. The movie stars Jovovich alongside Shawn Roberts, Ali Larter and Wentworth Miller. Anderson's Three Musketeers opens April 15, 2011, and starts shooting next month.