Ten years ago, the first film adapted from the popular video game franchise hit theaters and director Paul W.S. Anderson and star Milla Jovovich never looked back. That year, 2002, Resident Evil banked over $100 million worldwide, which was plenty to launch a handful of sequels that, to date, have brought in over $675 million worldwide combined. The franchise now returns with its fifth installment, Resident Evil: Retribution. And this go-around, as is the norm these day, it was filmed and delivered to audiences in 3D.
Anderson and Jovovich have both been involved since that first film. Anderson has written and produced all the Resident Evil films, directing three of the five, including this latest chapter. Jovovich, of course, has made a household name for herself starring as the zombie-killing Alice. For those that may not be familiar with Alice’s adventure through the franchise, The Seven Sees has your Resident Evil rewind.
Each of the five movies has progressed Alice’s story, while Anderson and his team have aimed to up the ante each and every time. But the director knew after four movies that this fifth one would need to take it to a whole new level.
“We start where the last film left off,” Anderson says. “The end of that film was an epic cliffhanger and we really wanted to make it pay off at the start of this one, then go somewhere completely different. We have taken a huge conceptual leap with this movie. It’s got global scope, and the action is bigger than ever.”
Anderson was introduced to the movie and video game community when he directed the film adaptation of Mortal Kombat in 1995. But it’s the Resident Evil franchise that the director says feeds his own inner fanboy.
“I love making Resident Evil movies,” he says. “They’re everything I loved about movies growing up—sexy girls, big action, cool sets. They’re fun films to watch and fun films to make. We’ve become more adventurous with each movie, but with this one we’ve done something really spectacular.”
For movie fans who haven’t seen the previous four movies, Anderson assures it shouldn’t deter you from seeing Retribution.
“This is a stand-alone movie,” says Anderson. “We try and tell a self-contained story each time. Certainly you get more out of it by seeing the others, but even a first-timer will enjoy it. Resident Evil: Afterlife set records for the franchise in terms of audiences around the world, and many of those people really enjoyed the film without having seen the previous movies.”
Of course, the franchise would not be what it is without its leading lady, Milla Jovovich as Alice. And the actress is not blind to what being in the Resident Evil film has meant to her.
“Doing this series has been such an adventure,” the actress says. “It’s always amazing to come back to this incredible, fantastical, magical world and to Alice. I know her so well now. I know how she will react, what she will and won’t do. She’s become a huge part of my life, and as I grow, she grows. I’m always excited to see where she’s going next.”
Gerrad Hall (The Seven Sees) sat down with the actress to talk about finally quitting the franchise and why she makes such weird noises while filming her action sequences.