'Resident Evil: Retribution's' Paul W.S. Anderson Spills Secrets About Sixth Video Game Tie-In
The director reveals how Capcom's games have influenced the film franchise and tells THR how he took advantage of 3D for his forthcoming movie.
This fall will see the ultimate example of Hollywood and videogame synergy. Sony Pictures kicks things off Friday with the launch of Resident Evil: Retribution, which stars Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Boris Kodjoe and Michelle Rodriguez. On Sept. 25, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment unleashes the computer-generated sequel, Resident Evil: Damnation, on Blu-ray and DVD. And then on Oct. 6, Capcom brings Resident Evil 6 to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (with a PC version to follow).
Never before in the history of the Resident Evil games or films have the stars aligned so perfectly for fans of these franchises. Paul W.S. Anderson, who has been involved in all five films and is back in the director’s chair for a second consecutive film, is a gamer through-and-through. He has watched as the two successful franchises have borrowed creatively from each other and managed to excel within their own media. Anderson tells The Hollywood Reporter how past games have influenced Retribution and how the Resident Evil 6 game could impact the sixth film.
The Hollywood Reporter: How did Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 and 5 games influence Resident Evil: Retribution?
Paul W.S. Anderson: Resident Evil 4 and 5 introduced the Las Plagas parasite, which was key in the games and also in the movie. The Las Plagas parasite, and the virus that accompanies it, infects the biohazard as before so you have undead, but they maintain some level of intelligence. They also maintain some motor skills, which means they can start using rather advanced weaponry. They can ride motorbikes, and that ups the ante for our heroes in a big way. Before, the undead used to be slow, they used to have no weaponry, and now they’re coming at you in a much more serious way.
THR: What are your thoughts on where Capcom is going with the Resident Evil 6 game?
Anderson: I think Capcom has always done a smart job of progressing the franchise. If you look at videogame franchises that were big when Resident Evil was big, most of them have withered and died. Capcom has never been afraid to allow their franchise to evolve. Like the undead, the franchise has evolved. It’s stayed fresh. Sometimes that draws the ire of the hardcore fans who feel like they’ve deviated too much from traditional survival horror, but I think the same thing over and over again can only lead to the death of your videogame franchise, or indeed your movie franchise. That’s why we’ve always tried to deliver something fresh and exciting to the audience. We’ve evolved the movie franchise in the same way that Capcom has evolved the videogame franchise. I haven’t seen the whole thing yet, but I’m excited to see what they do with Resident Evil 6.
THR: Do you think Resident Evil 6 will influence the direction you’re taking with the next film?
Anderson: I think so, because we have a very symbiotic relationship with the videogame franchise. Obviously, the very first movie that I made was a prequel to the very first game, so it led straight into that first game. Since then, the videogame franchise has taken ideas and concepts from the movies like the laser corridor and the red queen. These are things that have all made an appearance in the videogame franchise. I think it’s cool that they’re on parallel tracks and that they take ideas from one another and feed into one another.
THR: How are you pushing 3D filmmaking with Resident Evil: Retribution?
Anderson: It’s native 3D so it’s shot in 3D, which I think is very important. I’m not a big fan of these conversions. They don’t really deliver quality 3D, and I passionately believe as a filmmaker, if you’re asking an audience to pay a premium price you have to deliver a premium product. That premium product is 3D that’s actually shot on set and composed correctly. I’m also a big fan of having things come out of the screen at you. I know some critics are very snooty about this. They hate stuff coming out of the screen at you. They think it gets low rent somehow and is cheap and gimmicky, but I have to say having talked to real audience members who have paid their extra money to see a 3D movie, if you just have very restrained 3D they feel cheated. It’s like they could have just saved their money and seen the 2D version of the film.