Resident Evil: Retribution director Paul W.S. Anderson and stars Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Oded Fehr and Boris Kodjoe met with reporters at Comic-Con International for a casual discussion about the upcoming fifth installment of the action-horror series.
In the film, which opens Sept. 14, the captured Alice (Jovovich) awakens in the heart of the Umbrella Corporation’s operation facility, where more of her mysterious past is unveiled as she continues to hunt those responsible for the outbreak of the deadly T-virus that’s ravaging the planet.
Anderson said that when he launched the franchise in 2002 with Resident Evil, he never imagined he would be making a fifth installment, especially considering they didn’t even have studio financing when they began. “For a movie franchise to run five films, with the same crew behind and in front of the camera, is unheard of,” he said.
Following the success of the first film, he realized Resident Evil could be a trilogy, and from there it grew. Anderson called the fifth film “the first post-apocalyptic epic,” as it takes place across the globe, from Moscow to Tokyo to New York.
Kodjoe, who plays Luther West, said on the set he was “like a kid in a candy store: shoot guns, fight zombies, work with Milla. … It was a ball.”
Kodjoe went through six weeks of training for his role, mentioning that in one scene “All hell breaks loose” as the characters fight against an endless onslaught of zombies only to be saved by Jovovich’s character in a “secret” car that led to “a crazy car-chase scene.”
He called the film a lot of fun, characterizing it as “everything you’d imagine it to be, but 10 times better.”
Kodjoe revealed that they nearly shot a sixth film simultaneously with Retribution, but ultimately decided against it. However, another sequel seems likely.
Jovovich, who’s starred in all five Resident Evil films, joined the discussion, and when asked about her time at Comic-Con, shared, “I can’t roam around, I leave that to the ‘professional’ roamers.” The actress was a bit confused by the religious fanatics outside the convention building screaming about heaven and hell, “Why are they here?”
She characterized the 3D aspect of films as “a wonderfully immersive experience if done right,” adding that, “Paul takes it very seriously.”
“We have fun doing it and that translates,” Jovovich said, discussing their time on set. “Michelle and I, in the first one, came into it as fans of the game,” and now there is a whole franchise they’ve created.
Rodriguez, who returns to the franchise after 10 years, as her character was killed off in the first film, jokingly explained how things were different this time. “Everyone is married and grown up,” she joked, adding more seriously that it “felt like when we were doing the first one. Everything felt so familiar.”
She said her character’s resurrection “makes sense to me,” as she is seemingly cloned into two versions of herself, one good and one bad. The actress enjoys the differences between those two versions, as the bad one is a fighter and the good one is quiet and innocent.
Fehr described Retribution as a treat for fans who have been following the series since the beginning, as characters from the first, second and third films all make a return.
Like the rest of the cast, Fehr enjoyed making the movie, and coming back to the series was natural for him, especially as he already knew half the crew from his time of the television series Covert Affairs.
Talking about his character’s return, the actor exclaimed how he had “the best death scene in three!” But when he had dinner with Anderson one night and was offered the role again, he of course said yes. “You want to work with people you enjoy, and are familiar with.”