Paul W.S. Anderson loves zombies. His association with the Resident Evil franchise as either a writer, director or producer or all three combined is evidence, even if it may not always appear that he loves zombies the way fans love them. He's got to love the money he's made from zombies and the Capcom games that the movies are based on. In some recently released interviews from this year's Comic-Con, Anderson talks about zombies, who was the biggest diva on the Afterlife set, and why The Final Destination blew.
Anderson told MoviesOnline that who the biggest diva was on the set of Afterlife:
I’m spoiled working with Ali [Larter] and Milla [Jovovich] because they’re just not divas at all. They turn up for work, they’re in a great mood, you beat the hell out of them, you send them home with bruises. They come back the following day and go "Yes, sir. What would you like me to do now?" They’re lovely to work with and they’re very committed. They’re so not divas. Our joke was that the biggest divas on the set were the 3D cameras because they were the ones that never wanted to work and they always had problems. They don’t like it when it’s too cold or when it’s too hot. They don’t like it when it’s too dry. They don’t like the rain or the moisture. Of course, we were shooting big scenes in the rain so we made it difficult for ourselves.
Anderson talked about how much zombie action will be in Afterlife.
A lot. They’ve sped up because they’ve sped up in the games. When we did the first movie, I was very insistent that they had to be the slow Romero-esque zombies because that’s what they were in the game. They weren’t running fast. But slowly as the games evolved, and I think it’s one of the strengths of the game franchise, the undead and the creatures evolved. And as they’ve evolved, so have we. One of the big things is the Majini undead. You can’t just have the same thing over and over again. If a franchise is to survive, like the T virus, it has to evolve and mutate. I don't think we’d be correct making Resident Evil: Afterlife with the same shuffling zombies that we made the first Resident Evil with. We’ve gone to the game and so now we definitely have a lot of undead but we’ve gone with the Majini style undead. They move faster and they just want to eat you and then maybe something unpleasant will burst out of their mouths as well. You never really know. We’ve gone with the Majini dogs as well with the heads that split open. I think they look phenomenal. The Executioner, I think, is the best creature Capcom has ever designed. He’s my hero. I love him.
Anderson told Collider why he finds zombies so appealing.
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. It’s my belief that what horror does for people is that it provides that primal fear that, when we were wild hunter-gatherers, we had as part of our natural lives because maybe something was trying to hunt and gather you as well. We don’t have that anymore in life and that’s one of the things that horror films and action films provide for us. They provide those surges of adrenaline and terror that, when you live in a western society, you just don’t really get anymore.
Anderson admits he is a 3-D "convert" but says Afterlife won't be a shitty 3-D movie like The Final Destination. His words. Kinda.
What happened with Final Destination was that the movie was in post-production for a long time and I think they changed a lot of the deaths, so a lot of those things were last-minute additions. Everything we shot is in the movie and it’s all been designed. We didn’t change anything. It’s been a year of making those things happen, exactly as we had pictured them. The complicated action and horror scenes existed almost as an animated film, before we shot the live-action, so they’re very hand-tailored action sequences. We have stuff coming out at the screen, so it’s not going to look bad. It’s not slap-dash. We’ve been working on the visual effects for a year, so we’re trying to raise the bar. Stuff will absolutely come out at the screen, but it will absolutely not look as bad as that tire in Final Destination.
Resident Evil: Afterlife opens September 10.