July 24, 2010

Fans of the Resident Evil franchise are sure to get three times what they love as the fourth film in the series, Resident Evil: Afterlife, was shot in 3D and presented as such at its San Diego Comic-Con panel on Saturday. Producer, director and writer Paul W.S. Anderson brought his wife and star Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, and Resident Evil newcomer Wentworth Miller (Prison Break) along with him to present footage and answer questions. Hit the jump for more.

resident-evil-afterlife-poster-milla-jovovich-01The Afterlife panel started with the world premiere of the trailer in 3D. It seems to pick off pretty much right where the third film left off as we see our heroes trying to take down the Umbrella Corporation in various different locations. A lot of the images and characters were obviously lifted from some of the newer games and the footage looked very much in line with the series… just in 3D.

Anderson said that James Cameron showed him a huge chunk of Avatar last year and that inspired him to take Resident Evil into the 3rd dimension. He used the same cameras.

They talked about how it was special that all the films used the same cast and crew throughout and it made for a great work environment. Larter referred to Anderson and Jovovich as the parents of Resident Evil.

Miller said it was daunting to join such a tight-knit group but he was excited to be playing an iconic character in Chris Redfield.

Anderson said that when they decided to shoot in 3D it changed everything. He blocked the movie different, wrote it different, composed shots in new ways and more. He feels that 3D is totally the future, the “benchmark” and it will become the new standard.

They then showed a full fight scene featuring the Executioner from Resident Evil 5. Basically it was a whole bunch of slow-mo guns, kicks, flips and more in a bathroom with broken pipes, which meant water. Many of the effects didn’t quite look finished but the Executioner character looked awesome.

Then it was back to questions.

Jovovich destroyed a $100,000 camera because Anderson told her to swing the shotgun towards the lens.

There WILL be an Army of Alices in the movie.

Anderson decided direct again because of the 3D and because this movie was more “globe trotting.”

After going away from the video games for the last movie, Anderson incorporated a lot of elements from Resident Evil 5 into this one because he had just played it. The undead dogs are back, some of the fight choreography and a few other characters make there way into the movie.

Miller hadn’t played the game before getting the role but when he did, he did extensive research including reading up on the character online, watching all the cut scenes from the video game and more.

No word on if Jill Valentine is back or not, but Leon Kennedy would be a strong candidate to be star in the fifth movie, if there was one. No plans yet though.

3D changed how many of the fight scenes were shot because no one could pull punches, they actually had to hit each other.

And with that, the panel was over. I’m not a huge Resident Evil fan (the movie, I mean, the games are awesome) but people obviously love these movies and I think those people will certainly enjoy this one.

Resident Evil: Afterlife hits 3D theaters on September 10th.

For more Comic-Con coverage, click here.

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