25 Things to Know About RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION From Our Set Visit; Plus On Set Interviews with the Cast

     January 19, 2012


As the snow falls steadily somewhere in Russia, I watch Alice (Milla Jovovich), Leon Kennedy (Johann Urb) and Luther (Boris Kodjoe) exit a vehicle called the Spryte.  It’s been flipped on its side on a thick patch of ice because of an Umbrella submarine that’s come up through the ice.  As our heroes climb down from the door to get their footing and prepare their weapons, nearby I see the massive Umbrella submarine that’s come up through the ice.  As our heroes get ready, Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) and “Bad Rain” (Michelle Rodriguez) escort their prisoner Ada Wong (Li BingBing) from the exit door of the Umbrella sub.  Both groups see each other.  Then, without warning, “Bad Rain” shoots something into her neck and hits Ada Wong with the back of her gun and she falls to the ice.   As this happens, Jill Valentine and Alice run towards each other and start to fight.  Welcome to the set of Resident Evil: Retribution.

But let me back up a second.

As I type these words, it’s December 14, 2011 and I’m flying back to Los Angeles from Toronto.  While I was in the great Canadian city yesterday, I got to spend all day on the set of the 5th Resident Evil movie with a number of other reporters and learned a lot about what’s probably the second-to-last installment of the very successful franchise.  For more on the visit, hit the jump.

First off, here’s the teaser trailer for the film that was just release:

Before going any further, spoilers are discussed.  You’ve been warned.

25 Things to Know About Resident Evil: Retribution From the Set Visit

  • The fifth installment is more of a chase movie that the previous films and it’s more realistic.  It’s also being filmed in 3D like the last one and they’re filming in 4K.
  • The movie opens where the last film ended which was on the deck of the Arcadia ship.
  • There are three different types of zombies: the newly created undead, the Russians – Las Plagas, and the zombies in Tokyo. Some are called lickers (which are all CGI).  Everything is enhanced with the Russian zombies, and their actions are almost super-human.
  • There are more zombies this time around except they’re in smaller groups.
  • Makeup Effects Supervisor Paul Jones wanted the makeup on the zombies to look realistic. He took inspiration from Day of the Dead.
  • There was talk of doing Resident Evil 5 and 6 back to back but ultimately they decided shoot the fifth film by itself.  However, Paul W.S. Anderson has a rough idea for the 6th film and he sees it as the finale of the series.  (Of course if the movies keep making tons of money, then who knows if the studio will let it end).  He also already knows where the final Umbrella location will be in the 6th movie but wouldn’t reveal it.
  • milla-jovovich-resident-evil-afterlife-set-image-1Nick Powell is doing the second unit direction and he’s also the stunt coordinator.  He’s a real “get” for the production as his previous credits include Braveheart, The Bourne Identity, Goldeneye, and a number of other huge productions.  He’s designed some awesome action set pieces and should help to make the fifth Resident Evil look incredible.
  • For fans of the series, the opening paragraph revealed that some previously killed characters have come back from the dead.  This is a result of Umbrella and cloning.  As a result of being brought back by Umbrella, Jill Valentine is wearing a red scarab on her chest (seen in previous films) and she’s under their control. Also, “Bad Rain” injects herself with the Las Plagas parasites and this gives her superhuman powers.  During our interview with Michelle Rodriguez she made a statement that she can now eat bullets.  We were not sure if that was a joke or if she really can now eat bullets.
  • At some point in the film, we’ll see a flashback to before the Umbrella virus destroyed the world.  During the flashback we’ll see Michelle Rodriguez wearing heels, without guns, and driving a Pruis.  She’ll look and act unlike anything we’ve ever seen her do in any movie.  In addition, we’ll see Carlos Oliveira (Oded Fehr) as a dad in suburbia.  It’ll be a stark contrast to how we’ve seen them in the previous films.
  • The fifth Resident Evil will see women fighting women.  Based on the costumes I saw yesterday, this is a very good thing.
  • The big fight scene between Alice and Jill on the ice somewhere in Russia originally had 200 moves.  However, the production is running behind and the final number might be cut down.
  • Some of the second unit went to Red Square in Moscow and filmed for a day while certain areas were shut down.  They also filmed in a Russian subway.  They are going to use what they shot as the basis for plate shots since a huge action scene takes place in Moscow.  The production actually shot the action on Toronto soundstages but by using the plates shot on location, it will look like they really shot on in Moscow.
  • The Moscow action scene is probably the biggest of the film.  It takes place at night and features a Rolls Royce filled with our heroes who are being chased by Las Plagas zombies on motorcycles.  It ends up the virus has mutated and the zombies now have motor functions and can now not only drive motorcycles but they can also fire semi automatic machine guns.  While it sounds crazy, it will definitely be unlike any zombie chase scene ever done on a movie screen.
  • Resident Evil: Retribution takes place in New York, Tokyo, Moscow and Washington D.C.  The movies do big business around the world so they wanted a more global feel to the film.
  • According to producer Jeremy Bolt, the franchise is “within sight of the end.”  He went on to say that the 5th installment is the most “science fiction-y” of the franchise and it has the most action.  Bolt went on to say that he could see a Resident Evil spinoff movie based on a character from the franchise.  He did not say which character.
  • Alice develops a mother-daughter relationship with Becky (Aryana Engineer) in the film.  However, before you start to wonder if she’s really her daughter, Jovovich told us it’s more like the relationship between Ripley and Newt in Aliens.  She went on to say the relationship is a way for Alice to hold onto her humanity.
  • The producers say the budget has gone up on every Resident Evil film.
  • Milla Jovovich (Alice) has two big fight scenes in the film and one is over ten minutes.  Of course that could change in editing.  In addition, Boris Kodjoe (Luther) fights against eight people at the same time and Michelle Rodriguez has a fight scene with over seventy moves.
  • While the video game features a love story between Ada Wong and Leon, don’t expect to see it in the movie.
  • Paul W.S. Anderson says the 4th film (Afterlife) started a new trilogy and he sees the sixth film as the series finale.  He also really wanted to direct the second and third Resident Evil films but had other commitments.  He’s very happy to be back directing the 5th installment.
  • While I won’t reveal how I know this bit of info….if they make a 6th Resident Evil movie, I’m extremely confident Becky plays a big role.
  • I asked Li BingBing (Ada Wong) about cutting her hair to look the part.  Sitting next to her, it looked real.  However, Bing revealed that she’s actually wearing a very expensive wig that cost about $7,500 dollars.  She went on to tell us she was offered the role only days after auditioning and she had never fired a gun until she arrived on set.
  • Anderson relied heavily on the video games for inspiration for Retribution, just as they did with the previous films.
  • They’re basing an action set-piece from the fifth video game where the characters are driving in a Hummer while being chased by zombies. Anderson changed the vehicle to a Rolls Royce Phantom.
  • When decided which new characters to include in Retribution, Anderson and Milla Jovovich listened to the fanbase. They settled on adding Leon Kennedy, Ada Wong, and Barry Burton, who they felt where the three fan-favorites that the film franchise had yet to touch on.
  • When casting for the new characters, they tried their best to get people that looked as much like the game characters as possible.
  • When Anderson signed on for the first film, he flew to Osaka and spent three days at Capcom explaining his vision and having a dialogue with the game creators.
  • Anderson says the relationship between the films and Capcom is symbiotic. They look at the scripts and give notes, and sometimes the Anderson and the people working on the film franchise will change things because of the comments.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a fan of the Resident Evil movies and/or video games, the fifth installment looks to be the biggest and most action orientated of the series.  It’s also got a number of characters from the video games, which should please the fans.

While the series will never win any year end awards, I think Retribution should be a fun popcorn movie and I’m definitely looking forward to the Red Square Rolls Royce action scene.  After all, who doesn’t want to see zombies with machine guns on motorcycles? Resident Evil: Retribution hits theaters September 14th.


For more on Resident Evil: Retribution:

Writer-Director Paul W.S. Anderson Resident Evil: Retribution Set Visit Interview

Milla Jovovich Resident Evil: Retribution Set Visit Interview

Michelle Rodriguez Resident Evil: Retribution Set Visit Interview

Producers Jeremy Bolt, Don Carmody, and Robert Kulzer Resident Evil: Retribution Set Visit Interview

Sienna Guillory Resident Evil: Retribution Set Visit Interview

Li Bingbing Resident Evil: Retribution Set Visit Interview

Johann Urb Resident Evil: Retribution Set Visit Interview

Boris Kodjoe Resident Evil: Retribution Set Visit Interview

Oded Fehr Resident Evil: Retribution Set Visit Interview

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  • BrandonHeat07

    Can’t go wrong with the Tron Legacy/Daft Punk soundtrack on the trailer. This film looks sharp… Can’t wait…

  • Nik

    Wait, Jill and “Bad Rain”… wouldnt that mean that Rain is still alive somehow?!?!?!

    • Dwayne

      If people doesn’t know.. Shade, Rain, and Carlos will be CLONES.. this is in case if no one actually read the article

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  • keir

    26. This movie will suck like all the rest.

    • Blackie Chan

      Shut uP if u knw Wht good for u super fans all u do is bitch and complain this film series inspires me. I’ve even started writing my own stories u and others can’t see the enjoyable story the game shorts skip so it’s not full u all are bitching abt the movies now ur bitching abt the games how about u go shot yourself and jump off a bridge if u live do it again

      • Paul Gough

        I think this director has completely changed the franchise. The first movie was by far the best with the second and third slowly deterierating, until the fourth installment which i found to be 2/5 stars. Adding motor functions, powers, bugs that control people and incredibly advanced zombies like the game distorts the movie series beyond recognition. Go back to the first director and story line – a small group surviving against all odds! Move away from the games, create some differentiation

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  • WEV

    25 Things to Know About RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION From your Set Visit…. ITS SHIT!

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  • Womanshouldbeinkitchen

    @keir, you watched all the resident evil movies and will take time to watch this one…they could careless about your opinion because you watch their movies anyways. LOL, b*tch

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  • dbrock

    1 thing to know about the new Resident Evil after seeing any of the other Resident Evil movies…it is going to suck.

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  • Steve Rudzinski

    I really hope this is the last and maybe the series can get a reboot. It has so little to do with the games now it’s just a waste of potential. I understand people like these flicks in their own right, but they just aren’t Resident Evil movies.

  • Johnson

    I have a question: Who the fuck cares about the behind the scenes to this shitty movie and shitty franchise? Does anyone actually go see these movies? They’re a horrible disgrace to the video games.

    I think it’s hilarious that he says he gets inspiration from the games, like he thinks he’s somehow in tune with them.

  • Johnson

    Who the hell cares. this movie is gonna suck like all the rest. what a joke.

  • Johnson

    I like how Anderson says he gets inspiration from the games, as if he thinks that somehow he’s in tune with what the games were actually about. Why can’t he just go away :(

    Ironically, the games have begun to mirror the films

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  • Shutup!

    Everyone in here needs a tissue, always crying about these movies. Go eat a dick and shut the fuck up. No one wants to hear you tears. These movies are no Inception or Lord of the Rings Trilogy, but they follow the aspects of the game and have the characters/creatures from it as well. Obviously they are doing well enough to make 6 of them. If you don’t like then move on, go make something better. Oh wait, you can’t, you got to get out of your parents basement first… Douches!

  • Twowolves

    It’s easy to enjoy the Resident Evil movies if you consider them more like live action comic books than horror movies. Everything is over the top and made for fun. Just go with it.

  • jhdskb

    Please shut up. These movies are awesome. Get the sticks out of your butts and just enjoy it. If it was like the video game, it would be creative. So shut up and don’t look at it.

  • Al

    This looks sick! cant wait…

  • marlo


  • Pink

    I agree with you guys although I enjoyed the first film, that one only.

  • João Paulo

    Looks very promise. I know the series is not fantastic, but works with a action movie.

  • Soul

    I’m still seeing it, but it won’t be my all time fav of the year. That’s saved for Batman 3, and The Avengers.

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  • Drod

    I’m not sure where all the hate comes from surrounding these films. When you take a video game and adapt it into a film you can expect that it will be very different from the video game, just as movies based on novels are normally different from the film (sometimes drastic changes are made to give it an atmosphere filmmakers can create).

    These are by no means award winning films, but why should they try to be? I have not found a single person who thinks zombies are to be taken seriously to begin with.

    I’m not a huge fan of the series, but I do think Paul and the other filmmakers as well as the cast have done the best job at adapting a Resident Evil movie. However if they were working on a game yes it would be miserable.

    In the end you can’t take a video game pixel by pixel and create a movie with it. It would be bland, and most people would want to watch it. While Video Games and Movies are made in a similar way, they also are drastically different in areas. Take these films with a grain of salt, if you like the games, and don’t like these movies spend less time complaining and more time writing your own script, creating your own film and showing Paul he messed up. However until you do that, stop humiliating yourself.

    • zebedee

      Hate comes from the movie itself. It is resident evil

  • Drod

    Looks amazing! Can’t wait!

  • Sam

    RE films are so awesome! I love them! They are more than just zombie films, which is very rare to find! Actually, the word “Zombie”, is never mentioned in the films I believe! Alice (Milla Jovovich) is soo the #1 ass kicking heroine ever! No one can beat her. Can’t wait for Retribution!

  • yippee9

    Ya know what these films and games and movies are almost as old as i am I Grew up running thru the mansion, the police station and the streets of raccoon city. And i love the movies and have respect for them because they made it their own. Not everyone knows that Capcom turned down George A.Romero’s script for RE 1 which was more game storyline based GEORGE A ROMERO the flippin zombie king. Granted if hiis script was made then people would have bitched about a natve american chris or ada appearing in the first film instead of just mentioned, Im not sure if its true but i think she even died in a draft. Say what you want about this version but if it reboots it still wont be good enough for you whining infants. and seriously someone explain to me the fun of a video game based movie being a carbon copy of the game. Seriously. If you want that then watch a walkthrough of the game on youtube i personally wouldnt watch something i know the ending to “ohh this is the part where ada gets shot by annette birkin and falls to what we think is her death ohh its so suspensful!!” “have you seen this film already???” “nahhh played trhe games 40 times each i know everything that wil hapen in the series” “WOW…….this really must have been worth the money to pay for a story you already know by heart”……..See what i mean and another thing people who say Milla is in this film because Paul is her husband…….umm they were dating before the shooting of 2 but not before they announced a sequel to the flims, was he suppose to fire the most beautiful action star ever because hes dating her NOO!!! and by the way capcom has looked at every script and okayed it so take that into consideration Cant wait for the 5th and will be bummed about 6 being the end like i said thes films or almost half my age and the games more so im 19 and these worlds have become a joy of mine. I know this and the 6th will make me a proud fan and a proud viewer so sept i await you!!! come fast!!!

    • anonymousmovielover

      very well said ! lol .. people need to stop whining and actually use their fucking brains and be realistic about movies like these. the main point is, if these movies were EXACTLY like the video games, they would be BORING and PREDICTABLE! i dont think anyone wants to sit through an entire movie knowing exactly whats going to happen. what fun is that? seriously? i personally love the movies. creating a character that has nothing to do with the games while actually introducing her to the actual characters puts a creative twist on an imagination. of course throughout the entire storyline, there will have be SOME similarities or it just wouldnt make sense at all. the whole point of a movie is to create an imagination! i think the only ones who complain are nerds! lmao

  • Kryphone

    Look, what’s the point of looking up a film if you hate it?
    Stop complaining.

  • Vanita Garibaldi

    Husband is from New Jersey, would love to see this. Knocked up.

  • janice

    This movie is just more drivel, from that jackoff director.

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  • seedzhao

    resident evil movies are really stink shit… it sucks sooo much… milla looks like a tranny… aw man, stop these resident evil movies… you directors are fucking retarded… i give up!!

  • vadimL

    Awesomest series of movies ever known to man

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  • God

    If you’re a fan of the Video Games and the Book Series then this entire franchise of movies is nothing short of a major incoherent piece of garbage. There are no redeeming factors about any of the movies, the story sucks, the characters are all ruined, its just awful.

  • menone

    is very baad movie pliz …i Am speak Spanish…es demasiada mala y solo para verla trucha sirve, para pasar el rato

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