How Resident Evil 4 brought the video game's crazy action to life

Paul W.S. Anderson, Ali Larter, and Larter's new on-screen brother Wentworth Miller break down the new Resident Evil film. What was kept, what was cut, what scenes were meticulously choreographed from the game and how to kill the final boss.


Ali Larter (Claire Redfield)

What kind of technology is being implemented into the movie from the video game?

Well, with Wesker, there's a lot of stuff. Especially with his lab, they use the exact same chair, there's a lot of similar details [lifted] from the video game into this movie. There's the axe man. There is all of this different stuff, and I think that true fans of the video game will be excited. It will be like a "Where's Waldo" of Resident Evil.


What was it like working with Wesker, getting to see him in the flesh?

Sean was awesome to work with. Wentworth and I have a great stunt with him that we had to shoot for a couple of days. That was plucked directly from the video game. They were watching the video game, pausing it, and then enacting that exact same sequence. So that's pretty cool and pretty fun.

Your character is raw and real, and almost the every-woman hero [for this universe].

It's the human component. Claire doesn't have any superpowers. She's just a survivor. She's someone who's hardened around the edges. But she's always out to help others, to protect others. And she's just out there to survive. So to see her in this movie and to introduce the family dynamic. I think it's really interesting and it brings a new kind of level.


What do you mean by the family dynamic?

Well Chris, her brother, who's played by Wentworth Miller, is introduced in this movie. It was really cool to see because it's not like, "Oh my long lost brother." It's like "Kick Ass!"


I saw that the actress who played K-Mart is in this film. What's your relationship with her in this new movie?

I have lost my memory because some evil, evil people have come and taken it away. Once that mystery unfolds, you'll find out.

Illustration for article titled How Resident Evil 4 brought the video games crazy action to life

Wentworth Miller (Chris Redfield)

I did know that I had to bring my A-game. Milla's been doing this for awhile, she's the bedrock of this franchise. She really sets a new standard in terms of a woman who is also an action hero. She's fierce she's vulnerable, she can kick ass all those things. So my job is just to keep pace.


Your character is trapped in what is seemingly a prison. How much of it is a prison still, and how much of it has changed because of the Umbrella Corp and the outbreak?

I wish I could divulge some of those details... I will say that this is a few years down the line after the apocalyptic change has swept the globe. It is a prison. But it's also not a prison. Sorry that's the best I can do.


Did you get the opportunity to work with the Army of Alices?

I did not. I look forward to seeing them when I get to watch the final cut.

Illustration for article titled How Resident Evil 4 brought the video games crazy action to life

What can you tell our audience about your character?

He's not the Chris Redfield from the video games, [but] he's certainly inspired by [that character]. There was some research into fan expectation, in terms of who this character is and what he means to the series, because he's kind of central to the video games. But we haven't seen him in the movies yet. But first and foremost, What universe has Paul Anderson created? Who does Chris Redfield need to be in the universe. And then trying to honor that, as well as what I bring to the table as an actor.

Paul W.S. Anderson

Is this the last Resident Evil?

We always take the movies on a kind of movie-by-movie basis. We put so much into making the movies, I've never liked to say whether it's the last one or not. Because I feel it's all about whether the fans really react to the movie or not. If we've done our job and people really, really love the film. Then maybe we'll consider making another one. But if we didn't feel the passion for making them, then we wouldn't continue. I think it's a combination of things. Whether the fans want to see another one, and whether we really want to deliver another one. I think one of the strengths of the franchise is, that it's made with a lot of passion by the people both in front of the camera and behind the camera. We never want to make a Resident Evil movie without that.


In the first movie you had the large creature in the end which was the big epic moment, in the second film you had Milla versus the Nemesis Project, and in the third film you had the army of Alices. What's this film's big moment?

We're based ultimately on a video game franchise, so the idea having the boss at the end of the level is something that we've always stayed with. Like in any good video game, there are multiple bosses. We have The Executioner from Resident Evil 5, which for me, is the favorite creature that Capcom has ever created. I think he's fantastic! He's mesmerizing, he looks amazing, he's scary as hell. So he's our midway point creature. Then, towards the end of the movie, we have the amazing dogs that they developed for Resident Evil 5. And I have to say, I was not excited about bringing the dogs back because we had them in three movies, and I thought "What on Earth can we do different?" Finally, when I played Resident Evil 5 and I saw the dogs splitting open, I'm like "oh my goodness this has to be in the movie." And then of course, we have Wesker who is probably the best and the most famous villain from the series of video games.


In the trailer I saw a lot of technology from the video games, especially the chest piece, how did you go about incorporating that into the plot?

I loved Resident Evil 5 the video game and I really tried to incorporate as much of the plot, and the design element, and the creatures, and even the fight moves from that game [as much] as possible. We were very heavily influenced by the video game. I make sure that everybody who works on my movies plays the game and knows what it is. So [everyone from] the production designer to the director of photography played the game, they're excited about it and they are excited to incorporate those elements in the movie.


What are the little fun nods we should be looking for?

I don't want to give it away, but I will tell you that right from the very first Resident Evil we've tried to jam as many little nods to the video game into the movie as possible. In terms of production design even lettering in the background, people's costumes, tiny little details. The movies are made with a lot of passion and energy. And we have a lot of fun making them as well. So we enjoy hiding all these little things in there. We should probably do a sweepstakes or something, "if you can spot 200 things from Resident Evil the video game in the movie."


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James Whitbrook

He's not the Chris Redfield from the video games, [but] he's certainly inspired by [that character]. There was some research into fan expectation, in terms of who this character is and what he means to the series, because he's kind of central to the video games.

Well, of course he's not game chris. He doesn't have arms the size of small countries for starters!

And if they're really researching fan expectation, riddle me this Mr. Miller... Is there a scene wherin you shoryuken a motherfucking rock!?!? There best be.