Producer Jeremy Bolt on Resident Evil: Afterlife


On opening the scope, Jill Valentine and the future

Continuing with our line of interviews conducted on the set of Resident Evil: Apocalypse, here’s Jeremy Bolt – longtime producing partner of director Paul W.S. Anderson. Together, the two form Impact Pictures which has been a part of the Evil series since the first installment. We caught up to Bolt the instant we arrived on the Toronto set, and you can read about our encounter and the things we saw there in our full report. Are the zombie dogs going to be CG in the movie?

Jeremy Bolt: A combination of CG and then real Dobermans. We have real Dobermans covered in makeup. Then, we do a CG take over. Their head will literally explode – will flair open, the jaws will come here and this is very much part of the new game, Resident Evil 5. We were very, very impressed with the Resident Evil 5 game. It’s probably the best game since the first game. It’s been a massive success. I think apart from being pretty grotesque, it’s a piece of art as well. This is the interior of the Arcadia. It’s an Umbrella Laboratory and [you’re looking at] one of the final scenes of the film. It’s the scene of the final confrontation between Chairman Wesker and Alice, Milla Jovovich’s character. Chairman Wesker is the most popular character in the videogame series. He was a good guy, he turned bad guy. He’s played by this very strong Canadian actor, Shawn Roberts. We think he’s awesome. He wears this long leather coat, it’s very Matrix inspired, there’s these dark glasses. He’s a really worthy villain of Alice. He’s probably the most worthy of all the villains she’s come up against. Within those pods at the back, the Umbrella Corporation has been experimenting on people. Then Claire Redfield and Chris Redfield will also be involved in this attack and there will be zombie dogs who will open up as you saw.

Shock: On these tables?

Bolt: These are people that the Umbrella Corporation has been working on. Essentially, Wesker is trying to empower himself by experimenting on other bodies. He’s obsessed with becoming as powerful as Alice. You know, Alice and the T-Virus have meshed and that’s what he wants. It’s very Kubrickian, this set, deliberately it’s in real contrast to the rest of the movie. There are quite a few looks to this film. You know, we try as filmmakers with every one of the movies to give the audience a very different feel. The last one obviously was the desert, the previous one was in the city, a lot of it at night. This one, we are in Japan. We are in Alaska. We are in Los Angeles and then we have the more typical high tech Umbrella environments like this one. But, we believe strongly that in order to keep a franchise going you have to make the audience feel they’re going to get something new each time. Don’t just give them the same thing as the last one with a bit more action.

Shock: And all too common.

Bolt: Yeah, it’s really quite hard work because visually, I mean, for example at the moment you go to the cinema, there’s so many post apocalyptic movies, and obviously we are slightly post apocalyptic, so we’re trying to think of ways of being slightly different in a post apocalyptic world which is tough, especially when you don’t have the budget of 2012.

Shock: How are the undead and the zombies different in this movie than in the previous ones?

Bolt: They’re becoming a bit more intelligent. They also have mandibles, tentacles that come out of their mouths.

Shock: That’s from the game too.

Bolt: Yeah, more intelligent, physically evolving and there was a character, one of them becomes quite a big character in this version of the film. As I said, we really looked at the last game, although it’s set in Africa, we’re not in Africa. We did take a lot of their characters from that game and worked them into this ‘cause we were very impressed with it.

Shock: Will we see Jill Valentine again?

Bolt: You might. [laughs]

Shock: Will it be the same actress?

Bolt: It might be. [laughs]

Shock: Is this envisioned as the final chapter in this?

Bolt: We try to make every one a satisfactory movie and if the movie does well enough and we feel there’s a demand and Paul and I and my colleagues are creatively excited enough, we would do another one. I think that we try to view every one as it could be the last one. We’re not presumptuous enough to think it will just keep going. But, one of the things that’s pretty exciting is now we are working very closely with Capcom, so we have a very strong relationship and my dream is that I actually will make a version of this film that properly integrates a game and a movie, which has never been done to my knowledge. But I think we’ve showed them, we’ve brought things to their franchise, and obviously we’ve taken from their franchise and I think there’s a good union, a creative union potentially there which I haven’t fully explored. So that would be my goal in the future.

Source: Ryan Rotten, Managing Editor