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Resident Evil: The Final Chapter set visit: Everything You Need to Know!

01.04.2017by: Eric Walkuski

Resident Evil The Final Chapter set visit Milla Jovovich Ali Larter Ruby Rose

After 15 years and six movies, the RESIDENT EVIL movie franchise is ready to come to an end. This month, RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER will mark the final (allegedly) film from creative team Constantin Film, director Paul W.S. Anderson and actress Milla Jovovich. Together, they've brought in almost a $1 billion worldwide with a surprisingly durable film series based on the popular Capcom title. There have been ups and downs, to be sure, but the commitment shown by Constantin and Anderson to build a schlocky world of zombies, monsters, evil scientists and ass-kicking heroes cannot be denied. Whether or not RESIDENT EVIL will show up on the big screen again is unknown (I'm sure we can all guess, though), but it sure looks like the end for this particular iteration.

The new film sees Alice return to Raccoon City, the place where it all started. In her final fight against the dreaded Umbrella Corporation, she'll be joined by old friend Claire Redfield (Ali Larter), while meeting up with some new friends, assembled from an international cast including Ruby Rose, William Levy, Eoin Macken and Fraser James. Her enemies are, once again, Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) and Dr. Isaacs (Iain Glen), who returns for the first time since RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION. Naturally, there will be no shortage of flesh-chewing ghouls or genetic mutants to stand in the way of Alice and her quest to bring down Umbrella once and for all.

Late last year, I was invited to the set of THE FINAL CHAPTER in Cape Town, South Africa. A long way from home, yes, but an incredible location that offered up plenty of glorious scenery, enabling THE FINAL CHAPTER to have more of an epic scope than any of the previous RESIDENT EVIL films. However, the set I was privy too wasn't an open landscape; it was a crumbling old factory - just cold cement and rotting pipes everywhere - that served as an atmospheric home base for the protagonists as they fended off a horde of zombies and one of Umbrella's evil enforcers, Lee (played by South Korean celebrity Lee Joon-gi). It was a late night, we were there from 7pm - 3am, but we spoke to almost all of the key participants and got some insight into what THE FINAL CHAPTER has in store.

Resident Evil The Final Chapter set visit Milla Jovovich Ali Larter Ruby Rose

Below you'll find the most important notes about the film, in convenient bullet point format, so you'll walk into the theater prepared for Alice's final battle.

- SMALL SPOILER ALERT! The scene I saw shooting involved Alice, Claire, Christian (William Levy), Abigail (Ruby Rose), Doc (Eoin Macken) and Michael (Fraser James) tying the villainous Lee up to the back of an armored transport vehicle, which then drives away as he attempts to keep pace with it. Worse for him, there are swarms of zombies giving chase! Alice and the crew somberly watch as the monsters catch up to him. This was quite cool because there really were dozens of extras in zombie make-up on set, so it would just be a CGI horde in the final cut (although of course they may still add some zombies to make their number even more imposing.) From what we could gather, Lee is an ambitious Umbrella super soldier who causes a lot of problems for Alice; evidently the two of them have a pretty major fight sequence in which he more or less takes Alice down.

- Paul W.S. Anderson called this a return to the first film, not only in terms of returning to Raccoon City, but in terms of overall atmosphere. "There’s some really good, dark stuff going on in this movie, darker than the others. I feel like the first Resident Evil was kind of a dark, unpleasant movie which is what that first audience responded to. I don’t know whether I got soft over the years, but we’ve gone back to the cruel sadism of the first movie," Anderson commented. It also answers long-building questions, such as what the Umbrella corporation has really been up to the entire time, the truth behind the T-virus, and revelations regarding who some of these characters really are. Anderson claimed that THE FINAL CHAPTER has "more story" than the other films, and that he worked on the script longer than any of the others. (It helped that wife Milla was pregnant, which gave Paul nine extra months to play with.) "I think the screenplay is a lot better than the version we would have shot nine months ago," Anderson said. He also hopes it will make people go back and watch the other films with a new outlook.

- Unlike the last two RESIDENT EVIL movies, THE FINAL CHAPTER wasn't shot with 3D cameras, although it will be converted into the format. Anderson said the reason behind this was that using native 3D cameras is too restricting because they're so big, and he wanted this film to be a lot grittier and "down and dirty," so using normal cameras allowed him to shoot things he wouldn't have been able to otherwise. Still, every shot was planned for an eventual 3D conversion.

Resident Evil The Final Chapter set visit Milla Jovovich Ali Larter Ruby Rose

- Neither Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) nor Chris Redfield (Wentworth Miller) will be in the film. No official reason was given, although Milla did note that "there are a lot of characters in the Resident Evil franchise and it’s difficult to have everybody involved. You know Jill has been around for the last two films and we knew we wanted to get Ali back and we just kind of had to make some tough choices on this one."

- Production was almost shut down for good after stuntwoman Olivia Jackson was horrifically injured during a motorcycle stunt that went awry. (Incidentally, it was the very first day of principal photography.) The event traumatized both Jovovich and Anderson, but Jackson miraculously lived and production eventually resumed. According to Jovovich, it ultimately took three people to replicate the stunt that Jackson would have been able to do on her own. (Tragically, a few weeks after I was on the set another freak accident occurred, claiming the life of crewman Ricardo Cornelius.)

- You will see Alice as a 90-year-old woman in the film. When Jovovich said as much to the journalists on set it was a big secret, but eventually the actress revealed herself in old age make-up via social media. It's still unclear what the context is, but Jovovich said that "there is some really deep stuff" going on in the film. It is also said that she's playing multiple characters in the film.

Resident Evil The Final Chapter set visit Milla Jovovich Ali Larter Ruby Rose

- In another effort to humanize Alice more, producer Jeremy Bolt said they've taken away some of her powers, making her less of a superhero character and more relatable. "She's more grounded, she's been really beaten down by the Umbrella Corporation," Bolt said.

- Milla and Paul's daughter, Ever Gabo Anderson, is playing the Red Queen in the film. Apparently, she has as much dialogue in the film as any other actor. She also used her own voice - every other child actor playing the Red Queen in the past has had their voice dubbed by an adult.

- It does sound like this will indeed be the final chapter. Both Jovovich and Anderson admitted that saying goodbye to the series was bittersweet, but they're clearly grateful for being able to do it for so long. Not to mention the fact that they met while making the movies and have since forged a family. Said Anderson: "It’s a very bittersweet experience to be directing the last one. It’s great that there’s an interest in how it might end. It’s been a part of my life, a very big part, for so many years now. Not only have I got a successful franchise out of the series, but a wife and a family, so there’s a bit of sadness associated with that."

Resident Evil The Final Chapter set visit Milla Jovovich Ali Larter Ruby Rose

STAY TUNED FOR MORE FROM THE SET OF RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER, INCLUDING INTERVIEWS WITH THE CAST!

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