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Paul W.S. Anderson Explains Why He Created Alice For Resident Evil Films

October 12, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Resident Evil Afterlife

The Resident Evil films had plenty of franchise characters, but was led by an entirely new one in Milla Jovovich’s Alice and Paul W.S. Anderson has explained the reasoning for that. Speaking during a virtual panel at New York Comic-Con for Monster Hunter, Anderson discussed his creation of the original character for the films and why he decided to do so.

“I’ve always been drawn to female-led movies,” Anderson said (per JoBlo). “I like them. The films I’ve made, they quite often have strong female leads. When I first came to Hollywood, there was this belief that female-led action movies didn’t work, because there’d been several that hadn’t worked. And I just thought that was bullshit. I didn’t believe it for a second. So I pushed very hard to have a female lead in the role. Resident Evil had been developed for a while by other filmmakers, who had had other screenplays written that never got made. They always had male leads. So I felt like it was time to try something completely different.”

He continued to talk about creating Alice instead of using someone like Jill Valentine or Claire Redfield as the lead, saying, “If you look at the game, while the Alice character is not in the game, the archetype certainly is. There’s a lot of very strong female characters that you get to play as in the game. By having a completely fresh character and telling a prequel story to the world of the video games, it gave us some more dramatic license that we wouldn’t have had if we had just done a straight adaptation of any one of the games.”

Jill and Claire did both appear in the franchise, played by Sienna Guillory and Ali Larter, respectively. However, Alice remained the consistent lead for the franchise from the 2002 first entry through to 2016’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. A live-action Netflix series is on the way as well as a reboot film that hew closer to the original games.