Further notes

Resident Evil: Retribution was greelit in 2010 following the box office success of Resident Evil: Afterlife.[1] Writer Paul W.S. Anderson returned to the director's chair.


Anderson wrote the script to Retribution based on fan opinion of Afterlife, and gave prominence to returning characters. As with Afterlife, Retribution incorporated elements from Resident Evil 5, with the "Majini" which, in this universe, are a zombie mutant variety. Alongside the Majini are the "Las Plagas Undead", Zombies which have been augmented via Las Plagas and can follow orders as a military force.[2] The savannah chase in the game inspired a similar scene, where the Las Plagas Undead pursue a Rolls Royce on motorcycles.[3]

To keep the series fresh and explore the vulnerability Alice has had since losing her abilities in Afterlife, Anderson wrote in a subplot for an Alice clone living as a suburban housewife with no fighting skills, unlike the Alice clones in Afterlife.[4] In creating this life, Alice was paired up with a clone of Carlos Olivera, and the two given a daughter, Becky. Becky herself was rewritten early on when Anderson recognised her actress Aryana Engineer in the film Orphan. He had originally intended to simply write around her deafness, but then decided to fully incorporate it into her character, with the family using sign language.[5]

Anderson had heard of stereotypes about the Prius and its drivers while living in the United States, and decided to incorporate it into the film after seeing Michelle Rodriguez drive to the casting interview in one. She was therefore also given her own radically-different clone, in this case a gun control activist.[4]

The idea of Umbrella Prime being underwater, below in a frozen wasteland was made to keep the franchise fresh, though detail was given to there being a submarine pen to avoid any plot holes associated with it. The nature of Umbrella Prime itself as a bio-weapons testing lab was envisioned after Anderson heard of the US military training soldiers for urban warfare with fake Iraqi towns.[4]


Milla Jovovich publicly confirmed the casting of several actors via Twitter, included Colin Salmon, Michelle Rodriguez, Oded Fehr, Johann Urb,[6] Kevin Durand,[7] Li Bingbing,[8][9] and Shawn Roberts.[10] Anderson had wanted Leon to be in the series for some time, and even raised the possibility before the script was written.[11] Boris Kodjoe and Ali Larter accepted offers to reprise their roles,[12] but Larter had to back out due to scheduling conflicts. Jovovich was hopeful of her, Spencer Locke and Wentworth Miller returning in the final film, tweeting "claire, chris, and k-mart have been abducted by the umbrella corporation. and we have try to save them!". Anderson may have tried to get Supernatural actor Jensen Ackles on board, but he was busy working on the TV series, Jovovich tweeted "again so we don't waste time: JENSEN ACKLES IS SHOOTING A TV SHOW AND IS UNAVAILABLE!"


Principle photography took place from 10 October to 24 December 2011.[citation needed] Interior sequences were booked for Cinespan Film Studios outside Toronto.[13]

The Suburbia sequences were filmed in a real Toronto suburb over a period of a week. There was opposition to filming by the residents, but many changed their mind when their children supported it.[4] To get in role as the Suburban Alice clone, Jovovich drank large quantities of coffee to make her shake when acting terrified.[5] The sequence where the Zombies charge at Suburban Alice and Becky in the overturned Prius were re-shot when the extras completely passed the car to follow Jovovich and Engineer, in the theatrical cut they swarm the car before the occupants can get out.[5] The interior sets largely used a real house in the Zombie attack as well as Alice and Ada's arrival.[4] Stuntman Trevor Jones performed the most dangerous stunt in the film in the house, in which the Majini Zombie he is playing falls off a balcony. There was a serious risk of injury if he fell the wrong way when pushed.[4][5] The homeowner was naturally unwilling to have his house blown up, and a studio model was fabricated for the sequence where the Umbrella troops attack.[4]

Retribution light fight cast

The cast that took part in corridor fight scene. Pictured include Milla Jovovich, Brian Ho and Mika Nakashima.

The set design for Umbrella Prime itself used a special kind of glass used in skyscrapers, which Anderson believed may have caused delays in building construction.[4] The torture chamber was made bright to avoid any cliche set designs associated with dungeons.[4] Loud noises were used as a form of torture for Alice in the film, which Anderson picked so the audience would share her pain.[5] For the fight scene inside the corridor to the Shibuya area, a Japanese stunt team was flown over to make-up for a shortage in Canadian stuntmen. They were made to throw real punches similar to those in Thai action films when Anderson noticed that fighting scenes in 3D were less believable.[4] Due to the lights on the glass, the floor was especially hot, and steps had to be taken to avoid causing injury to the stunt performers playing dead zombies.[4] The sequences set in Shibuya itself were filmed at 3AM in Toronto. Due to the cold weather, the "rain" had to be especially cold to not show condensation. This caused problems for Jovovich and actress Mika Nakashima.[5]

The Times Square sequence used real axes for the Axe Men fight, which caused damage to cars on the street.[4]

The Moscow sequences were filmed over several weeks, using a real department store which could only be filmed at certain times of the day. This created a continuity error as actor Johann Urb's facial hair grew during the sequence where Las Plagas Undead shoot at the building Leon's team is hiding in.[4][5] The later Rolls Royce chase scene required several re-shoots due to the actors being confused about whether driving orders for the Rolls Royce chase were for their left and right or stage left and right.[5] The cars were not designed for the handling necessary in stunt chases. Anderson realised this only after purchasing three cars to be destroyed, so had them modified.[4]

The Moscow Metro sequences were recorded in a real subway station, which caused confusion among commuters.[5] These scenes included a conversation between characters heading through the tunnel towards a ladder. Due to the relatively short area they could record in, they repeatedly got to the ladder before being scripted to. A solution was found wherein they would cut at the last sentence before reaching the ladder, then walk back down the tunnel and finish their lines.[5] Due to the use of Russian in both settings, Jovovich served as the film's Russian proofreader.[4]

Later in the film there is a sequence where Alice must rescue Becky from an Uber-Licker cocoon at the cloning plant, while Leon's team fights the Umbrella agents. These were filmed in a decommissioned Toronto power station.[4] In the cloning plant, Engineer was hoisted into the air so she would be convincingly captured by the Uber-Licker by the special effects team.[4] After creating the idea of Lickers storing people in cocoons to eat later, "Brendan", a Zombie extra and staff member, was placed within his own cocoon so the audience would understand what the cocoons are for.[5] When it was Engineer's turn, Jovovich frightened her so she would appear appropriately distressed when rescued.[5] Special effects were used to make the room appear full of clones hanging from railings, Anderson envisioned a soulless production line to compare it with an abattoir, given the nature of the clones.[4]

The final fight in the snow took 4–6 weeks to prepare due to the complex choreography, which fight choreographer Nick Powell considered to be the most complex he had ever done.[4] As real punches were desired, Rodriguez caused injury to Boris Kodjoe, who didn't expect her to be so strong.[4] Bad Rain's death was altered during this period, when Jovovich and Powell gave Anderson the idea of her falling into the water and being eaten by a horde of zombies that had escaped from Umbrella Prime.[4] The final shot of it was based on Renaissance art, showing the damned descending to Hell.[4] During recording, Producer Jeremy Bolt played one of the first Zombies to grab Bad Rain after a stuntman was pulled out due to a latex allergy, and was kicked in the face as a result.[4]

The ending scene featured the White House as one of the final holdouts in the outbreak. The prop already existed in Toronto due to a previous film set in the Nixon-era.[4] Anderson had problems directing the soldiers here, as they were inexperienced and new to their respective extras agencies.[5]

One scene of the film, scheduled to be shot on Tuesday 11 October, was delayed due to the collapse of a platform the Zombie actors were to stand on, which was determined to be due to the sheer weight of the extras and crew.[13]


The opening sequence, in which the attack on the Arcadia is shown in reverse, was devised by Anderson as a means of topping the opening to Afterlife. The ship had already been scrapped, however, so special effects were used to turn a 50 ft platform on a car park into the ship. The Osprey CG models were a re-use of the Afterlife models out of convenience.[4]


  1. Resident Evil 5 Has a Release Date. Shock Till You Drop. Retrieved on 2011-03-03.
  2. Michelle Rodriguez Returning for some 'Retribution'!. Bloody-Disgusting. Retrieved on 2011-09-22.
  3. Paul W.S. Anderson RESIDENT EVIL 5 RETRIBUTION Interview. Collider.Com. Retrieved on 2011-10-02.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 Resident Evil: Retribution, DVD Commentary with Paul and Jeremy.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 Resident Evil: Retribution, DVD Commentary with Paul, Milla and Boris.
  6. Johann Urb will be Leon!. Twitter. Retrieved on 2011-09-29.
  7. Kevin Durand will be Barry. Twitter. Retrieved on 2011-10-12.
  8. Li Bingbing will be Ada. Twitter. Retrieved on 2011-10-11.
  9. Ada Wong Will Be In Resident Evil: Retribution. Shock Till You Drop. Retrieved on 2011-08-18.
  10. Milla Jovovich Official Twitter Page. Milla Jovovich. Retrieved on 2011-09-17.
  11. Pirrello, Phil. "SDCC 10: What's Next For Resident Evil?", IGN Movies, News Corporation, July 25, 2010. Retrieved on 2010-08-07. 
  12. Resident Evil: Afterlife - Interviews with Milla Jovovich and Ali Larter. MovieWeb (on YouTube) (September 25, 2010). Retrieved on January 3, 2011.
  13. 13.0 13.1 UPDATED: Actor zombies injured on Resident Evil movie set. nationalpost (October 11, 2011). Retrieved on 2020-04-01.
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