Director Paul W.S. Anderson said that he spent several sequels trying to figure out how to bring back characters he had already killed off, but his plans came together in "Resident Evil: Retribution."
"It was fun to work old characters back in. Obviously, I loved working with Michelle on the first movie and we shot her in the head obviously, which kind of precluded her from coming back, but we always talked about the idea of bringing her back but couldn't figure out how," Anderson said in an interview provided by Screen Gems. "Then at the end of the third movie, where we kind of introduced the cloning idea, that's where it really kick started the idea of obviously, if you have a franchise that has cloning in it, then there's the possibility for dead characters to come back."
The 3D movie sees Milla Jovovich's character, Alice, as a captive of the main operation facility of the evil Umbrella Corporation. She later joins forces with resistance fighters and travel around the world to take down the group and those responsible for unleashing a deadly virus that has transformed humans into zombie-like beings.
"They have test environments - the suburban American neighborhood, or maybe Times Square, or maybe Moscow, or maybe Tokyo, where they populate these environments with clones who believe they're in the real world and then the Umbrella Corporation unleashed the biohazard upon them - whether it's a creature or a virus and they study to see what the affects are," Anderson explained of the evil corporation. "Obviously that's something they can't do in the real world, because it's completely inhumane and would result in the Umbrella Corporation being closed down, but just using these clones as test fodder, they do these experiments."
With the film being so high-action, many of the actors exert extreme energy to commit to doing their own stunts. Anderson explained how Jovovich is so dedicated to her role, that it takes a physical toll on the star.
"Everyone does their own stunts, they all get beaten up, you know?" Anderson explained to OnTheRedCarpet on September 14. "Milla comes home with bruises every single night. But everyone, 5-o-clock in the morning, the following day, they're all back at work - ready to have fun and ready to get beaten up again."
Rodriguez reprises her role as Rain Ocampo, a member of an Umbrella commando unit. The actress portrayed several versions of her character, who was cloned.
Jason Isaacs, who also hasn't appeared in the franchise since the first film, returns as Dr. William Birkin, a former Umbrella biologist. Meanwhile, Kevin Durand plays Barry Burton, a character from the "Resident Evil" video games that has not yet appeared in the film series.
"It was fun, especially in Milla's case, to direct her in scenes where normally she would just crack the necks of the zombies and be totally competent and not be flustered at all," Anderson said. "To watch her be panicked and scared and act that, was great. And at the end of every day as suburban Alice, Milla would come to me and go, 'Being scared is hard, because you spend all your time screaming and running away. It's much, much easier to be the hero, because you just have to stand there, look cool and kill things."
The "Resident Evil" film franchise has made more than $675 million worldwide, which each movie making more than the one before. The fourth installment "Resident Evil: Afterlife," was released in September 2010 and has since then made $296 million worldwide - almost three times as much as the first movie. The box office profits for the films are considerably larger outside of the United States.
The science fiction franchise is based on the Capcom survival horror video fame series of the same name. Anderson has said that if "Retribution" is successful in the box office, he will most likely make a sixth and final film in the series.
Anderson is married to Jovovich. The pair met in 2002, on the set of the first film and wed in 2009. They welcomed their first daughter, Ever Gabo Anderson in November 2007.
"Resident Evil: Retribution" hits theaters on September 14. Watch the trailer below.