Director Paul Anderson: Not playing games before adapting them is disrespectful

Is the city of stars putting the cart before the horse?

At one time we’ve all done it, or seen it done. We’ve stood in front of the class and delivered a report on a book we’ve never read. Rarely was it ever successful, and even when it was, we all knew the report would have been better had we actually read the damn book. Yet Hollywood has been doing the same thing for years according to Paul Anderson, director of the Resident Evil: Afterlife Movie.


Above: Just because we have no idea what this is, doesn’t mean we can’t make a movie about it

In arecent interview with Crispy GamerAnderson responded to filmmaker Mike Newell admission that he had never actually played the Prince of Persia games whilst promoting the film of the same name. “That's like adapting a book without reading the book or adapting a stage play and never seeing the stage play. I think it's disrespectful to the medium, and it's disrespectful to the original source material, and ultimately, it doesn't make the best movie."


Above: See?

While Afterlife never even approached PoP’s worldwide gross of $335M, Anderson sticks to his guns “As a filmmaker, I'm definitely immersed in the world of Resident Evil, so even though we're choosing to tell slightly different stories and introduce some different characters, the movies are very much immersed in the video game world. You can see it from the way they're shot to what the production design looks like, to what the costumes look like. This is clearly a franchise made by people who know the intellectual property that it's based upon very, very well. I think it infuses the whole movie with the feeling of Resident Evil that I think the fans know is authentic.”

While Anderson’s research integrity is certainly appreciated, and he definitely doesn’t foul the air quite likeanother certain directordoes – and, hey, kudos on marrying Mila Jovovich – deference to the source material does not always a good movie make. Lest we forget Anderson is also responsible for the Alien Vs. Predator, Mortal Kombat and the Dead or Alive films along with the other Resident Evil films.


Above: In fairness, could a movie about a plumber jumping on goombas be made into anything other than this?

Still, we cannot help but feel that loving that material you’re working with will at least make the end result (whatever it may be) “better” than if you don’t. But we can probably all agree that just developing a compelling story and characters will make an infinitely better film than love alone. In either case, the last thing we want is for Hollywood to stop making game adaptations…how else would we get articles likethis?

Any thoughts on the matter? Tell us in the comments.

Nov 5, 2010


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