INTERVIEW: Paul W.S. Anderson talks Death Race, Blu-ray Love and confirms Resident Evil 4

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For some reason fanboys seem to have an irrational hatred of British director Paul W.S. Anderson who is best known for directing several successful video game films including Mortal Kombat and helming the Resident Evil franchise which will be shooting it’s 4th installment sometime next year. He also did Alien Vs. Predator which James Cameron once called the 3rd best Alien films.  Sure his films always has a much lower budget than most sci-fi film, but Anderson is a technical director who knows how to make a smaller budget film seem bigger than they are. Even though I’ve always hated the games, I’ve been a fan of Anderson’s R.E. films (and generally I don’t like Zombie movies either).  So it was a pleasure to have a quick conversation with him last week. I really wanted to ask him about Aint It Cool News’ irrational hatred and personal attacks against him, but ran out of time.  Here’s what I learned.

  • Anderson loves the Blu-ray format and thinks that if you put a movie on it, you should use it to its fullest extent.  When he purchases a Blu-ray and it’s barebones he feels cheated (amen brother) and that his movies are always successful and have a longer shelf life as DVDs and now Blu-rays because he always strives to use the medium to it’s fullest extinct. In our short conversation we talked extensively about this and he’s really proud of the Death Race Blu-ray release, as well as the work he put into the upcoming Event Horizon Blu-ray as well.  He said if you pay double for a Blu-ray you should get more.
  • On the Death Race Blu-ray there is this cool multi-angle (7 Camera) feature that let’s users re-cut one of the major action sequences in the film. As proof of Anderson and Universal’s commitment to the Blu-ray format, this featured cost $750,000 to produce.  Through BD-Live you can upload your new cut and there will be contests where he and the movie’s editor will judge the best cut.
  • There will be a Resident Evil 4 film and they are working on it now.  When asked about some critics irrational hatred of him, he said he doesn’t care what critics think. Especially when they don’t even get the film. One Critic questioned who the audience for the first Resident Evil film was, then when the sequel came out said that he killed the franchise.
  • It took him ten years to get Death Race made.  Famed B-Movie director/producer and the creator of the original Death Race film, Roger Corman distributed Anderson’s very first film in America, so he’s always been an inspiration for him and has impacted his career.  When you work on a project this long, it showed people that he was committed to getting it done.
  • Death Race is actually a prequel to Roger’s film.  He wanted to do a contemporary version because he loved the idea of using Cars as “these big war machines,” and the first movie didn’t have the budget to really do it properly.

He only gets nervous when he sees a film with an audience for the first time. He makes his movie for an audience and when they don’t like it he feels gutted.
Death Race hits the streets Dec 23, on Blu-Ray ($39.99 retail) and an Unrated DVD Version (29.99).