The next Resident Evil movie, The Final Chapter, is going to be the best one in the series, according to director Paul W.S. Anderson. He said in a new interview that delaying the movie nine months to accommodate series star Milla Jovovich’s pregnancy benefited the film because it gave him extra time to refine his vision for it.
“That extra nine months to work on a film that was already set, I think just massively improved it,” Anderson told Collider. “For me, this is the best movie in the franchise. And I think it’s certainly on par with the first film, which I feel was always the best in the franchise. There would be no franchise if it wasn’t for the first film.”
Reflecting on the origins of the Resident Evil movie series, Anderson said the first film, which came out in 2002, faced an uphill battle. However, without the weight of expectation–in regards to deadlines specifically–Anderson was able to make the movie he wanted.
“No one was waiting for it,” he said. “There was no studio setting a release date, going, ‘We have to have that movie.’ Nobody wanted the first Resident Evil movie. R-rated movies weren’t very fashionable, no one knew whether zombies would be very commercial or not, and no one was very excited about having a female lead in an action movie. We had a lot of negatives and we had to work really hard to get the movie made.”
The extra nine months of production on The Final Chapter were a “real gift” for Anderson, he said. He already had the movie’s locations and action sequences locked in, so Jovovich’s pregancy gave him the unique opportunity to dig further into those parts.
Go to Collider to watch the full interview.
Announcing The Final Chapter‘s delay in 2014, Jovovich said, “We didn’t think pregnancy and zombie killing are the best combo!” The father of the child is Anderson, Jovovich’s husband.
The Final Chapter comes to theaters on January 27, which is just three days after Resident Evil 7 lands on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The movie is the sixth and potentially last one from Anderson and Jovovich, but not necessarily the final entry overall. The Final Chapter also stars Ruby Rose (Orange is the New Black), Ali Larter (Final Destination), and Iain Glen (Game of Thrones).
For more on Resident Evil 7, check out Part 1 of GameSpot’s Reviving Resident Evil video series here.