Anderson, Paul W.S: Director Profile–Resident Evil

Paul W.S. Anderson is the writer-director of “Resident Evil: Afterlife,” starring Milla Jovovich as Alice.

The film, which is the fourth in the franchise and the first in 3D, is released by Screen Gems on September 10.

Anderson’s first film was 1994’s low-budget success Shopping, which Anderson wrote and directed. Starring Sadie Frost and Jude Law (with an appearance by legendary singer Marianne Faithful), this dark film about joyriding and “ram-raiding” British youth was banned in some U.K. theaters but firmly established Anderson’s love of cars, dystopian futures and high-impact action.

Shopping paved the way to Hollywood for Anderson, and 1995’s Mortal Kombat became his first American No. 1 box-office smash. It was also the first successful movie adaptation of a videogame.

Sidestepping offers to direct a sequel to Mortal Kombat, Anderson chose instead to turn his attention to science fiction. His next directorial projects included Soldier and Event Horizon. Blade Runner screenwriter David Peoples wrote Soldier as a “sidequel” to the bleakly powerful Blade Runner. The film starred Kurt Russell, Connie Nielsen and Jason Isaacs. Now considered a cult classic, Event Horizon starred Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Jason Isaacs and Joely Richardson.

Anderson returned to adapting videogames for the big screen with the survival horror film Resident Evil (2002), starring Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez. Anderson wrote, directed and produced the feature. The movie spawned Anderson’s second successful franchise, which includes No. 1 hits Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) and Resident Evil: Extinction (2007). Anderson wrote and produced the sequels with Impact Pictures partner Jeremy Bolt.

He then wrote and directed the highly anticipated AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004), starring Lance Henriksen. This kicked off Anderson’s third successful franchise, as the movie opened at No. 1 and went on to be the highest-grossing film in both the Alien and Predator series. 

In 2008, Anderson’s Death Race rolled into theaters. The film, which starred Jason Statham, Joan Allen, Tyrese Gibson and Ian McShane, was a remake of the 1975 cult classic Death Race 2000 starring David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone. Anderson produced the film through Impact Pictures with producing partner Jeremy Bolt and a sequel is presently in production. 

In 2009, Anderson wrapped the sci-fi horror film Pandorum, starring Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster, for which he took on the role of producer. Anderson and Bolt produced through their Impact Pictures banner.

Born and raised in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, Anderson graduated from the University of Warwick with a B.A. in film and literature. He continued at Warwick to become the school’s youngest student to achieve an M.B.A.

Anderson is currently directing and producing an update of The Three Musketeers in 3D.