By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist September 23, 2011 at 1:19AM
We're not sure that there's a single franchise out there that's cheaper and more joyless than "Resident Evil." The video-game adaptation is now a decade, and four entries, old, and has continued to add literally nothing to the zombie genre, the action movie genre and the cinematic artform in general. But with the last film, "Resident Evil: Apocalypse," proving by far the biggest entry in the series, taking nearly $300 million worldwide, there's no end in sight, and original helmer Paul W.S. Anderson, who also directed the fourth entry, is returning to the series for "Resident Evil: Retribution," on which shooting is imminent, ahead of a release a year from now.
The film is bringing back several series veterans, with top-liner Milla Jovovich leading Sienna Guillory and Boris Kodjoe, who play...we don't know, zombie fighters or something. But the cast is going further back than that: Colin Salmon, who was cut into tiny cubes by a laser in the only vaguely memorable scene in the first film, tweeted that he'd be coming back, and now according to Bloody Disgusting, Michelle Rodriguez is returning too.
We confess that we'd forgotten that Rodriguez was in the original, but Wikipedia tells us that she played a commando called Rain Ocampo, who, like Salmon, didn't make it to the credits, being zombified and killed by heroine Alice. This means one of a number of things in the new installment: either 1) the film is at least in part a prequel to previous entries, 2) the characters are somehow resurrected, perhaps through cloning, which has figured in previous installments, 3) Anderson has forgotten that he cast Rodriguez and Salmon in the original, and has given them new roles, or 4) the realization has been reached that no one gives a flying fuck about the continuity of the "Resident Evil" movie franchise.
So, anyway, a paycheck for Rodriguez and a bone thrown to whoever it is out there who really cares about this series. The globe-trotting film shoots any day now in Toronto, Japan and Russia, again in 3D, and has been set by Screen Gems for a release on September 14, 2012. Our hunch is that it may, at some point, involve some kind of dated "The Matrix"-aping action sequence full of bad CGI. Yeah, some people say we're psychic. No big deal.