Jeremy Bolt and Paul WS Anderson have been working together for years now, ever since Anderson’s first feature, Shopping. The duo are producing the new Resident Evil: Extinction (Anderson wrote it; it’s being directed by Highlander’s Russell Mulcahey), and Bolt had just arrived on set from location shoots on the day that my group of intrepid journalists came to Mexico City to watch the thing being filmed. He talked extensively about Extinction (which you’ll have to wait to read about – we’re embargoed!) as well as some possible upcoming projects that he and Anderson are on. “We’re talking about two projects – Death Race  and Castlevania. Death Race is with Paramount and Cruise Wagner, Tom Cruise’s company,” Bolt told us.
The Anderson-scripted remake of Death Race 2000 (I don’t know if any of JF Lawton’s script remains, but Bolt said that Anderson has written the latest draft. And by the way, if you haven’t seen Paul Bartel’s amazing original, do not hesitate to get the new special edition DVD. The movie is just as fresh today as it was 30 years ago) has been languishing in development hell for some time, but Bolt hints that things are about to change: “I think we should be making an announcement in the next two or three weeks,” he said, but he didn’t specify if Anderson would definitely be directing (although I got the impression that he will be).
“We’ve basically taken the idea of reality television and extended it twenty years,” Bolt said. “It’s definitely a comment on society and particularly on reality television, but it’s not as much of a parody or a satire as the original. It’s more straight-ahead.”
A comment on reality TV? Maybe Richard Dawson could come back from the dead* and host the Death Race. And maybe they could have a racer named Sub-Zero. Honestly, besides the fact that making it just about reality TV is walking in someone else’s footsteps, why would anyone want to remove the comedy from Death Race? The tone of the original is perfectly balanced, and it’s the high concept comedy of a scene like the one where the old folks home puts their worst-off cases in the road to get creamed by the racers that makes the movie as much fun as it is (and it’s Frankenstein veering off the road to avoid the old people and kill the doctors and nurses that makes it a classic). Doing a cross country race where you get points for killing innocents completely straight is an idea so bad that it could only come from the mind behind Alien vs Predator.
Of course I’m skewed on that one – I love Death Race 2000. Anderson’s other potential next project, Castlevania, is one I couldn’t give a shit about. Bolt says that Anderson’s Castlevania script (which currently includes the whip, you purists) mixes “a Dracula origin story with Castlevania, with the story of the Belmonts.”
Expect the film to have some nods to the games. “There’s a fair amount that references – we always try to give the fans something that respects their love of the game, but also give them something completely new. So we’ve added a whole new spin to Castlevania.”
Castlevania and Resident Evil: Extinction (and the possible fourth Resident Evil movie) aren’t the only video game projects on Anderson’s plate. He and Bolt also produced the adaptation of DOA, which is hitting in August. Watch out, Uwe Boll! “It’s a lot of fun,” Bolt said. “What’s good about DOA is fantastic fighting opportunities, but also this sexiness, with the volleyball, with the island. It’s very PG-13, in the sense that it’s not a horror film. There are some phenomenal fight sequences. We worked with Corey Yuen, who did the Transporter movies. We went to China – I spent eight months in China last year with all the stunt people. It’s fantastic. But also it is sexy. There’s a three minute volleyball sequence.”
And with that last sentence a nation of 13 year olds just went to moviefone.com to pre-order tickets.
*Note: I know that Richard Dawson is not technically dead.