The Resident Evil movie franchise almost derailed before it even got going. Star Milla Jovovich recalled in a new interview with Inverse, tracking the history of the films, that she “almost quit” 2002’s first installment due to major script rewrites around Michelle Rodriguez’s character, Rain.
“I almost quit the movie. I was shooting something else, and [director] Paul [W.S. Anderson] had hired Michelle Rodriguez to play Rain, and she had just come off Girlfight and there was Oscar buzz,” Jovovich said. “She was very hot at that moment, and my hotness had sort of been already four years old by that point. So Paul rewrote the script for her.”
According to the actor, the rewrites made Alice “the girl” and Rain “the guy.” Jovovich added, “[Rodriguez] got all of my big action scenes and she became like Alice,” while “Alice became this tagalong.”
Jovovich explained she didn’t read the new script until she was on a plane from Germany to Canada. “By the time I landed in Berlin, I was livid,” she said.
“I got to the hotel and said, ‘We have to have a big talk or I’m going to be on a flight tomorrow morning.’ So Paul ended up coming over that evening and we literally sat for three hours and went through the script, page by page,” Jovovich continued. “He was like, ‘What do you mean? This didn’t change that much?’ So I was like, ‘Okay, why don’t we start with page one?’ I pointed out every time I felt like my great scenes were taken away. That was how we started our relationship.”
Jovovich began dating Anderson during production on Resident Evil, and they married in 2009.
The actor became a mainstay of the franchise until it concluded with this year’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, which earned $312.2 million at the worldwide box office, pushing the total franchise gross past the $1 billion mark.