George Romero spent a few years working on a Resident Evil movie. What was his script like?
I never read George's script. I came to the Resident Evil franchise because I was excited about the game. I investigated the rights. I already had my take on the movie worked out, so I knew the movie I wanted to make. It kind of was a little irrelevant to me what earlier failed attempts had been.
A master of the horror genre failing to crack the movie could be intimidating.
Listen, at that time, I'd done the most successful video-game adaptation ever. That was true until I did Resident Evil.
You've probably mentioned that in a few meetings over the years.
If you make people money, it gives you the opportunity to make them more money. I've never walked into the room and gone, "You know what I'd love to do is a romantic comedy with some song-and-dance numbers." I know a massive success with Resident Evil isn't going to get me that.
So you don't want to direct La La Land 2?
No, I absolutely don't. I mean, it's a genius movie, but it's not a movie I would have made. I enjoy making the movies I make. Those are the movies I grew up watching, and those are the movies I love.
You hired Marilyn Manson to co-compose the first soundtrack for Resident Evil. Did that give the series a soul that would speak to a particular subculture?
I remember one review of Resident Evil in The Hollywood Reporter, I think. The reviewer almost took the music as a moral affront, the fact that it was Marilyn Manson and Slipknot. Just couldn't handle it. It was just like, "Ugh, this is such ... This is like, heavy metal." Even the way he described it, you could tell this reviewer was completely out of touch. Marilyn Manson is not heavy metal.
It's one of the reasons why I don't take reviews of my movies too seriously, is that they're totally, totally out of touch. The music for the audience I was making a movie, totally resonated.
Are you still listening to Manson?
I was then. I was a massive Manson fan, Slipknot, all of those bands. Now I listen to a lot of music. Milla is a big music fan, and she's really on the cutting edge of music. I owe a lot to her, because she really directs me towards a lot of cool stuff. I listen to so much music, it's staggering that I still have any kind of hearing left.