Paul W. S. Anderson

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For other people with similar names, see Paul Thomas Anderson, Paul Anderson (actor), or Paul Anderson.
Paul W. S. Anderson
Paul W. S. Anderson by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Anderson at WonderCon 2012
Born Paul William Scott Anderson
(1965-03-04) 4 March 1965 (age 51)
Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom
Citizenship British
Occupation Film director, producer, and screenwriter
Spouse(s) Milla Jovovich (2009–present)
Children 2

Paul William Scott Anderson (born 4 March 1965) is an English film director, producer, and screenwriter who regularly works in science fiction movies and video game movies. He is best known for directing, producing, and writing the Resident Evil films, which are based on the video games of the same name.

Early life[edit]

Anderson was born in Wallsend, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. Educated at Newlands Preparatory School, Gosforth and later at Newcastle's Royal Grammar School, Anderson went on to graduate from the University of Warwick with a B.A. in film and literature.[1]


Anderson made his debut as the writer-director of Shopping, which starred Sean Pertwee, Jude Law and Sadie Frost as thieves who smashed cars into storefronts. When released in the United Kingdom it was banned in some cinemas, and only gained a release in the United States as an edited, direct to video release. Anderson along with Uwe Boll is often considered in the conversation as the least critically successful working directors in Hollywood both in blog posts and in mainstream press articles. MetaCritic lists him as 13th worst rated director's overall.[2][3][4][5]

After this, he directed the 1995 video game adaptation Mortal Kombat. While prior video game movies, like Super Mario Bros. and Street Fighter, had been all-out disasters, Mortal Kombat was well received by fans and some critics. He declined to direct the sequel, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, which was not well received by critics or fans. Anderson was asked to direct a third film, Mortal Kombat: Devastation, but declined again because he was too busy filming Resident Evil.

The success of Mortal Kombat gave Anderson free rein to choose his next project, Soldier, written by Blade Runner screenwriter David Webb Peoples. Intended as a "sidequel" to Blade Runner, the movie was set in the same universe (but not the same planet), and contained numerous references to the earlier film. Kurt Russell was attached to star, but was unavailable at the time, which delayed the production. In the meantime, Anderson made the science fiction horror film Event Horizon. It was poorly received at the box office, and Anderson blamed the failure on studio-enforced cuts. While not a box-office success, the film gained a small cult following.[6] Soldier was eventually completed and released in 1998, but was a disaster both commercially and critically.

After the poor performance of both Event Horizon and Soldier, Anderson was forced to think smaller. His planned remake of the cult film Death Race 2000 was put on hold, and he set about writing and directed a TV movie, The Sight, in 2000. It was a minor success, and Anderson returned to cinema screens in 2002 when he wrote and directed an adaptation of the survival horror video game series Resident Evil. At that point he began to credit himself as "Paul W. S. Anderson", to avoid confusion with the American director Paul Thomas Anderson. In comparison to his earlier movies, Resident Evil was produced on a moderate budget of $33,000,000 and became a commercial success in cinemas and on DVD with $102,441,078 at the box office. Anderson then wrote, but did not direct, the sequels Resident Evil: Apocalypse and Resident Evil: Extinction, both of which were commercial successes even though both movies received mostly negative reviews.

Anderson's next project was the much-anticipated Alien vs. Predator, a concept popularised by a series of Dark Horse Comics and hinted at in Predator 2. A movie version had been stuck in development hell for several years despite the franchise crossing into every other form of media, from books to comics to video games. The film was finally released in August 2004, grossing $172,544,654[7] internationally on a budget of $60 million, but received mostly negative reviews. Screenwriter Peter Briggs, who had penned the very first Alien vs. Predator screenplay, disputed some of Anderson's comments about the production in an online interview, saying Anderson's claim that Briggs' original screenplay was "locked down" was incorrect, and that many elements of Anderson's screenplay were suspiciously similar.[8] A sequel was made, called Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, in which Anderson was not involved.

After completing Alien vs. Predator, Anderson resumed work on his planned Death Race 2000 remake, which was released as simply Death Race in 2008. Two straight-to-video prequels were made, Death Race 2 (2010) and Death Race 3: Inferno (2013), which Anderson wrote but did not direct but only executive produced and bridges the gap between the first prequel and the original film. In 2010, Anderson wrote and directed the fourth instalment in the Resident Evil film franchise, Resident Evil: Afterlife.

Anderson directed the 2011 adaptation of The Three Musketeers, who were played by Logan Lerman, Matthew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson, and Luke Evans.[9]

Anderson wrote and directed the fifth installment in the Resident Evil film franchise, Resident Evil: Retribution. In March 2013, it was announced that Anderson will direct the sixth and final instalment of the Resident Evil film franchise.[10] His latest film is the 2014 historical disaster film Pompeii.

Personal life[edit]

In April 2007, People magazine announced that Anderson and actress Milla Jovovich, who had met when Anderson directed her in the first Resident Evil film, were expecting a baby girl in November 2007. They were engaged in March 2009 and were married on 22 August 2009.[11][12] Jovovich gave birth to their first child, a daughter, Ever Gabo Anderson, on 3 November 2007 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.[13] Their second daughter, Dashiel Edan, was born on 1 April 2015.[14]


Year Title Director Writer Producer Notes
1994 Shopping Yes Yes Nominated for the "International Fantasy Film Award" at the 1995 Fantasporto
1995 Mortal Kombat Yes Nominated for the "Best Film" award at the 1995 Sitges Film Festival
1997 Event Horizon Yes Won the "Pegasus Audience Award" at the 1998 Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film
1998 Soldier Yes
2000 The Sight Yes Yes Yes Telefilm
2002 Resident Evil Yes Yes Yes
2004 Alien vs. Predator Yes Yes
Resident Evil: Apocalypse Yes Yes Won the "Golden Reel Award" at the 2005 Genie Awards despite receiving mostly negative reviews and a 34% from Rotten Tomatoes
2005 The Dark Yes
2006 Drift Yes TV pilot
2007 DOA: Dead or Alive Yes
Resident Evil: Extinction Yes Yes
2008 Death Race Yes Yes Yes
2009 Pandorum Yes
2010 Resident Evil: Afterlife Yes Yes Yes
Death Race 2 Yes Yes Direct-to-video
2011 The Three Musketeers Yes Yes
2012 Resident Evil: Retribution Yes Yes Yes
2013 Death Race 3: Inferno Yes Direct-to-video
2014 Pompeii Yes Yes
2016 Resident Evil: The Final Chapter Yes Yes Yes


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Ranked: The Worst Film Directors of the 21st Century (So Far)". metacritic. 
  3. ^ "The Five Worst Working Directors in Hollywood". tv overmind. 
  4. ^ . Den Of Geek  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference undefined was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ DVD Verdict Review- Event Horizon
  7. ^ "Alien Vs. Predator (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "'AvP' Writer Peter Briggs Responds to Paul Anderson!!". BD Horror News. 29 August 2004. 
  9. ^ "Paul WS Anderson Casts His Musketeers". 
  10. ^ "Paul W. S. Anderson is Definitely Directing Resident Evil 6". Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  11. ^ Fromm, Emily (23 April 2007). "Milla Jovovich, Paul Anderson Expecting a Baby". Time Inc. Retrieved 17 May 2007. 
  12. ^ Leung, Julie. "Milla Jovovich Marries Paul W. S. Anderson". Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  13. ^ "Milla Jovovich Gives Birth to Baby Girl". 4 November 2007. Archived from the original on 5 November 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2007. 
  14. ^ "Milla Jovovich Instagram photos and videos". millajovovich. 2015-04-02. Retrieved April 2, 2015. 

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