It’s been a while since we’ve seen supermodel and actress Milla Jovovich in her fan-favorite role of Leeloo in The Fifth Element. And then there’s Resident Evil‘s Alice, who Jovovich presumably left behind with 2016’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. But now she’s joined a new science fiction action thriller with a lot of promise. Jovovich is joining two Oscar winners for the post-apocalyptic film Breathe.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Milla Jovoich will be starring in Breathe alongside Oscar winners Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls), Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild), and Common (John Wick: Chapter 2). While he apparently has not fully committed yet, Sam Worthington (Avatar) is in talks to become part of the cast. Breathe‘s screenplay was written by Doug Simon (Brotherhood) and will be directed by the award-winning Stefon Bristol who made a big splash with his 2019 Netflix original See You Yesterday.
As the name suggests, Breathe is set in a post-apocalyptic version of Earth where oxygen is in short supply. Most survivors live underground and can only visit topside by wearing special oxygen suits. When the movie begins, Maya (Hudson) believes her husband Darius (Common) is dead. But a “mysterious couple” eventually arrives claiming things didn’t go as Maya and her daughter Zora (Wallis) believe. THR doesn’t name Milla Jovovich’s role, but considering Worthington’s possible addition to the film, it seems likely she’s one half of the aforementioned “mysterious couple.”
Ever since she saved the day alongside Bruce Willis in 1997’s The Fifth Element, Milla Jovovich has found a comfortable home in the realm of science fiction and fantasy. Jovovich’s last starring role was in 2020’s video game adaptation Monster Hunter, directed by her husband Paul W.S. Anderson. The actress collaborates quite a bit with her husband. Along with Monster Hunter, Anderson has directed most of the Resident Evil films in which Jovovich has appeared and the star-studded but critically panned The Three Musketeers film from 2011.
Soon, Paul W.S. Anderson will be helming an adaptation of a George R.R. Martin story with his wife in a starring role. Milla Jovovich will appear with Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) in In the Lost Lands. Jovovich plays the sorceress Gray Alys while Bautista plays a “drifter” named Boyce. Together they must fight men and demons at the behest of a love-hungry queen.
According to Variety, Milla Jovovich has also been attached to the action thriller Hummingbird for the past 4 years, but it feels like a “don’t hold your breath” situation. Zoe Saldana was originally cast as the lead but dropped out and was replaced by Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse). Jovovich was tapped once Munn dropped out. Back in 2018 when Jovovich’s casting was announced, Variety reported production was scheduled to begin that summer, but IMDb still lists the project as in pre-production.
Breathe could prove to be a huge departure for Milla Jovovich, as far as critical appeal is concerned. Just about everything Jovovich has made for the past, let’s say, 20 years has fallen under the “critically planned” heading. This is including, but not limited to, the direct-to-video post-apocalyptic action thriller from 2016 with the aggressively unimaginative name of Future World; which, we have to admit, with a cast that includes James Franco, Lucy Liu, Snoop Dogg, and Method Man sounds like the thing you have to see no matter how bad it is. Meanwhile, Breathe director Stefon Bristol’s inaugural film See You Yesterday was utterly adored by critics.