Back in the ancient times of the early 2000s, Sony Pictures hired Fifth Element director Paul W. S. Anderson to write a screenplay based on Capcom’s Resident Evil series. The film was intended to serve as a prequel to the first installment in the video game series and also distance itself from the source material. It didn’t include any tie-ins with the video game series for business reasons and received a considerable amount of criticism for it.
Instead of including characters from the series, the 2002 movie followed a new character named Alice, a female bad-ass played by Milla Jovovich who was basically a zombie-fighting Jason Bourne. The first film was successful enough to earn five more sequels, with more characters from the game getting introduced like Jill Valentine, Carlos Olivera, Claire Redfield, Chris Redfield, and Albert Wesker. Despite the inclusion of some of the original characters, many ended up overshadowed by Alice’s presence as the main protagonist.
The Resident Evil film series was able to draw crowds with its Matrix treatment of the video games complimented by a nu metal soundtrack. People knew that they weren’t perfect, but they felt obligated to see them. Fans seemed to have forgotten how great the storytelling in the games were until the first two games became remastered for the current generation. Sales for Resident Evil 2 (2019) managed to reach 7.2 million copies by March 2020. During that time, Sony Pictures managed to time their reboot of the film franchise perfectly.
Pre-production for the Resident Evil reboot began right after Resident Evil: The Final Chapter made its way to theaters in 2017. Filming wrapped by late December 2020 as announced by the official Twitter page for Resident Evil. The reboot is set to be a faithful tie-in to the games which aims to explore the secrets of the Spenser Mansion in Raccoon City in 1998. Writer/director Johannes Roberts has gone on to say that he wishes to “re-create the terrifying visceral experience” of the first two games while “telling a grounded human story about a small dying American town that feels both relatable and relevant to today’s audiences.”
The main cast includes Skins and Maze Runner actress Kaya Scodelario as Claire Redfield, The Tomorrow People’s Robbie Amell as Chris Redfield, Avan Jogia as Leon S. Kennedy, and Ant-Man and the Wasp actress Hannah John-Kamen as Jill Valentine. Tom Hopper from The Umbrella Academy is set to continue his trend of umbrella-influenced roles by playing Albert Wesker from the Umbrella Corporation.
After years of Resident Evil representation via blockbuster action flicks, Sony Pictures might be about to deliver the proper adaptation fans have been waiting decades for.