The reign of agony that Paul Anderson held over the Resident Evil movie rights is over. This year, the series will be rebooted with a new director (Johannes Roberts) taking the series in a different direction; returning to the themes and atmospheres of the original 1990’s games. Speaking with IGN this week, Roberts says:
“Obviously, there is the Resident Evil [film] franchise and this movie doesn’t have anything to do with that. It’s a whole separate origin story based in the roots of the and the world of horror… We’re not [making a remake]. We’re going in a completely different [direction]… It was a real pleasure to be given the reins of a new franchise, hopefully, that really is its own thing.
The thing I loved about the games is they were just scary as hell and that is very much what I wanted. That atmosphere, it’s rain, it’s constantly dark, it’s creepy. Raccoon City is kind of this rotten character in the movie and that sort of atmosphere in the games I wanted to put in [the film].”
The movie, now called Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, will straddle the events of Resident Evil (1996) and Resident Evil 2 (1998), taking place in both Raccoon City and Spenser Mansion. This movie is separate from a Netflix live action series also in production. Roberts has cited John Carpenter’s The Fog and Assault on Precinct 13 as inspirations.
The games and movies have interesting parallels; Resident Evil video games became action-orientated, with increasingly wacky themes, then returned to form with the remakes of Resident Evil 2 + 3, which adhered to the original horror themes.