47 Meters Down and The Stranger: Prey at Night director Johannes Roberts’ Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City will adapt the first two games. And today, Roberts reveals his film is in no way connected to the previous franchise with Milla Jovovich.
Roberts revealed at SXSW: “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 [games] and the world of horror… We’re not [doing 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.”
Roberts’ (47 Meters Down, Strangers: Prey at Night) reboot will be an official origin story. One with faithful ties to the games set in 1998 on a fateful night in Raccoon City.
Roberts recently touched on what he loved about the games and how that inspired his take. He says: “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].”
Kaya Scodelario (Crawl) leads this new version as Claire Redfield with Robbie Amell as Chris Redfield, Avan Jogia as Leon S. Kennedy, and also Hannah John-Kamen as Jill Valentine. Tom Hopper joins them as Albert Wesker with Neal McDonough as William Birkin, and Donal Logue as Chief Brian Irons. Chad Rook rounds out the cast as Richard Aiken with Lily Gao as Ada Wong, and Marina Mazepa as Lisa Trevor.
Roberts cites John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 and The Fog as big inspirations. He says: “I’m a huge John Carpenter fan. The way he tells these claustrophobic siege movies. And I took movies like [Precinct 13 and The Fog] and this disparate group of characters coming together under siege. And I took that as my filmic inspiration.”
Producer Robert Kulzer says: “After a dozen games, six live-action movies and hundreds of pages of fan fiction, we felt compelled to return to the year 1998. To explore the secrets hidden in the walls of the Spenser Mansion and Raccoon City.“
Kulzer will once again produce this new entry in the series along with James Harris, and Hartley Gorenstein. Martin Moszkowicz and Victor Hadida are executive producers and Alex Westmore and Colin Scully will oversee the project.
Roberts says: “With this movie, I really wanted to go back to the original first two games and re-create the terrifying visceral experience I had when I first played them. Whilst at the same time telling a grounded human story about a small dying American town that feels both relatable and relevant to today’s audiences.”
The 2002 version starred Milla Jovovich and also Michelle Rodriguez. They lead a commando team to break into a, underground genetics lab operated by the Umbrella Corporation. There, a deadly virus has been unleashed, killing the lab’s personnel and resurrecting them as the evil Un-dead. The team has just three hours to shut down the lab’s supercomputer and close the facility. Or the virus will overrun the Earth.
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City hits theaters on September 9th. Netflix is also currently developing a live-action series and an animated series, Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness will be unleashed soon. Stay tuned!
Are you up for this Resident Evil reboot?