Once Paul W.S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich brought their Resident Evil franchise to a close with The Final Chapter, there was nowhere left to go except a reboot. The six-film series became the highest-grossing string of video game adaptations in history by earning over $1.2 billion, but a fresh coat of paint was sorely needed.
It was only a few months after The Final Chapter was released that a new spin on the classic video game property was announced, and it eventually became Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, which is coming to theaters on November 24th. 47 Meters Down director Johannes Roberts is at the helm, and he also rewrote the screenplay that was initially drafted by Mortal Kombat‘s Greg Russo and James Wan.
In a new interview, the filmmaker explained why he decided to make the project a reboot instead of a direct sequel to the Anderson/Jovovich era, and it’s all to do with one of the regular criticisms leveled at the previous iteration of the property.
“I actually love the first movie so much. I think it’s great. And Milla just created such an iconic character. But it was its own thing. It wasn’t really Resident Evil as I knew it, the previous movies never captured the game and the feelings I got when playing the game (that’s not a criticism I think it just went in a different direction). I wanted to go back to the horror of it all. I wanted scares and atmosphere rather than full-on action. I think fans of the game felt the same, they wanted to see the iconic characters and locations and feel that the movie was more in line with the Resident Evil game world so that’s really why we chose to go in that direction.”
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Nobody to have played a Resident Evil game would call the previous entries accurate or reflective of the source material, but they did boast a huge number of fans that approved of the sci-fi action horror elements. Roberts clearly wants to strip things down, take them back to basics and scare the ever-loving sh*t out of you with Welcome to Raccoon City, something his filmography has proven he’s more than capable of.