In an era of constant remakes, reboots and TV adaptations, the Resident Evil franchise is definitely up for heavy consideration. The Capcom video game classic provided us with an incredible premise—you’re stuck in a decadent mansion (and eventually a city) filled with zombies lurking in the shadows, with complex family/government mysteries and riddles to solve. While there’s been a long-standing movie reboot or TV series under consideration, news from the Cannes Film Festival confirms these plans are still very much on the table.
Germany’s Constantin Film wanted to produce a TV show as early as 2014; reports of the project being canned arrived in 2017. With Cannes in full effect right now, Constantin’s Martin Moszkowicz had a few interesting tidbits to share, in regards to the potential tv series, a movie reboot, and what the main approach in terms of quality and production currently is.
As Variety reports, in terms of a Resident Evil movie reboot, Constantin is very much “still working on it creatively,” with a TV series being a definite contender. The latter makes sense, of course, in a world where Netflix is pumping out show after show, and more audiences prefer to consume their content at home. On top of that, an RE reboot either succeeds or fails at the box office, with little wiggle room left for DVD sales to generate revenue. If you own the rights to this six-movie franchise, you better come back with a top-shelf concept or risk losing your audience for good.
“For us, the main thing is to get it right creatively so people don’t think it’s more of the same,” said Moszkowicz. “That’s what it’s all about these days, a fresh, different approach.”
While he’s certainly right about the priority being creative quality, having a different approach is not necessarily the key. What people want out of a Resident Evil zombie film is suspense, genuine stakes, a relatable protagonist, and solid production quality—that’s it. Give us a good script with believable dialogue, and you’ve got yourself a customer.
As for Paul W.S. Anderson, who spearheaded the movies for the past 16 years, it seems like getting rid of him is step one in this aforementioned fresh and different approach. “He did six movies, earning $1.2 billion, 10 years of work; he felt it was time to move on,” said Moszkowicz.
Hopefully, we’ll get something more rewarding from this reboot—movie or TV series—than the aesthetically straight-to-DVD films we’ve been fed for the past few years. While the first film is definitely a worthy cinematic entry into the franchise, the latter movies have been disappointing, to say the least. We’re all eager to head back to Raccoon City—as long as the people there speak like actual human beings, and make us believe in the danger lurking around the corner.