The upcoming Resident Evil reboot will be executive produced by James Wan and based on a screenplay from Greg Russo. Screen Gems’ Resident Evil franchise concluded earlier this year with its sixth installment, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (who had shepherded the franchise from the start) and starring Milla Jovovich as Alice, an original character created for the movie series. It catapulted the franchise beyond the billion dollar mark, which was enough to convince the studio to continue the property.
Earlier this week, German production company Constantin Films confirmed plans to reboot the Resident Evil franchise, based on the video game series of the same name, which leaves their currently planned live-action series in limbo. Who can blame them? Video game movies are risky for Hollywood studios. Over the past few years, movies like Need for Speed, Warcraft, and Assassin’s Creed have all failed to break the video game movie curse. And while the Resident Evil movies aren’t critical achievements in cinema, they have been successful enough to allow the filmmakers to properly conclude their storyline.
One day after word got out about the Resident Evil reboot, Deadline is reporting that horror mastermind James Wan has signed on to executive produce the film, along with Greg Russo writing the screenplay. Constantin Films will also be producing alongside Michael Clear’s Atomic Monster production company. There is currently no word on who will direct the reboot, or which direction they will take.
While there isn’t much concrete information on the reboot at this time, Wan signing on as a producer can only be good news. At its core, the Resident Evil video games are about survival horror, and the latest title in the series, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, is evocative of that notion. In fact, it has been continuously regarded as one of the scariest games to release this century thus far. Wan has made a name for himself by resurrecting the horror genre in cinema. Over the years, he has created the Saw, Insidious, and Conjuring franchises, while also producing horror films such as Demonic and Lights Out. With him on board, the studio can develop a closer adaptation of the video game, one that truly exemplifies horror.
The question is: Where does Resident Evil fit into Wan’s schedule? In addition to directing Aquaman, Wan is also producing another video game movie reboot: Mortal Kombat, which is where he developed a working relationship with Russo. Russo recently worked on the script for the upcoming Mortal Kombat reboot alongside Wan, which we recently heard from the reboot’s original writer, Oren Uziel, that the initial idea was to have the movie resemble an R-rated Avengers movie with hints of Wanted sprinkled throughout. The studio doesn’t seem to be moving forward with that script since they recently hired Russo to pen a new screenplay. Wan must have liked what Russo came up with, as they are both reteaming for Resident Evil.