In 2013, it was reported that Sony intended to release a sixth installment in the studio’s lucrative, video game-based, action/zombie movie franchise, Resident Evil by September of this year; obviously, that’s not going to happen at this point, as writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson’s original plans to begin production on the flick by Fall 2013 ended up falling through. In fact, in the latest update from the filmmaker, he reveals that he’s only part-way through writing the first script draft for Resident Evil 6 - though, the movie does have a working title now.
There will soon be six Resident Evil movies total, all of them written by Anderson (who directed all but the second and third installments); prior to the release of the fourth chapter, Afterlife, series lead Milla Jovovich revealed that Anderson – who is also her husband – had plotted out a three-movie narrative to conclude his run with the franchise. Which is to say: if you’ve been looking forward to this cinematic intellectual property getting a reboot, it could happen after the next installment.
Before Sony has the chance to hit the “Restart” button on the Resident Evil brand, however, Anderson is going to finish up his take on the story of Alice (Jovovich) and her war against the Umbrella Corporation, with a film that is currently going under the self-explanatory working title Resident Evil: The Last Chapter (not Resident Evil: Rising, as was previously reported) – something that Anderson told Collider, in a newly published interview. Furthermore, the filmmaker clarified that:
“There are no set dates for shooting yet. I think we’re waiting until we have a first draft screenplay and then go from there… I don’t know [when it will be in theaters], depends how fast I write, I guess. There’s no set date yet but hopefully we’ll have an announcement for that soon.”
Interestingly, even as Anderson is taking steps to put the finishing touches on his version of the Resident Evil film universe, we could be on the verge of a renaissance for the video game movie genre - one that may formerly start with Ubisoft Motion Pictures’ Assassin’s Creed (which arrives in Summer 2015). Point being, whatever your feelings are with regard to Anderson’s Resident Evil movies, they have done their part to help blaze the trail for the collective game adaptation genre to move onward, to a brighter future. Indeed, as Anderson noted during his interview with Collider, video game film adaptations were regarded with even more skepticism than they are today, back when he made the first Resident Evil in the early aughts:
“… As you probably know, when we set up the first movie, we didn’t even have an American deal for the first film until half way through principal photography. It was a movie that was entirely financed internationally and Sony only kind of distributed it in North America… Because at the time, it as a movie that no one really wanted, that no one was excited about, it was based on a video game and for a while there, since Mortal Kombat, there hadn’t been any successful video game adaptations. Although, me returning to that genre obviously gave it a better chance than most. There was still skepticism about whether that was the kind of valid thing to do to [turn] video games to movies. It was quite soon after Columbine, so it was a video game that was known to be very violent and there was a big backlash against that, and I wanted to make it an R-rated movie and that was very unfashionable at the time…”
Despite generally being critically-derided, Anderson’s Resident Evil films have all been quite profitable – and thus, proven that there is, in fact, a market for such video game cinematic properties (even the R-Rated variety). Who knows, maybe ten years down the road, such game adaptations as Assassin’s Creed, Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman’s Splinter Cell, and/or The Last of Us will have earned unprecedented levels of respect for the genre – and we will look back and fondly remember how it all (sorta) started with Paul W.S. Anderson and his goofy 3D zombie action movies.
For more from Anderson about the pre-production process for Resident Evil: The Final Chapter – including, how he’s taking 3D into account while planning out the movie visually, as well as his feeling about shooting with high-resolution digital cameras – be sure and check out the filmmaker’s full interview with Collider.
We’ll keep you posted on the status of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (as it’s currently known).