Alice herself, Milla Jovovich has thoughts about the Resident Evil movie reboot that’s now in development. While never a big hit with critics – and often controversial among diehard fans of the popular video games that inspired it – Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil film franchise has been a hit with moviegoers by any conventional measure. Each entry into the 6-film series managed to earn sizable 9-figure profits, despite their budgets usually coming in pretty far south of the $100 million mark. All in all, the Resident Evil franchise has brought in over $1.2 billion at the box office worldwide.
The on-screen face of the RE franchise has been Milla Jovovich’s ass-kicking Alice, a character invented by Anderson for the films, with no narrative ties to the video game canon whatsoever. Alice’s status as a movie-specific character has been a source of much of the aforementioned controversy, with many wishing that the movies had told a story closer to the source material, and opted to put the spotlight on existing RE characters like Leon Kennedy or Claire Redfield, instead of simply relegating them to Alice’s backup. On the other hand, Jovovich’s Alice is a favorite of many movie fans that aren’t as hung up on the video game continuity being preserved in theaters.
Despite the final chapter of the Anderson/Jovovich Resident Evil film saga only seeing release a few months back, news broke a few days back that series producer Constantin Films is already planning to reboot the franchise, with superstar director James Wan (The Conjuring, Aquaman) set to executive produce the project. ComicBook caught up with Jovovich, and asked for her thoughts on the series she headlined getting the reboot treatment so soon. Needless to say, she has fairly strong feelings on the matter:
“They’ve announced a reboot? Okay, well good luck with that. I think a lot of people with these franchises kind of put the cart before the horse. There’s a danger to that. They’ve been wanting to reboot Resident Evil for a long time, and listen: I love the Resident Evil world. I think it’s a great property, I would do it if I was a producer. I think what made Resident Evil so special is that the people involved really loved what they’re doing and really were fans of the game.”
“I would suggest that you find people that have that same passion for the property before you talk about reboots. I think if you get into this kind of genre, people are very sensitive to fakes. There’s some real fans in the sci-fi/action/horror world, and they’re not idiots. They can smell when something is done because people love it and when something is done just to monetize an opportunity.”
While Jovovich’s talk about her and the Resident Evil movie creative team being “fans of the game” might cause a raised eyebrow from those who always wished the films would stick closer to the plot and style of said games, there’s no reason to doubt that the franchise as a whole means a lot to her, having been a part of her career for about 15 years now. Her statements concerning genre fans being generally averse to obvious cash grabs are also arguably quite accurate.
At this early stage, Constantin Films has revealed very little about their plans for Resident Evil going forward, outside of Wan’s involvement. It’ll be interesting to see if this second attempt at a live-action RE film franchise ends up going in a similar direction to Anderson, and taking heavy liberties when it comes to adapting the source material; thus frustrating yet another round of fans who’d love to see the stories of their favorite game series fully realized on the big-screen.