Video game adaptations have a poor track record of success at the box office overall, but the Resident Evil franchise has continued to buck that trend. In fact, the first five movie installments account for half of the top 10 highest-grossing video game films worldwide.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (which looks to arrive by Fall 2016) faces the dual challenges of ending the series on a strong note and wrapping up the ongoing story in a way that will satisfy fans that have stuck with the films since the first installment hit theaters in 2002. Paul W.S. Anderson - who has written the whole series and directed the first, fourth and fifth films - will assume the director's chair once again, with franchise star Milla Jovovich back as Alice.
Deadline is reporting that Ali Larter - who last appeared as Claire Redfield in the 2010 release Resident Evil: Afterlife - will return for what is reportedly planned to be the last film in the franchise. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter will center on humanity's last stand against the Red Queen, resolving the cliffhanger set up in the previous installment, Resident Evil: Retribution. Filming begins in September, with Jovovich herself recently confirming that pre-production has begun.
Larter, outside the Resident Evil movies, is perhaps best known for her dual roles of Niki Sanders and Tracy Strauss on the NBC hit Heroes, though she is not returning for the series' upcoming revival, Heroes Reborn. More recently, she has been co-starring alongside Sean Bean on the TNT drama series Legends, which starts season 2 in September.
Bingbing Li is expected to reprise as Ada Wong in The Final Chapter, while she and Larter ought to end up being joined by a number of other existing franchise players - including, one presumes, Wentworth Miller (seen recently on The Flash) as Chris Redfield. We anticipate further news concerning which still-living characters from Resident Evil movies past are coming back for the sixth (and the climactic) film installment, ahead of Anderson starting principal photography on the project.
The Resident Evil films have, in truth, never been critical darlings, under Anderson's watch (case in point, read our Resident Evil: Retribution review). Regardless, this franchise has more than it fair share of fans - who enjoy its mindless popcorn entertainment value - and they will no doubt ready for The Final Chapter, in the hope that Anderson, Jovovich, and their collaborators (fingers crossed) end their run on the Resident Evil series with a bang.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is currently expected to reach theaters in September 2016. We'll let you know when the film gains an official theatrical release date.