In the annals of film history, there are certain franchises that unexpectedly surpass initial expectations for longevity, connecting with fans enough to propel them far beyond the length of the standard trilogy. One such series is Resident Evil, which it's doubtful anyone foresaw turning into a 6-film blockbuster franchise when Paul W.S. Anderson - a director arguably best known for helming the first Mortal Kombat movie at that point - wrote and directed the modestly budgeted first movie back in 2002. While critically ravaged, moviegoers felt differently, propelling Resident Evil to an over $100 million worldwide return on a $33 million investment.
Despite earning criticism from diehard fans of the video games that inspired it - mostly for centering on newly invented character Alice (Milla Jovovich) instead of one of the many worthwhile heroes from the games - the Resident Evil series has continued to kick butt at the box office, especially overseas. In fact, the most recent installment - entitled Resident Evil: Retribution - barely made back its $60 million budget domestically, but earned an additional $236 million from foreign markets, propelling the sequel to a near $300 million haul. All told, between domestic and international ticket sales, the Resident Evil franchise has brought in over $900 million total.
Still, all good things must come to an end, and the same holds true for successful movie series. That is until they're eventually rebooted, remade, or resurrected for another sequel. This is Hollywood after all. Potential franchise future aside, next year's sixth film is being marketed as the final installment in the Alice saga, and is appropriately subtitled The Final Chapter. Screen Gems released a new teaser trailer for the film at NYCC, and it promises to send the series out on an action-packed note. Check out the full clip above, complete with talkative Tyrant.
Never one for a slow build, Anderson - director of 4 of the 6 Resident Evil films and writer of the entire series - is opting to have The Final Chapter pick up directly following the conclusion of Retribution. After being unsurprisingly betrayed by Albert Wesker in Washington, D.C., Alice and her cohorts Jill, Ada, Leon, and Becky find themselves facing the prospect of humanity finally and irrevocably coming to an end. If they'll have any chance to survive, Alice and company must now return to Racoon City, the site of the initial outbreak that led mankind down the path to extinction. If she's going down, she's not going to do it without a fight.
In addition to the names mentioned above, Alice will be joined by two returning faces from sequels past. The first is featured right at the top of the above trailer, that being Dr. Alexander Issacs (Iain Glen), a former Umbrella scientist who appeared in the second and third Resident Evil films. As is clearly evident, he's not the man he used to be, having now become the aforementioned talkative Tyrant. Also returning is popular video game character Claire Redfield (Ali Larter), who played a prominent role in the third and fourth films.
Will Resident Evil: The Final Chapter be a fitting conclusion to the franchise? Anderson surely intends it to be, and Jovovich will likely give it her all as usual. If it performs too well financially though, it wouldn't be too surprising to see Screen Gems opt to quickly resurrect the series for Resident Evil 7: The Search for More Money, with or without Anderson at the helm or Jovovich in the lead.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter infects U.S. theaters on January 27, 2017.
Source: Screen Gems