Screenwriter Greg Russo revealed his draft for the Resident Evil movie reboot was heavily inspired by Resident Evil VII: Biohazard. The success of the early Resident Evil games all but guaranteed a movie adaptation would happen, and George A. Romero (Night Of The Living Dead) was originally hired to direct. While Romero’s script was a direct adaptation of the first game, it was rejected by producers.
Paul W.S. Anderson eventually wrote and directed the first Resident Evil movie, with Milla Jovovich was hired to play the lead. The movie was designed to work as something of a prequel to the original game, but following its success, the films quickly diverged from the games completely. The movie franchise spawned six movies in all, with 2017's Resident Evil: The Final Chapter officially marking the end of Anderson’s run. He and Jovovich are currently busying working on Monster Hunter, an adaptation of another popular Capcom video game series.
Anderson’s Resident Evil movies grossed over a $1 billion worldwide, so it was never going to take long for a reboot to come together. Information surrounding the potential movie is sparse, though it’s known James Wan (The Conjuring) is producing it. Now in an interview with Discussing Film, writer Greg Russo discusses his time working on the project, including his inspiration for the movie’s tone.
Obviously, I’m a huge fan of the franchise so to work on that was a lot of fun. And they’ve made six films before so when you come back to that and reboot it, you wanna do something different and not just rehash. For me it was very clear-cut that I wanted to go back and make it scary again like a horror film in terms of the classic James Wan style so that was the pitch, going back and looking what made the games scary in the first place so yea Resident Evil 7 was a bit of a touchstone for my draft.
For Russo, getting back in touch with the horror roots of the series was key, though he also stressed he’s no longer attached and isn’t sure if his script will ultimately be used.
I worked on the reboot for about a year and then producer James Wan came in, my involvement on that project has kind of concluded, so I’m not sure what they’ll really do with it, I submitted my draft to the producers and they were happy with it and ultimately they’ll do what they will with the property but I’m currently not involved with that film.
The Resident Evil games became increasingly focused on action over horror following the success of the fourth game in 2005, to the point where they could barely be classified as survival horror titles. Capcom decided to go back to the roots of the series with Resident Evil VII: Biohazard, which stripped away the gunplay and convoluted mythology to focus on scaring the hell out of players. The Resident Evil films were all about action set pieces, so it's encouraging to hear the movie reboot will potentially go back to the roots of the franchise, too.
That said, there’s currently no release date for the Resident Evil reboot, and as Russo himself noted, there’s no guarantee his work will be used. There was also talk earlier in the year that the reboot could become a TV series instead, so it seems the state of the project is still being decided.
Source: Discussing Film