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New Resident Evil movie reboot will faithfully adapt the games

The live-action project centers on Claire and Chris Redfield

Claire aims her gun into the darkness in Resident Evil 2 Image: Capcom
Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

Capcom’s Resident Evil franchise is a stalwart of the survival horror genre, and somewhat unexpectedly, the foundation for a highly successful film series. Overseen by Mortal Kombat director Paul W.S. Anderson, the Resident Evil movies ran for six installments between 2001 to 2016. Only now do we realize: This was just the beginning. The zombie-filled property is very much alive.

On Tuesday, Capcom and Constantin Film, the company behind the original movies, announced that writer-director Johannes Roberts (47 Meters Down) would helm an official origin story adaptation set in 1998 in Raccoon City. The film will star Kaya Scodelario (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) as Claire Redfield, Hannah John-Kamen (Ant-Man and the Wasp) as Jill Valentine, Robbie Amell (Upload) as Chris Redfield, Tom Hopper (The Umbrella Academy) as Albert Wesker, Avan Jogia (Zombieland: Double Tap) as Leon S. Kennedy, and Neal McDonough (Yellowstone) as William Birkin. The reboot is eying a 2021 release.

“With this movie, I really wanted to go back to the original first two games and re-create the terrifying visceral experience I had when I first played them whilst at the same time telling a grounded human story about a small dying American town that feels both relatable and relevant to today’s audiences,” said Roberts in a news release.

“After a dozen games, six live-action movies, and hundreds of pages of fan fiction,” Robert Kulzer, original franchise producer said, “we felt compelled to return to the year 1998, to explore the secrets hidden in the walls of the Spencer Mansion and Raccoon City.”

The new movie adds a roster of Resident Evil adaptations planned for the years to come. In August, Netflix finally revealed long-gestating plans to bring the game to the small screen, in a TV series by Andrew Dabb (Supernatural) focused on 14-year-old twin sisters Jade Wesker and Billie Wesker. A few weeks later, Capcom and Netflix announced Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, a CG anime series from the producer of the animated films Resident Evil: Degeneration, Resident Evil: Damnation, and Resident Evil: Vendetta.

As for the games, Resident Evil/Biohazard remains as popular and vital as ever; in June, Capcom shared the first trailer Resident Evil Village, a new title coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

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