Resident: The Final Chapter brought the original franchise to a close, but now Resident Evil is getting a reboot. A six-movie deal is in the works, with Greg Russo penning a script. In addition to Russo being part of the reboot, James Wan has reportedly been contracted to produce the first installment of movies.
News of the reboot development may come as a surprise to some, as #ResidentEvilTheFinalChapter was released only months ago, but it's good news for the franchise. While the first series of #ResidentEvil movies had its moments, there were many flaws in the movies' overall construct, from continuity errors to poor casting choices. A reboot is the perfect opportunity to develop a series of Resident Evil movies that don't make the same mistakes all over again.
As long as the new series avoids these pitfalls from the original Resident Evil movies, it could be a success.
1. Continuity Errors
The first Resident Evil movies were marked by a lack of consistency in regards to canon, and even towards established facts in the story. Any line of movies that expands into six installments is going to run into some inconsistencies. But reasonably speaking, there's a point to where mistakes can no longer be overlooked.
For example, the origin of the zombie-making (T-Virus) was changed several times. The mistake made shouldn't be overlooked because of the fact that the whole zombie outbreak revolves around someone creating the T-Virus. When that aspect of the movies keeps being changed, it causes fans to lose faith in the franchise. Here's where it went wrong:
In the first two movies, Dr. Ashford was credited with creating the T-Virus to help his daughter survive a debilitating disease. Then in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, that whole plot thread was retconned to make James Marcus the creator of the T-Virus, so the plot would tie back to Marcus's former partner, Dr. Isaacs. He, one of the mainstays of the Resident Evil movies, was then portrayed as the original tie to the T-Virus.
The reboot would do well to avoid these mistakes by building the franchise around a set of established facts that won't be changed further down the line... unless the changes fit within the context of the story.
2. Keep The Characters Loyal To The Source Material
It was great to see an assortment of video game characters make it into the Resident Evil movies after the first movie started off far away from the video game mythos. But their on-screen adaptations weren't at all loyal to the video games. Take the residents of Raccoon City as an example.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse took place solely in Raccoon City. Yet none of the characters from the video games turn up in the movie. To be fair, Jill Valentine and Nemesis did appear, but the more integral players like Chris Redfield and Leon Kennedy were nowhere to be seen. Hell, even Jill Valentine's plot was left untouched until the conclusion of Resident Evil: Afterlife, minimizing another video game character's on-screen adaptation.
In a plot where any fan of the video games would expect to see Leon Kennedy or Chris Redfield taking on the undead in the streets of Raccoon City, their names weren't even mentioned once. This factor alone is why they weren't well received when they did make appearances in Resident Evil: Extinction and Resident Evil: Afterlife.
In addition to poor reception from fans, there was also quite a bit of feedback about the brief use of Chris Redfield (Wentworth Miller) in the movies. As an integral character in the Resident Evil universe, he should've had at least two appearances, but was only used to a small degree in Resident Evil: Afterlife. The next line of movies can do the right thing by adapting video game characters right off the bat, or by setting the story entirely away from the video games.
What Other Mistakes Should The Reboot Avoid?
The two factors mentioned above are the most concerning, but there are plenty of other things the reboot can change to make the next series of movies more enjoyable. In all fairness, centering the movies on Alice wasn't a well thought out idea, seeing as how Alice wasn't even a character in the games.
A plot centered around #ChrisRedfield or #JillValentine might be much more intriguing to fans. Since Redfield and Valentine are well-known names in Resident Evil games, being featured in the new movies will probably have gamers reconsidering their initial assumption of Resident Evil movies. Still, it'll be up to the production team working on the reboot to craft a well thought out story that both gamers and casual movies goers will enjoy.
What other problems with the original line of Resident Evil movies can the reboot do well to avoid? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.