Oh, Resident Evil... Why do you do this to me?
I've always maintained that the Resident Evil movies are like a bad ex. She disappears for a while, but when she comes back I can't help but wonder if this is the time it'll work out and we get back together. 2004's Resident Evil: Apocalypse should have been it for me, but, no, I came back for 2007's Resident Evil: Extinction and again and again through 2012's Resident Evil: Retribution. Well, it's been 3 years now, so even though all my friends will warn me not to, it's time to see if this relationship can finally work. For the last time.
Deadline reports that Ali Larter will reprise her role as Claire Redfield in Resident Evil 6, aka [Resident Evil 6: The Final Chapter](tag:671270), after sitting out 2012's Resident Evil: Retribution. (Does this mean K-Mart - the Newt of the Resident Evil franchise - is still alive too? Fingers crossed!) Filming starts in South Africa this September, which means we'll get our Resident Evil groove back sometime in 2016.
For those who have bailed on the series, 2012's Retribution saw Alice (Milla Jovovich) take down the evil Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) just to learn (once again) that the Umbrella Corporation is intent on destroying humanity. This time around, however, the big bad is the Red Queen, now fully in control of Umbrella and ready to kill off the eight or nine people that remain on a scorched and plague-ridden Earth. Who knows? Maybe even zombies will show up!
Of course, it's easy to get cynical about the Resident Evil movies, but the fact is - and this is key, everybody - THEY MAKE MONEY. LOTS AND LOTS OF MONEY.
There was a time when zombie godfather George Romero was hired to shepherd the Resident Evil franchise, and his script may have pleased video game fans and movie fans alike (read it here and judge for yourself) but, alas, the reins were handed over to Paul W.S. Anderson instead. At the time, Anderson was coming off of 1997's Event Horizon and 1998's Soldier and seemed a decent choice (I stand by Event Horizon - it's easily Anderson's best - but then, he didn't write his movies back then), and Constantin Film clearly fell in love with him and his apparent disregard of the video games. But don't take my word for it, take Romero's, from a 2012 interview where he explains why his Resident Evil script was tossed aside.
I thought Capcom loved it, everybody loved the script. But the guy that runs [film production company] Constantin, it just wasn’t the way he wanted to go. I don’t think he knew anything about video games, or anything else. This is the guy that made 'House of the Spirits' and 'Das Boot' and I don’t think he knew the spirit of the video game was meant to be.
To be fair, I don't think Constantin had anything to do with Das Boot, but it's clear that they didn't care if the movies have anything to do with the games if the first Resident Evil movie is any guide. Anderson has tried to use more of the game franchise's characters and material as the sequels went on, but that's probably an Anderson decision not a Constantin one.
Fact is, Constantin is pretty happy with whatever Anderson does, because while Retribution and 2010's Resident Evil: Afterlife didn't do very well in the U.S., they did enormous business overseas. Constantin even produced Anderson's recent, non-Resident Evil efforts The Three Musketeers (2011) and Pompeii (2014), which, while they did dismal business domestically, did respectable business overseas. See the trend here?
So, if The Final Chapter is indeed the "final" chapter, then my long, painful relationship with the franchise will be finally over. But if it does well (say, overseas, perhaps?), I want to say that it won't matter because I'll be over it, but I probably won't.