'Resident Evil' reboot will be 'super scary' as it goes back to the 'roots of the game'

Tom Butler
Senior Editor
Milla Jovovich as Alice in Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) (Sony Pictures)

The director of the upcoming Resident Evil movie reboot has promised fans that he’s aiming to recapture the pure terror of the original video games.

Talking to Screenrant, 47 Meters Down director Johannes Roberts confirmed that a new take on the zombie series was “in active development” at Sony Pictures’ Screen Gems.

“It’s gonna be super scary,” Roberts said. “It’s super, super scary. And it’s just getting back to the roots of the game. I think, at the moment, I’m not really allowed to say much more than that. But it’s gonna be a lot of fun.”

The Resident Evil video game series made its debut on the PlayStation in 1996 where it gave birth to the "survival horror" sub genre of games. Two sequels rapidly followed in 1998 and 1999 for the PlayStation, and the franchise has continued to spawn countless sequels and spin-offs in all mediums.

Director Johannes Roberts attends the LA premiere of "47 Meters Down Uncaged" the at Regency Village Theatre on August 13, 2019. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Starring Milla Jovovich and under the watchful eye of Paul W.S. Anderson the Resident Evil film franchise spawned six live action feature films between 2002 and 2017, with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter bringing the cycle of hugely popular films to a close.

Including an animated spin-off Resident Evil: Damnation, the films have grossed $1,235.5 billion (£1,018 billion) at the global box office so far. Although a commercial success, the film franchise strayed quite far from the video game source material, much to the disappointment of its original fans.

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A movie reboot was first announced at Cannes Film Festival back in 2017, just months after the sixth live action film had been released into cinemas. Martin Moszkowicz of Constantin Film told Variety that a franchise reset was in development at the German production company, as part of a new six-film cycle.

Reacting to the news at the time, Jovovich expressed disappointment with the plan to reboot her franchise so soon after it had finished.

“They’ve announced a reboot? Okay, well good luck with that,” the actress said to ComicBook.com.

Milla Jovovich poses for a photo during the presentation of the "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" movie on February 14, 2017 in Moscow, Russia. (Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)

“I think what made Resident Evil so special is that the people involved really loved what they’re doing and really were fans of the game,” she added. “I would suggest that you find people that have that same passion for the property before you talk about reboots.

“I think if you get into this kind of genre, people are very sensitive to fakes. There’s some real fans in the sci-fi/action/horror world, and they’re not idiots. They can smell when something is done because people love it and when something is done just to monetise an opportunity.”

Box art for the original Resident Evil (Platinum Edition) for the PlayStation. (Capcom)

The Conjuring maestro and Aquaman director James Wan was initially linked with producing the reboot, reportedly working with an original script by Greg Russo, however Wan later denied those claims saying the press had jumped the gun.

“They announce that I’m attached to a lot of stuff and a lot of them are not necessarily real,” Wan later told Bloody Disgusting. 

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“It’s kind of annoying when things come and go, or things never came in the first place. I hate it when my projects get announced. It makes it seem like I’m attached to a lot of things when in fact I’m not necessarily doing so many things. A lot of my stuff just get announced and I don’t want them to be announced but people love to announce them.”

Wan and Russo are now working together on a new adaptation of another video game franchise: Mortal Kombat. It’s due in cinemas in 2021.