The folks over at BloodyDisgusting recently brought up the news/rumor that Sony is currently looking towards a FIFTH Resident Evil film. This, amid the fact that the fourth film Resident Evil: Afterlife gets set for its August 27, 2010 release. Here's the catch: It might be a -- get ready for it -- REBOOT. As BD desribes it:
"Instead of moving forward with the ongoing story, the studio is planning a quasi-reboot, which is tentatively titled Resident Evil Begins. While it's a long, long, long way off, the idea is to redo the story of a special military unit who fights a powerful, out-of-control supercomputer and hundreds of scientists who have mutated into flesh-eating creatures after a laboratory accident."
Resident Evil Begins? Needs more Ra's Al Ghul.
While franchise star, Milla Jovovich will return for the upcoming Afterlife, it seems doubtful (even though she is married to director Paul W.S. Anderson) that she will grace the proposed Begins. While this, as BD discusses, could be a budgetary issue, there is also the fact creatively, there may be little left to do with her Alice character after the events of Afterlife.
The Resident Evil films take their share of flack, but are actually pretty decent when viewed in their own right. (That's about as far as I will go.) While there are aspects that are lackluster, they do capture a certain flair that is synonymous with the Resident Evil video games. With that being said, I think that the franchise could actually benefit from this "quasi-reboot/prequel." What would have been preferable, however, would have been one which depicts these events (in the same universe, mind you) from the point of view of the main characters of the game. (In essence, adapting the events of the games.) That, however, does not seem to be what we're getting. Instead, it seems to be a re-telling of the stage-setting events, whose aftermath is witnessed in the first Resident Evil film.
I think that I speak for most fans when I say that it would have been awesome to be able to see story of the first game played out in film. Even if they don't go with a full reboot and some continuity aspects had to be changed in order to accommodate the story of Alice in the first four films, I would be absolutely thrilled to see the story of Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine and the rest of the STARS Team, as they lurk around in that dark, creepy mansion, stepping into the unknown.
The first Resident Evil game may have been, by today's standards, a graphically crude mess full of aliased pixels and controls whose fun factor could be rivaled by getting acupuncture on your eyeballs. However, it was groundbreaking in the tension and pure horror that you felt, by taking the mystery and exploration aspect of PC games like The 7th Guest and Myst, and ratcheting-up the action into an unholy mix of heart-pounding terror never before felt in a video game. Any movie that would be able to take that raw material and successfully integrate it, would be an excellent tribute.
There's still plenty of time, so here's to hoping we get the Resident Evil 1 movie.