Back in 1996, Resident Evil was unleashed on the unsuspecting public. Much like the virus at the forefront of its infectious, addictive plot, the survival horror game spread like wildfire and became an instant classic with video game fans all around the world. People adored the games, and it soon gained a cult following, even when two successful sequels were released. The games rejuvenated the video game industry, introduced us to true survival horror, and paved the way for a wave of zombie games, films and comic books.
So, when the film adaptation was announced, people became ravenous for more. The film had the perfect foil; engaging characters, a simple effective horror story, and enough mysterious twists and turns to tie a knot in Sherlock Holmes’ trenchcoat. Zombie maestro George A. Romero himself was even attached to bring the video game to the big screen at one point, but his script was rejected and replaced by director Paul W.S. Anderson’s, who has stayed attached to the franchise ever since.
Eventually, the first Resident Evil movie was released in 2002 and it became a moderate success, making $102.4 million on a $35 million budget. However, the film received negative reviews from many viewers, and fans of the games were turned away — the film didn’t feature any characters from the games themselves, and altered the plot drastically. Despite this reception, the film has become a popular franchise with four sequels and reasonable box-office takings, and fourteen years later, in 2016, we are on the cusp of the sixth Resident Evil movie. With a release date set for early 2017, die-hard fans have been baying for a trailer for Resident Evil: The Final Chapter for some time– and star Milla Jovovich has recently revealed that the trailer is coming very soon.
Milla Jovovich has featured in every Resident Evil movie to date, with the actress becoming the series’ biggest ambassador, and this week she took to Twitter to reveal the following about the trailer for Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.
I will be doing a FB live chat with everyone on the same day the trailer launches!It's all happening on Aug.9th!! #ResidentEvilFinalChapter— Milla Jovovich (@MillaJovovich) August 3, 2016
Little is known about the content of the trailer, or the plot of the last instalment in the franchise, except that it will continue on from the conclusion of the previous movie, Resident Evil: Retribution. That film ended on a cliff-hanger, so it leads into the sequel perfectly. Jovovich has strongly advocated the Resident Evil series since she featured in the original back in 2002, and she is married to director Paul W. S. Anderson, so it makes sense that she would be leading the charge on social media. She will answer questions and queries regarding the film in her Facebook live chat, and a concurring Twitter Q&A will take place as the preview is released.
The trailer for Resident Evil: The Final Chapter will be the first major glimpse of the sixth instalment in the franchise. Jovovich will return as main heroine Alice, and Claire Redfield — a series mainstay portrayed by Ali Larter — will return to the franchise after her absence from the previous film. Many expect the sixth movie to finally wrap up the Resident Evil franchise after fifteen years, but never say never in Hollywood. The Final Chapter sounds definitive, but this isn’t always the case — we all remember Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, which was followed by eight more movies.
Wrapping up the film series also lends credence to another rumor currently doing the rounds about a Resident Evil TV series. Screen Crush broke the news way back in 2014, but the news has gathered momentum since. With zombie TV all the rage — you only have to watch The Walking Dead to see how popular the sub-genre is — could a TV reboot be just what the franchise needs? Resident Evil has been very successful for a video game adaptation, and is possibly the most successful thus far, but could the small screen be the proper place to let the Resident Evil franchise play out? Only time will tell, but with gritty, violent shows like Game of Thrones and Daredevil breaking records on networks like HBO and streaming services like Netflix, there could be some serious legitimacy to this plan.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter closes the chapter on one of the more successful video game adaptations in modern memory, but much like the zombies that decorate the franchise in so many colourful ways, is this really the end? Can anyone stop the Resident Evil franchise? Despite the success, fans have been disappointed by the portrayal of many of their favorite characters — Chris Redfield, Barry Burton, Albert Wesker, to name a few — so will a reboot be the perfect opportunity to return the franchise to its roots, to strip away the action façade that has decorated the past four movies and return to a more horrific setting?
If the rumor is true, then the fans will be definitely be hoping for a series that emulates the original games, games that were so ground-breaking to begin with. TV show or no TV show, and much like the undead that made the games so popular, the Resident Evil franchise has a lot of life in it yet.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter will be released on January 27, 2017.
[Image via Screen Gems]