Director Johannes Roberts recently sat down with IGN to share some new details of the upcoming Resident Evil reboot film, including the full title, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. When asked about the significance of this subtitle, Roberts explained, “It’s an ensemble piece, and Raccoon City plays a very big part and is a character in the movie.”
Last year, Roberts revealed that he wanted to “go back to the original first two games and re-create the terrifying visceral experience [he] had when [he] first played them.” In this new interview, he was asked to elaborate on what moments from the games he was excited to put to film. “The big thing for me in this movie is tone,” Roberts says. “The thing that I loved with the games was they were just scary as hell. That atmosphere – like, it’s raining constantly, it’s dark, it’s creepy – Raccoon City is this rotten character in the movie and that atmosphere of the games I wanted to put in.” Roberts also mentioned including “fixed camera angles” and “iconic sounds” from the original games.
He also shared some other inspirations for Welcome to Raccoon City. “I’m a huge John Carpenter fan, and I really took that – the way he tells these claustrophobic siege movies – as my filmic inspiration. We have two very separate locations but we split people off into their worlds and each location is – one is more of a Precinct 13-like siege movie style with the police station, and then you have the mansion, which is creepy as f**k.”
Roberts has had experience directing horror flicks before and mentions his work on the shark-based thriller franchise 47 Meters Down. “I come very much from a practical background, but also recently, I’ve been working very much with a lot of the effects with some of the shark movies that I’ve done recently.” Fans of the original Resident Evil game will fondly recall Neptune and her infected shark spawn as they waded through the flooded Aqua Ring laboratory; maybe (and hopefully!) this is a hint from Roberts that the T-virus-infested Great White will appear in the film.
Continuing on the topic of effects, he elaborates, “So, we started with the idea of practical [effects] and then built on it and used CG to push the boundaries rather than just start from, like, ‘OK, well we’ll just shoot everything against the green screen.’”
Finally, Roberts reveals that he is a big fan of the 2019 remake of Resident Evil 2 and that it became a notable influence for the film. “I love the remake of the second game,” he says, “it was probably the entry point into the movie for me. When that came out […] it just blew me away and it just completely – it was like, from that moment on, I think we all knew where we were going with this movie because it was such a wonderful cinematic experience with the tone, the constant darkness and rain, I just took that and went, ‘Yeah, that’s the world I wanna work in.’”
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City will launch in theaters on September 3rd, 2021.
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