Say what you will about Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil film universe, but at least the guy gave us entertaining films (even if they progressively drifted from the game’s canon). But now with Anderson off doing Monster Hunter (with his wife Milla Jovovich in the lead role), the Resident Evil film franchise is in reboot mode.
In an interview with DiscussingFilm, screenwriter Greg Russo talks about the first draft of the screenplay for the upcoming reboot of the film franchise, which was announced last year, with James Wan producing.
In the interview, Russo describes the progress of the screenplay as “good”, having worked on the reboot for about a year before Wan came in. After that, Russo says, “my involvement on that project has kind of concluded, so I’m not sure what they’ll really do with it”. However, Russo says that the producers “were happy with [my draft]”, which Russo says attempted to go back to the horror roots of the franchise, in lieu of action.
“Obviously I’m a huge fan of the franchise so to work on that was a lot of fun,” says Russo. “For me it was very clear-cut that I wanted to go back and make it scary again like a horror film in terms of the classic James Wan style so that was the pitch, going back and looking what made the games scary in the first place so yea Resident Evil 7 was a bit of a touchstone for my draft.”
When you think about it, the RE film franchise aped the action-oriented mayhem of Resident Evil 5 and 6, and drifted away from the scares. Russo agrees, though “not to shame the original film franchise that was made, I think that did very well”. But, as a fan, Russo says that he “always considered the franchise to be horror at the forefront and action as a secondary feature.”
Whether or not Russo’s draft will survive is yet to be seen, but at least going back to what made the games great in the first place is a good start.