Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City star Tom Hooper has assured fans that the new adaptation of the video game series will please die-hard fans, while warning them that certain changes need to be made in the jump from game to movie. This includes allowing actors to add their own take on familiar characters, as well as trying to ground things in some semblance of reality.
“I think fans of the game will be happy, but at the same time, I think they should recognize that we want to make these characters as real and as grounded as possible. I feel like the Wesker in the game obviously has that [Agent] Smith from The Matrix type idea. I wanted him to be a bit more three-dimensional than that and have a moral high ground. It’s not just as cut and dry as it is in the game. There’s an origin element to Wesker in this, and what he maybe was before he turned into the one we see in a lot of the games.”
Despite these necessary adjustments, The Umbrella Academy star did assert that Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City will take a lot of visual cues from the video game that inspired it.
“But I think from an aesthetic point of view, I think the games really influence this well. It is an aesthetic that, certainly when we were shooting it, that I was like, ‘Man, it feels like the game.’ I’m really hoping that fans of the game take something nice away from it, that it’s the game plus more. Plus, more of a depth to these characters.”
Hopper continued, revealing that director Johannes Roberts’ gave him the best homework assignment you could possibly get.
“‘The one thing I want you to do is get into the game, start playing the game.’ I was like, ‘This is the best research I’ve ever done for a movie. This is the best, I just get to go and play a game.’ I got the old PlayStation out, and got the game, and started playing it. Tell you what, I pooed my pants at least once. It’s incredibly scary.”
Hopper also compared the more immersive experience of playing a video game rather than passively watching a movie, something which they have also tried to replicate in Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. “Should I go around that corner? What’s behind that corner? What’s behind that? What’s behind that?” he said, before adding “we’ve tried to do that in the movie, I think we’ve tried to give the audience that feel, that it feels like a horror that you’re in, that you’re involved in.”
Set in 1998, Sony Pictures’ Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City will divulge the secrets of the Spencer Mansion and Raccoon City, while serving as an origin story for the first and second games. Tom Hopper plays Albert Wesker in the movie, alongside an ensemble cast that includes Kaya Scodelario (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) as Claire Redfield, Robbie Amell (The Duff) as Chris Redfield, Hannah John-Kamen (Ant-Man and the Wasp) as Jill Valentine, Avan Jogia (Zombieland: Double Tap) as Leon S. Kennedy and Neal McDonough (Sonic the Hedgehog) as William Birkin.
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is scheduled to be theatrically released on September 3, 2021. This comes to us courtesy of Collider.