In talking to Resident Evil producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi for the theatrical and home video release of Resident Evil: Vendetta, I’ve learned what the future of the live-action movie franchise might just look like. Long involved with the franchise–he began as a programmer for Capcom on the original video game back in 1996 and has produced both live-action and animated films since then–Hiroyuki Kobayashi has seen the horror title evolve a number of times in his last 20 years with Capcom. But as a recent report suggested, once Paul W.S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich‘s six-film series came to a close early this year, wheels were already turning for a franchise reboot.
That franchise might very well continue without either Anderson or Jovovich’s involvement as director and star, but their contributions have already set the tone for the future of the franchise. You can’t really blame the Resident Evil brass for wanting to divert from a plan of attack that’s brought in over $1.2 billion worldwide over the last 15 years and also set a franchise high for the box office with their closing chapter. Fans may differ on their opinion for how Resident Evil should move forward, but it sounds like they should expect more of the same.
Some words of warning: In Hiroyuki Kobayashi’s words (through a translator), “nothing has been decided yet. No script, no storyline, no director, no cast members.” There are also more entities involved in the reboot than Capcom, including Constantin Film and Screen Gems, to name but two. So it’s worth mentioning that the plans are still in the early works and many things can and will change going forward.
That being said, here’s what we learned about the current state of the Resident Evil live-action movie franchise reboot, after confirming that Hiroyuki Kobayashi is indeed involved. He described his role on Resident Evil: Vendetta as follows:
I’m the producer at Capcom, so I had to make sure that the world of the game is depicted in the film itself. That was my main responsibility.
I’m going to make an assumption that his role in the live-action movie production will be along the same lines, especially since he’s been involved with them for three of the six films, so far. The surprising reveal for the future of the franchise came when I asked what will separate the new films from the existing series:
We will be getting a new director and also the cast members are going to change, too, but I’m looking forward to doing it.
Since no hard decisions have been made, I asked him what tone–more action vs more horror–he was going for with the new films:
I personally like Paul W.S. Anderson’s [direction] on the live-action [films]. Stuff like that, I would like to see more action.
So if you’re a fan of the current slate of Resident Evil films, and plenty of people around the world certainly are, it sounds like you can expect a similar ride from the new wave, whenever it arrives.