We’ve been talking about the return of Resident Evil to the silver screen for a bit now. It’s beyond rumor, as Johannes Roberts told Screen Rant that it’s actively in production back in August of last year. Johannes, the director of 47 Meters Down and its sequel, and The Strangers: Prey at Night, is at the helm of the reboot.
Beyond the knowledge that it’s real, however, there’s very little known of the planned reboot of the franchise’s cinema presence. Being helmed by an actual horror director is a good start, but who will portray who and what it will all be about is murky at best.
Johannes is co-writing the Resident Evil reboot alongside Greg Russo and produced by Screen Gems. The estimated budget is between $30-40 million dollars and was to start shooting this June, but production is likely postponed due to COVID-19.
With that in mind, the information I’m about to present to you isn’t confirmed yet. We’ll update as we learn more, but for now, accept this information as a rumor, even if known entertainment sleuth Daniel Richtman is the source.
As reported by The Illuminerdi, according to Daniel, multiple roles have been filled, and the character profile of one Jill Valentine has been detailed.
First, let’s talk actors.
While we don’t know for sure what’s going on with Claire in this scenario (as we’ve been led to assume this would be an adaptation of the first game, predating her appearance), it’s been reported that Kaya Scodelario(known for the Maze Runner trilogy and Crawl) is in negotiations to portray the young sister of Chris.
Personally, I find that to be a pretty reasonable casting choice. She looks the part, and has at least been in a horror movie before, and a reasonably liked one at that.
The potential Chris Redfield seems to be Brendon Thwaites(likely most recognizable as Robin in the live-action Titans series). Funnily enough, should this be true, this would be his second time acting alongside Kara, as they were both in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales together.
This choice, on the other hand, isn’t quite what I envision. That being said, Chris doesn’t start out as the living muscle that we eventually came to know him as. He was much leaner and less imposing in his first Resident Evil appearance, so this could be a good choice.
For Jill, we’ve gotten more details alongside the potential casting. We’ve also heard what they’re looking for, and her general profile.
For the casting, Richtman says that Hannah John-Kamen (recognizable as Ghost from Ant-Man and the Wasp) is being looked at for the role. Her career got a big shot of the Marvel magic, but she’s been in sci-fi stories for much of her career, and likely will fit right in.
The profile and casting call for the Resident Evil reboot, however, both raise some eyebrows.
Jill is described as a “small-town girl that enjoys hunting with the guys”. She’s described as beautiful yet tough, and that she “knows how to have a good time”.
I’ll admit that I’m not a Resident Evil historian. I don’t know everything, I haven’t read the novels, and I still need to complete some of the games. However, I don’t know that I would use this description to describe Jill.
Jill is ex-Delta Force, some of the baddest operators out there. Everything I’ve seen of her makes her seem like a no-nonsense type of woman. Yeah, she’s attractive and strong, but these aren’t the defining traits of Jill Valentine.
It seems those in charge of casting are looking specifically for an actress of African-American descent, specifically one with mixed heritage. Though if Hannah doesn’t lock in the role, the report suggests they will be open to other ethnicities as well.
Other familiar Resident Evil faces
While no other actors have been detained, a few more characters have.
Alongside the Redfields and Jill, it’s likely we’ll see Wesker and Leon in the Resident Evil reboot as well. Just like with Claire, I’m a bit surprised at Leon. According to the casting call, Wesker is “28 years old and described as intense and good looking, but not necessarily in a virtuous way”. That being said, there are murmurs of Chief Irons being cast as well as a man that is “60 years old and unhealthy and the type who is crossing days off of his calendar towards his retirement.” So perhaps the movie will be the first 2 or 3 Resident Evil games altogether.
If that’s the case, I worry about what they can cover in that time. However, if horror is the main goal this time around, then it’ll still likely be better than the Andersen Resident Evil movies.