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Exclusive: First Look at Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City


IGN brings you the exclusive first look at Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, which Screen Gems does not view as a reboot or remake of its franchise, but rather as the origin story of Capcom games. Check out the three exclusive images below to see the new big-screen versions of Claire Redfield, Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Leon S. Kennedy, Albert Wesker and many more characters that players will recognize.

The upcoming film is written and directed by Johannes Roberts (best known for directing 47 Meters Down and The Strangers: Prey at Night), and is based on the first two Resident Evil games. The film tells of how Raccoon Town transformed from an industrial city into a moribund city in the Midwest after it became ground zero for the t-Virus outbreak.

In an exclusive new interview with IGN, Roberts explains the differences between his Resident Evil and previous films starring Milla Jovovich, and how his directing style here derives not only from Capcom games, but also from old-school movie directing.

He said, “This movie has nothing to do with the previous series, it’s about going back to games and making a horror movie and not the kind of sci-fi that the previous movies were like. Remick’s second game in particular has had a huge impact on me, and I wanted to capture that saturated vibe that he enjoyed. It was very cinematic. Previous films were too bright when this one would be dark and gloomy, and it was shot entirely at night. It was constantly raining and the city was foggy. … Movies like The Exorcist (and Exorcist 3!), and Don’t Look Now and The Shining made a huge impact on me.You can really feel the feel and details of this movie.Nothing in this town looks so high tech, it just looks dilapidated.I wanted to give Raccoon City a feeling a bit like a town in a movie. Deer Hunter, a ghost town forgotten by the rest of the world. The film’s overall structure was certainly very influenced by Assault on Precinct 13.”

Our first exclusive photo from the movie reveals a first look at Kaya Scodelario as Claire Redfield, and Avan Jogia as Leon S. Kennedy. You’ll notice that Leon is wearing his police uniform, in keeping with his job at the time of the Raccoon City destruction.

Avan Jogia as Leon S. Kennedy and Kaya Scodelario as Claire Redfield in Resident Evil: Welcome to Racoon City.

In Resident Evil 2, Leon and Claire Redfield, sister of STARS Officer Chris Redfield (played by Robbie Amell from the Arrowverse) were among the few people who ventured into Raccoon City after the outbreak. They eventually encounter Raccoon City Police Chief Brian Irons, played in this film by Donal Logue of Gotham.

Roberts said, “The difference between this film compared to previous films is that it stars a group of characters where each of the main characters bears great importance to the story. It is not just cosplay characters who have exactly the same hair and costumes as the characters. It was very important with the casting process to find on people who embody the spirit and energy of the characters I wanted to portray.I often think that one of the big drawbacks when making game-based works is choosing actors who visually resemble the characters, giving them matching hairstyles and clothes but without trying to give the audience the one thing that movies do best From games, it’s about creating a deeply dimensional character that makes you feel connected to and believe in.”

Roberts in particular noted the difficulty they had in finding the right actor to play Leon S. Kennedy: “We’ve seen so many people, it was a very difficult role to choose because there was a balance between humor and exhaustion. Then Avan read the script, and I immediately said that What is desired! He understands what is required.”

IGN’s second exclusive photo from Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City features, from left to right, Albert Wesker (Tom Hooper), Brad Vickers (Nathan Dills), Jill Valentine (Hannah John Kamen), and Chris Redfield (Ruby Amell) in Spencer Palace, which Roberts previously described to us as “quite scary” in his movie.

LR: Albert Wesker (Tom Hopper), Brad Vickers (Nathan Dales), Jill Valentine (Hannah John-Kamen), and Chris Redfield (Robbie Amell).  Click to enlarge.

“I wanted to go back to the horror of the franchise,” Roberts told IGN when comparing Welcome to Raccoon City to previous Resident Evil films. “I wanted those moments and scary atmosphere rather than the full action. I think fans of the game felt the same way.” They wanted to see iconic characters and locations and feel that the movie was more in line with the Resident Evil universe, which is why we chose to go in that direction.We worked alongside Capcom on this movie so much that we got blueprints from the company for the designs for Spencer Mansion and Raccoon Police Station from “We wanted to recreate it as perfectly as possible. We even added the same fine art drawings on the walls of the mansion. Capcom saw it for the first time that day and they were very happy and excited.”

We can see in the final image we reveal exclusively from Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, Lisa Trevor, played by Marina Mazepa. In the games Lisa was the teenage daughter of the architect of the Spencer Mansion in the Raccoon Forest who went missing while going for a walk. Umbrella scientists working in Arclay’s laboratory near Spencer Palace have conducted experiments on Lisa for years, which also involved exposing her to multiple viruses.

These harrowing experiences on Lisa lead to Umbrella’s discovery of the Nemesis Tyrant and G-Virus, but they also turn her into a wild and disoriented person. One of the scientists who tested it was Dr. William Birkin, played by Neil McDonough in Welcome to Raccoon City.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City's Lisa Trevor (Marina Mazepa).  Click to enlarge.Lisa Trevor (Marina Mazepa) in Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. Click on the image to enlarge.

“Lisa Trevor has a pivotal role in the movie,” Roberts told IGN. “I was always fascinated by her when I played the first game remake. I found her character annoying and at the same time strangely haunting. When we were discussing how we’re going to bring this story to life, that was one of the elements I wanted to highlight. Strongly because she hasn’t appeared in any of the Resident Evil films. It’s terrifying but also tragic. In the film, we feel we connect it to Claire Redfield’s story, beginning with the orphanage where Claire grew up.”

Game fans should know that Capcom was involved in developing and designing the movie. Roberts explained, “We worked very closely with Capcom. Every character and creature was taken from the game, and that way I wanted to be loyal. [للمادة المصدر] As much as possible. I wanted to create a really immersive feel for the fans, but this also became the hardest thing about making a movie based on a tag like this because I didn’t just want the game to be on screen, it had to be something unique in its own right with characters and creatures (and of course zombies!) It comes alive and feels real in the world.”

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City releases in theaters only on November 24, 2021.



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