Some franchises just refuse to die, no matter how ramshackle they become. When said franchise is ostensibly about the undead, the irony is amusing.
Thus is the case with the Resident Evil series – a critically rejected franchise that has nonetheless made great deals of money with each new release. After securinga 2014 release slot and a director in series originator Paul W.S. Anderson (Pompeii), it looks as if the technically-untitled Resident Evil 6 will continue the series’ forward lurch when it begins filming this fall.
The Star has published an interview with Anderson, in which he announces that he will begin actively shooting Resident Evil 6 in the autumn of 2013. This puts the production roughly on track to meet its previously announced September 12th, 2014 debut.
The announcement is a clear ray through a cloud of confusion currently surrounding the film’s actual release date. This is largely due to recent tweets by star Milla Jovovich (The Expendables 3), which indicated that the next Resident Evil movie had been pushed back to 2015. Anderson’s comments seem to refute that assertion.
For the uninitiated, the Resident Evil films follow the badass adventurer Alice (Jovovich) as she navigates a zombie pandemic released by the evil Umbrella Corporation. Based (somewhat loosely) on the video game series of the same name, the Resident Evil franchise has always featured hordes of undead, but has also branched into mutant horrors, psychic powers, clone armies, brain-altering parasites, and all sorts of science fiction-horror weirdness.
While the Resident Evil movies have never been well-reviewed, they’ve also become increasingly crowded and nonsensical as the series has progressed. One need only read Screen Rant’s reviews of Resident Evil: Afterlife and Retribution to see that the series is more or less coasting.
As such, it’s difficult to decide whether to regard the news of Resident Evil 6’s production schedule with anticipation or dread. Will this installment finally put a nail in the series’ uneasy coffin? Or will Resident Evil 6 revive not only our faith in its franchise, but also help to evolve zombie horror as a whole? As Anderson states in his interview:
“I think the undead genre really plays to primal human fears… That kind of stuff never goes out of fashion. The themes of a zombie story are always good; they make for good filmmaking.”
We’ll have to wait until at least September of next year to find out whether Anderson’s assertion will pan out.
Resident Evil 6 is currently set to infect theaters on September 12th, 2014 – though this may change in the near future.