Everyone knows movies and TV shows where New York is practically another character, whether it’s implied in Sex And The City or literal in They Came Together, but it’s not the only city that can be a character: Chicago is a character in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Los Angeles is a character in La La Land, and that covers all three of the cities in the United States. But what about fictional cities? Well, for the new Resident Evil movie, director Johannes Roberts is taking a page from all of these classic stories in which New York, Chicago, and L.A. are such integral parts of the story that they’re practically another character.
He literally said as much during an IGN panel at SXSW, during which he revealed that the movie is called Resident Evil: Raccoon City—the name of the town that the action of the first three video games in the series center around. “Raccoon City plays a big part and is a character in the movie,” he explained, adding, “It’s about this group of people all coming from different angles—some coming into town, some already having grown up in this town—meeting over this one fateful night.” (We won’t spoil what happens to make this one night fateful, but it involves the dead coming back to life and developing an insatiable desire to chomp people.)
Roberts has already said that the ‘90s-set movie is “very much and origin story” for Resident Evil, and it’s going to be pulling a bunch of characters from the games. Avan Jogia will be starring as Leon S. Kennedy, with Kaya Scodelario from Crawl playing Claire Redfield, Robbie Amell from The Flash playing her brother Chris, Hanna John-Kamen mastering unlocking and avoiding becoming a sandwich as Jill, Neil McDonough as totally normal scientist William Birkin, and Tom Hopper (The Umbrella Academy’s gorilla guy) as Albert Wesker—a totally normal police guy with no ulterior motives.
The new movie is apparently going to go for a much more John Carpenter-esque tone than the other Resident Evil movies, which should be pretty manageable if Roberts sticks to the main plot points of the first two games. Those two in particular were all about tension and the quiet moments that made the big scares land much better, as long as there aren’t extended sequences in the film where Leon, Claire, Chris, and Jill struggle to keep track of where they’re supposed to use the Sword Key, the Bishop Plug, and various different kinds of crank handles.