Resident Evil Reboot Movie’s Albert Wesker, Tom Hopper, on Its Faithfulness
For some time, fans of the zombie survival horror franchise Resident Evil effectively had two timelines and mediums to keep up with. The video game series, of course (of which the eighth main installment arrives May 7, 2021), but also the film series, spearheaded by Paul W.S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich, which largely eschewed any continuity to the video games to do “their own thing.” But now that the Anderson/Jovovich RE-verse has come to a close, a new big screen take on Resident Evil is coming September of 2021. And this time, as evidenced by its official title, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City will faithfully adapt and incorporate elements from the first two critically acclaimed video titles.
Our own Steve Weintraub spoke with one of the film’s stars, Tom Hopper, in support of his action film SAS: Red Notice. Hopper plays Albert Wesker, captain of the STARS police force from the games, a stiff, brutal, and vicious man who serves as one of the iconic antagonists throughout the franchise. Hopper spoke about the joys fans should get from his portrayal of the character, while also explaining how he wanted to develop him further for the screen, even giving him an origin story of sorts:
“I think fans of the game will be happy, but at the same time, I think they should recognize that we want to make these characters as real and as grounded as possible… I feel like the Wesker in the game obviously has that [Agent] Smith from The Matrix type idea. I wanted him to be a bit more three-dimensional than that, and have a moral high ground. It’s not just as cut and dry as it is in the game. There’s an origin element to Wesker in this, and what he maybe was before he turned into the one we see in a lot of the games. But I think from an aesthetic point of view, I think the games really influence this well. It is an aesthetic that, certainly when we were shooting it, that I was like, ‘Man, it feels like the game.’ I’m really hoping that fans of the game take something nice away from it, that it’s the game plus more. Plus more of a depth to these characters.”
As for that aesthetic, Hopper and Weintraub talked about director Johannes Roberts‘ (The Strangers: Prey at Night) attempts to produce as visually faithful an experience to the games as possible. When Hopper set foot on the Spencer Mansion set — and yes, RE1 fans, they’re finally going to Spencer Mansion — he says “it was a bit like going into one of those VR things where you go into the VR world. That’s what it was like, it was like playing the game. Especially ’cause we’re all geared up with our guns and stuff, it was pretty cool… We all looked at each other and went, ‘Oh shit, it’s so cool.'” This level of authenticity was also apparent in the script, written by Roberts:
“There’s been previous films and I was thinking, ‘How’s this one going to be different?’ The one thing that I’d been told by my team and everything is like, ‘This is like going back, it’s a whole new starter, and it’s one that’s going to try and hopefully please the fans of the game.’ When I started reading it, it really felt more like a script from a game, from one of the games. It felt immersive and it felt dirtier. It felt like Raccoon City was a grim place to be, and I immediately felt like it was a world that I related to more than anything. I’ve seen towns like this in America. That’s what excited me about it, that it felt relatable, I think. Even though you’ve got influence from the game, it felt like a relatable place to live.”
As for Hopper’s research process, apparently Roberts told Hopper, “‘The one thing I want you to do is get into the game, start playing the game.’ I was like, ‘This is the best research I’ve ever done for a movie. This is the best, I just get to go and play a game.’ I got the old PlayStation out, and got the game, and started playing it. Tell you what, I pooed my pants at least once. It’s incredibly scary.” Hopper also talked about how a video game is inherently more “immersive” than a film as a medium (“Should I go around that corner? What’s behind that corner? What’s behind that? What’s behind that?”), and how “we’ve tried to do that in the movie, I think we’ve tried to give the audience that feel, that it feels like a horror that you’re in, that you’re involved in.”
Hopper also spoke about how the film will stoke your feelings of ’90s nostalgia. It’s set in 1998 — aka the release year of Resident Evil 2 — and Hopper reveled in how “brilliantly nineties” all the sets and gear felt, commenting on how “that’s another factor of how it does take you into the game, because the original game, it definitely feels like that.”
If you’re excited for this faithful, and in Hopper’s words, “super violent” take on the material, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City comes to theaters September 3, 2021. Be on the lookout for more with our Hopper interview soon.
Starz’s adaptation of the Neil Gaiman book has been plagued with problems since the first season.
About The Author
(1091 Articles Published)
Gregory Lawrence (aka Greg Smith) is a writer, director, performer, songwriter, and comedian. He’s an associate editor for Collider and has written for Shudder, CBS, Paste Magazine, Guff, Smosh, Obsev Studios, and more. He loves pizza and the Mortal Kombat movie. For more, http://www.smithlgreg.com
via Entertainment – Trending on BuzzSumo https://ift.tt/3eJirae
March 30, 2021 at 05:37PM