Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, star Robbie Amell talks about video game adaptation and his work with director Johannes Roberts.
Resident Evil: Bienvenido a Raccoon City, available November 24, Resident Evil franchise to the next level. While it marks the seventh live-action film based on the video game, it also serves as a reboot. The film focuses on the dying Midwestern town of Raccoon City, and the pieces it must put back together in the wake of the lies and machinations of the Umbrella Corporation.
Robbie Amell plays Chris Redfield, a member of STARS (Rescue Service and Special Tactics) who is sent to investigate the Spencer Mansion. He spoke with Juice Mobile about translating his love of games into film and working with a passionate director like him.
Mobile Juice: This is the Resident Evil I always wanted to see. I felt like when I was passing through that mansion, it brought back those memories of playing the game where you don’t know what’s really in the room, those scares and the classic monsters. Amazing. Chris took a very different path than his sister, Claire (Kaya Scodelario) when he returned to Raccoon City. Can you tell me about your relationships and also a little about Chris?
Robbie Amell: First of all, thank you. I am very glad that you feel that way. I myself am a huge fan of games and this is how I feel. I think this is the adaptation that game fans have been waiting for.
The relationship with Claire, I think what’s really cool that is built into this movie is that you can see them as kids and you can see some mistakes are made. Many of our adult scenes in this movie are coming to terms with the choices we made as children. I think Chris is a guy who regrets how he handled things with his sister and he probably should have left this town a while ago, but he doesn’t dare to do it and he has nothing and no one else, anywhere else. . He’s a bit stuck here and he’s trying to hold on to what he used to be, or what he thinks he could be. You need to accept a lot of these things over the course of the movie.
Chris Redfield is such a beloved character in the Resident Evil universe. Did you play the games to investigate? And if so, what stood out about Chris that you wanted to bring to the screen?
Robbie Amell: I was thinking about it, I probably played 80% of the Resident Evil games from start to finish. I even played GameCube where you shoot the gun at the television. I went back and played Resident Evil 1 and Resident Evil 2 remastered. I knew those were the games we were basing the movie on.
The important thing is that I have spent a lot of time playing as Chris and seeing Chris in this world, I felt very comfortable from that side of things. Then talking to Johannes [Roberts] About the tone of the movie and its script and what he wanted to bring from the games to the movie, it was very clear that we were on the same page and that he was the right guy to make this movie. I felt very confident and very comfortable in the on-screen version of Chris.
The most important thing was to make sure it was a human being and someone with whom people could identify and reflect. Because I knew Chris Redfield the zombie killer was going to come out at some point and whenever we beat him, those scenes were going to matter a lot more.
You mentioned this a bit now, but the movie did a great job of capturing the tone of the early games, in large part thanks to the director, Johannes Roberts. Can you tell me about working with Johannes as a collaborator and what brought his style to him? Resident Evil: Bienvenido a Raccoon City?
Robbie Amell: It was clear that he was so passionate about it. [Resident Evil 1 and Resident Evil 2] and that he was a gamer and he played through them and he knew what he wanted to see. I think that’s what it all came down to.
Video game adaptations are difficult because you want it to be delivered to the fanbase, but you also want to do something new. The good thing about the taking of Johannes is that he took liberties where it mattered for the story, I think just to create more, to make these characters relatable. People could understand them more and see where they came from, while still having the heart and soul of video games.
One of the most emblematic places of Resident Evil It’s the mansion, and this mansion is creepy AF. Can you talk to me about working on that set? Because it looked amazing.
Robbie Amell: It was amazing. Johannes went to Capcom and asked for the plans for the Spencer mansion and the police station. Congratulations to him and the production and props and set designers. [decorator]. Everyone absolutely killed him. You put one foot there and say, “I’m in the video game.”
This movie here really focuses on the first two games. For your character Chris, do you expect the future Resident Evil the stories stay true to the game? Or do you want to deviate from that path?
Robbie Amell: I think it should be a good balance between what this first movie is and the first two games. I think Johannes did a great job of finding the places to take some liberties and make some adjustments. It modernized the zombies a bit. They are still the zombies in the game, but they are a bit faster. Because if you take the zombies from Resident Evil 1, it’s a bit boring, you can run around them without problem.
I think just being a reasonable fan of the games, he took liberties where it made the most sense. If you keep doing that, then Code Veronica. There’s a lot of intellectual property that could fit into some really cool stories.