The Resident Evil franchise has been in existence for a quarter of a century now, beginning with a series of successful video games which eventually spurned off into an equally successful movie franchise. The films alone, 7 in total thus far, have grossed over $1.2 billion in box offices worldwide, and with over 20 video game titles to go along with them, this number is likely even higher. The most recent film we got from the franchise was 2016’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter which eclipsed $300 million in worldwide box office receipts, highlighting that the franchise is still alive and well and demand for more Resident Evil is there. Thus, it is no surprise that those responsible are looking to expand upon the apocalyptic, zombie-infested universe and begin work on an 8th installment to the franchise. Just this week it was also announced that they plan to bring this film to theaters, a surprise in the COVID-19 dominated world we are currently living in, and plan to release the film this upcoming September.
The Resident Evil franchise originated in Japan under the name Biohazard, and it makes sense given the premise of the franchise. The original 1996 video game, and subsequent games and series of films that it inspired, focused upon a zombie outbreak that was in the preliminary stages of destroying modern society. As the franchise has progressed the outbreak has only gotten worse, captured in the 7 films the franchise already produced as it has progressed since the first film in 2002; however the upcoming 8th installment is an origin story as opposed to a follow up to the 2016 film. While most of the details are still being kept under wraps, we do know that the upcoming film will take place in 1998, two years after the release of the original video game, and set in Racoon City, one of the franchise’s iconic locations, and will enlist a star-studded cast. Kaya Scodelairo of Maze Runner, Hannah John-Kamen of Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Chris Redfield and Tom Hopper of The Umbrella Academy are set to star in the film, with Johannes Roberts directing.
While many films are delaying, outright cancelling or amending their release plans for a variety of films this year, those behind the 8th installment of Resident Evil appear much more hopeful. As vaccines continue to be developed, produced and distributed to combat COVID-19, it remains very clear how the rest of 2021 will play out, but those responsible for this film hope another 6 months should be enough to get things in check. While this may be wishful thinking you have to respect the optimism, and worst case scenario they will end up delaying the release until things truly are in check, which shouldn’t be too much later. Until then, fans can plan for a September 3rd release date which is when the film is currently slated to reach theaters across the country.