Director Johannes Roberts Dishes On Making Resident Evil Scary Again

Right from the start, Roberts — whose previous credits include “47 Meters Down” and “The Strangers: Prey at Night” — says that it was clear what kind of movie distributor Sony Pictures and production company Constantin Films both wanted.

“Definitely with Constantin Films, we knew we were going to go back to the original games,” explains Roberts. “My presentation of this was like, ‘Look, I want to scare people again.’ That’s the big thing for me. If you’re a fan of the games, or if you’re a fan of the movies, or if you are just a fan of horror cinema, the one thing you all want is to be scared. That’s where I felt the unity would come from … I just want to scare the s*** out of people. The studios, Constantin and Sony, were very much together on that.”

As for the game’s publisher, Capcom, Roberts described working with them as an “interesting process” that ultimately yielded the same results. “They’re obviously very protective over their creations, but we really went to them to work hand in hand with them,” he says. “We built the mansion, we built the police station on the actual blueprints that they gave us for the game. We used their exact art they gave us.”

In the end, continues Roberts, “you’re going to do your own thing,” and he cautions that no adaptation is ever going to translate the game literally to the screen. But he called the entire process of making “Welcome to Raccoon City” a “really positive one” and adds that the film is his love letter to both the franchise and horror tradition.

“Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” is playing in theaters now.

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