The year is 1999, and there is a 12 year old girl who is playing Resident Evil 2 for the first time.
She is the most freaked out and excited she has ever been in her life trying to play this game.
For some reason she doesn’t have a memory card – probably because her adult cousin who had the wise idea to let her play the game never thought she’d make it that far. She gets to the Raccoon Police Department’s basement before running out of ammo and getting killed. Her cousin asks her if she wants to play the game anyone and she shakely says “I don’t think so.”
But she wants to play the game more. She is frustrated and intrigued. Eventually, she returns to the game armed with a high amount of trepidation and a memory card. She is ready this time.
That might seem outlandish that a girl who was Sherry Birkin’s age was playing these games. But I did. I fondly remember that first attempt at playing, and I loved the games every since.
As I indicated in my ranking of the Resident Evil films, I am not a huge fan of the film adaptations, and I’m very hopeful a reboot which promises to be “super, super scary” and much more rooted in the games will help undo the massive disappointment I tried to process after I saw the first Paul W.S. Anderson adaptation.
Rumors are flying around like crazy about this film, so take this whole post with a grain of salt. At first, the reboot was going to use Resident Evil 7 as a “touchstone” in order to get the series back to its roots. I feel like that would have been a mistake given how removed the game feels from the rest of the series in terms of tone and scope, although it would certainly course correct the genre of the film.
Alas, with Greg Russo and James Wan off the project, it has changed directions. Now, it is shaping up to be more of an adaptation of Resident Evil 2, but it also wants to have its cake and eat it too – cramming in main characters from the first game. It feels bloated, and in order to make it work to have all the characters on screen together, they are fundamentally changing some of the characters. Allegedly.
The latest scoop is that actress Hannah John-Kamen has been offered the role of Jill Valentine.
Okay cool! I think she is a little too model-like to play Jill but I can deal. But then articles go on to describe Jill like this:
In the new Resident Evil reboot, Valentine is described as a small town girl that enjoys hunting with the guys. She is gorgeous yet tough, and she knows how to have a good time.The Illuminerdi
This description of Jill Valentine is concerning because it’s a generic description of a generic cool girl.
I could at least see this being Claire’s description and kind of working with her character, but it really doesn’t work for Jill. Could Jill be like that? Sure! She does have a meat lovers pizza and a bunch of beers in her fridge in Resident Evil 3 remake. She is attractive and she does shoot things. She typically interacts with male characters (in fact, Resident Evil almost always has opposite gender pairings which is kind of strange…no wonder there is so much Chris/Piers fanfiction!). But she isn’t known by these characteristics in the games. She is a specially trained police officer who has a military background (and a criminal one if you consider the S.D. Perry novelizations canon). She struggles with PTSD after the mansion incident, but works obsessively to expose Umbrella. She is earnest compared to a character like Claire who can be much more sarcastic and outspoken.
Admittedly, I have always been a bigger fan of Leon and Claire as characters, but the Resident Evil 3 remake really changed my perspective on Jill. She is so strong, determined, and serious in it. It is really admirable. I think this is why this description hits me so wrong.
And at this rate I think Jill’s character in Resident Evil: Apocalypse stands a chance of being a more accurate live action depiction of the iconic character.
At least this video seems to indicate that Jill will still be a an RPD officer so that makes me hopeful:
Allegedly Chris and Claire Redfield will have grown up together in a creepy orphanage together in Raccoon City, and represent everyday people who need to try and survive an apocalypse. This is probably the most concerning information about the movie. If you are going to change iconic characters so fundamentally and make them the characters in namesake only, it really defeats the purpose of having them in the movie. I also feel like it is merging Claire with Sherry in an odd way (especially with Sherry and the orphanage in the remake), and that is really icky in my mind.
The video also states that Leon will be a hungover rookie cop who accidentally shot his partner during training, and his big wig dad in the force pulled strings to get him relocated to Raccoon City. Okay I guess – I’m not huge on the additional back story regarding Leon, but at least it gels with his character at the beginning of the series.
I wish instead of trying to squish multiple characters into one game, they would just focus on a film of Resident Evil 1. I am completely unconvinced it is not possible to create a decent movie out of that game. Even Romero’s first draft script would have been better then what we got so far:
Anyway, that is my take on the latest news as a huge fan of the series. Hopefully all my fears will be dashed when this movie is eventually released. I will continue to post as more information on the film reboot becomes available. In the meantime, I’ll tide myself over with some Jill sandwiches.