Why the Resident Evil movies never killed any video game characters
The Resident Evil movies often featured characters from the video game series, but here’s why the main heroes were never killed.
the resident Evil movies often featured major characters from the games, but here’s why the majority of them weren’t killed. In 2002, Paul WS Anderson wrote and directed the original resident Evil film, which served as an incredibly loose adaptation of the first game. It starred Milla Jovovich as Alice, a character created specifically for the film, and only borrowed certain elements from games such as Umbrella Corporation, Raccoon City or creatures like The Licker.
It wasn’t until the sequels that video game characters began to appear and play major roles. the Resident Wrong movies can have a confusing timeline, however, thanks to the habit of gently restarting the story between entries, which often leaves the fates of some heroes unresolved. The fifth film Punishment ended with Alice standing atop the White House with game characters like Jill Valentine, Ada Wong and Leon Kennedy ready to fight the last battle for humanity. Yet in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, this battle took place offscreen and Alice was apparently the only survivor. While references are made to the series villain Wesker betraying Alice and her comrades, bizarrely, the film does not name his allies or even confirm their fate.
The reasoning comes from something viewers might have suspected but has never been officially confirmed; a Capcom warrant preventing the murder of in-game characters. It’s no longer a secret now, as Milla Jovovich herself casually confirmed during a 2017 Collider interview. The actress said of the decision to bring in new characters who “… we need a body count and it’s important that we have people who are going to die, and I’m not going to die and you know the characters in the game can’t die because they belong to Capcom and we are not allowed to kill any of themThis tenure led to some weird moments in the final entry like Alice reuniting with Claire Redfield from the previous films, while the fate of her brother Chris after the fourth film. Life after death is not resolved and is not even commented on by her own sister. By the time The last chapter in the end credits, the fates of Chris, Jill, Leon and Ada are still pending and will likely never be resolved.
Another part of Jovovich’s quote where each new entry required a high body count is also the fact that the characters in the game disappear rather than carry over to new entries. Original characters had to be added so they could be cannon fodder, so if the in-game characters that couldn’t be killed remained, the cast of the later films would be unwieldy. Since characters like Chris or Ada cannot be killed, they simply disappear and are never mentioned again. If this mandate affects the resident Evil restart is not yet clear.
It should be noted, however, that movies have occasionally made exceptions to this rule. Carlos Olivera and Barry Burton died in the third and fifth entries respectively, but they wouldn’t be considered headliners like Jill or Leon, while Wesker himself perished in the final film as well. What seemed like a bizarre inconsistency or sloppy writing actually stemmed from Capcom’s needs as a brand and the needs of the films themselves, and it ended up making the resident Evil films a unique beast distinct from the games they have adapted.
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