When the eponymous first film based on Capcom's Resident Evil games hit theaters in 2002, it was a moderate success. Though largely panned by critics, the medium-budget sci-fi horror thriller did well at the box office, earning under $40 million. Its sequel, 2004's Resident Evil: Apocalypse, did even better, pulling in just over $50 million.
Hoping to wring more money from the franchise---the second-highest-earning game-based film series, after Tomb Raider--the production company behind the Resident Evil films has plans for two more. Today's Hollywood Reporter reports that Germany-based Constantin Film AG is already laying the groundwork for a fourth Resident Evil movie. Little is known about the film other than it will take place in Tokyo and it will be shot on location in Japan.
The move is surprising, given that shooting hasn't begun on the third chapter in the series, currently titled Resident Evil: Afterlife. Indeed, according to the reporter, Afterlife is in the midst of a shake-up, with the recent announcement that production is moving to Australia.
No director has signed onto Afterlife, which is based on a script written by British director Paul W. S. Anderson (Mortal Kombat, Alien vs. Predator), who directed the first Resident Evil. Though she hasn't signed a contract yet, Anderson's wife, supermodel-actress Milla Jovovich, is reportedly set to reprise her role as Alice, the series' gun-toting heroine.
In the first Resident Evil, Alice fought her way out of the zombie-infested labs of the Umbrella Corporation, only to have to cope with a ghoul-overrun metropolis in Apocalypse. Afterlife will follow her into the Southwestern American desert (played by the Aussie outback), where Alice will blast still more chemically animated undead before fleeing the continent. It is tentatively set for a release sometime in 2006.
The latest chapter in the Resident Evil game series, Resident Evil 4, is one of the highest-rated titles currently available for the GameCube. A PlayStation 2 version is due out later in the year.