The Resident Evil director on how Welcome to Raccoon City's ending sets the stage for sequels
Warning: This article contains spoilers for Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City.
Resident Evil director Johannes Roberts is already thinking about what the future holds for the franchise beyond his new movie reboot, Welcome to Raccoon City.
Aside from Claire Redfield (Kaya Scodelario) and her brother Chris (Robbie Amell), cops Jill Valentine (Hannah John-Kamen) and Leon S. Kennedy (Avan Jogia), and the young Sherry Birkin (Holly de Barros) surviving one horrific night in their crumbling town, the film concludes with an end-credits scene that tees up more things to come.
Albert Wesker (Tom Hopper) seemed to die after confronting Dr. William Birkin (Neal McDonough) to steal samples of the T-virus bioweapon. And he did technically die. But the end-credits scene shows Wesker waking up inside a body bag. He then tumbles off his slab and crawls on the floor, trying to regain his senses. He can barely see until someone hands him a pair of sunglasses — the same kind of sunglasses the Wesker of the Resident Evil games wears.
His impaired vision is "a side effect" of "one of the things we had to do to bring you back," says the woman who gives him the glasses. But who is she?
The answer is the spy Ada Wong, another well-known character from the games, played by actress Lily Gao.
"I think [Welcome to Raccoon City] sets up an origin story for each of our characters," Roberts tells EW. "I would like to explore the other games. I think it would be really important to me that we don't just use this as a springboard to go off into our own crazy world. There's so much in the games that is fascinating and exciting that I would really love to continue to explore."
Welcome to Raccoon City is a mashup of story elements from the first and second Resident Evil games, but Roberts now wants to tackle the events of Resident Evil 4 and perhaps even Resident Evil: Code Veronica. He's also not counting out Resident Evil 3. Whatever the case, Hopper's Wesker and Gao's Wong would be key to a sequel treatment.
"If they were getting the same team back together and going back into this world and taking the character further, maybe bringing two of the games again as source material, creating a hybrid, that would be very exciting," Hopper says. "The Wesker from here, and how he comes back to the group as closer to the Wesker in the games, is very interesting — what his life will be like in sunglasses."
Roberts confirms Gao's return as Wong in a potential sequel would also be "up for discussion" if another film moves forward. "She's a tricky one in terms of trying to ground the movies," the filmmaker says. "It is a heightened world. It isn't grounded grounded. There's something about Ada Wong with her trench coat and red dress that is so off the scale. But I think she'd be a lot of fun."
Roberts' main goal with the end-credits scene was recreating a more obscure moment from the Resident Evil games: a loading screen in which we see a zombie sit up in a morgue from inside a body bag.
"I didn't know where I was gonna put it, but I wanted to do it because, to me, that was a super iconic thing," he says. But he didn't want it to feel like "cosplay."
"I remember chatting with Tom about whether [Wesker] should have frosted tips for his hair and stuff like that," says Roberts, noting other signature stylings of the Wesker in the games. "I was like, 'That doesn't feel right to me. It doesn't feel like part of this world.' It just felt a little fake."
Realizing Welcome to Raccoon City was essentially an origin story for Wesker came with the added epiphany that the body bag scene could be the post-credits stinger that teases Wong's involvement and Wesker's transformation.
Hopper really "gave it" in the performance, Roberts says. "He really did go clunk off the slab."
Says Hopper, "I think something happened with the mat I was supposed to land on. It wasn't there or something. I think that was one of the best takes we did because it looked the most legit, but there was a slight 'ugh!' when I landed."
Putting on the sunglasses as Wesker was a special moment for the actor. "I felt it really completed Wesker's origin story," Hopper says. "[It gave] a little taste of what I look like with them on."
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is currently playing in theaters.
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