Editor's Note: These interviews were conducted prior to the current WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.
Makoto Fukami wrote Resident Evil: Vendetta and has now taken the Resident Evil series to Alcatraz, as far as future plans and hopes, Fukami says, "If I get to work on another Resident Evil film, I’d like to include more jokes and more gore. It may be fun to set up the stage in Antarctica in the vein of At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft. I’d love to bring back characters like Barry Burton or Sheva Alomar. And, to keep the series fresh, I would amp up the characters’ struggles with more ultimate choices they have to make to create a more thrilling feeling."
Having previously directed Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, which focused solely on two of the franchise's long-running characters, Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, director Eiichirô Hasumi was excited to expand the story with more of the series' characters, "We just had Leon and Claire last time and I got super excited when I was told we have an all-star cast with five characters this time. I wanted to make sure fans of each character enjoy this film and get hyped like a party celebration with this film."
With a background that includes live-action, Hasumi also states that while live-action is at the mercy of external conditions like weather and location, those unexpected changes can lead to happy accidents. While CG animation doesn't lend itself to the same kind of vulnerability, Hasumi found ways to remain open, "Unexpected occurrences sometimes give fresh new ideas by chance. So, while working on CG animation in such stable conditions, I kept my approaches very flexible and out of the box with lots of discussion with the staff to have fresh ideas flowing." With multiple Resident Evil animated features under his belt, Hasumi muses on what the future could hold, "I know the fans of the game have various requests, but if I were challenged to do another CG animated film, I would like to create a very strong villain that can surpass the legendary characters and make our heroes struggle. "
Speaking of expansion, longtime Resident Evil producer Masachika Kawata has taken the Resident Evil universe to so many different places, both in the games and in feature films. As far as a specific game-to-movie adaptation the producer wants to see that hasn't been done yet, he says, "There is no plan currently, so we would like to see how Death Island is received and find an interesting idea that will be able to please you and satisfy the expectations of all the fans out there worldwide."
Video games become more cinematic each year, with motion capture processes and voice actors being utilized for both game development and animated features, Kawata says while there are similarities, the core of the creation is different, "While the approaches are often similar for movies and games, games require individual gamers to experience things near physically. It is interactive, so both the gameplay and movies within the game need to reflect each individual player’s mind. The game is programmed to show graphics and sound in real-time and needs high-spec machines. Movies are for all and do not require such devices. So, while it may go through a similar process, they are very different in terms of outcome." Fukami adds, "The biggest difference when writing for 2D animation, 3D CG, and live-action is how the dialogue is written. Phrases that a 2D animated character can say without any problem can be quite awkward when used by a real person."
Resident Evil: Death Island is now streaming.