The Resident Evil franchise has an astonishing twenty years of history and lore behind it.
It is no surprise that with the mammoth popularity of the games that several movie adaptions have been made.
There are currently six movie adaptions that have been released, and undoubtedly there are similarities and differences within the portrayals of several beloved characters.
The films are often known for strong femme fatale protagonists, as well as featuring some brilliant actors. Follow CLICKON Gaming as we compare the characters between the two mediums.
6.) Jill Valentine
Jill Valentine is a members of STARS, an elite squad of police officers most known for their efforts to protect Racoon City. Fans will no doubt remember Jill’s name mentioned in Barry Burton’s classic, ‘That was too close! You were almost a Jill sandwich’ line that made us all chuckle.
The cinematic portrayal of Jill first appears in the sequel to the 2002 film, Apocalypse, her appearance in the film mirrors that shown in the third installment to the game series. The film replicates the nostalgic tube top/mini skirt skin design that was used in the early games.
Sienna Guillory’s performance as Jill was highly memorable leading to a cameo in the fourth film as a well as a supporting role in Retribution. The role in Retribution is centered on the “brainwashed” story line that is prevalent in the fifth game installment.
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5.) Chris Redfield
Valentine’s counterpart in the original game is none other than Chris Redfield. Redfield was another member in the Special Tactics and Rescue Service. (STARS) His next appearance in the game installments was in Code: Veronica, where players are tasked with finding his sister, Claire.
Chris is often seen to be the archetypal ‘Action Guy’ within the game series. This archetype is demonstrated most in Resident Evil 5, where Chris says the most cliche and stereotypical line of all time, ‘I’m no superman, but together we can end this.’
Wentworth Miller portrays Chris in the fourth film, Afterlife, with the only resemblance between the two portrayals of Chris being the name. Despite Miller being a lovable actor, there is little that demonstrates the Chris Redfield from the game installments. Chris’ reunion with Claire in the films is most notably not as endearing as seen in the video games due to this.
4.) Claire Redfield
Red headed Claire features in Resident Evil 2 alongside Leon Kennedy. She cruises into Racoon City on her motorbike in search of her brother only to witness the mass outbreak of the virus. Claire survives the horrors of Racoon City with Leon and Sherry Birkin before featuring in Code: Veronica in a continuation of her efforts to find Chris.
Sienna Guillory was unable to continue the mantle of Jill Valentine in Extinction, and so Claire’s entry to the film instalments begins. Initially, she was cast with blonder hair and her original portrayal in the films hardly resembled her game characterisation.
However, in Afterlife, Claire’s hair colour is reverted from blonde back to red to illustrate her classic game design. Leon is reunited with Claire in the CGI movie, Degeneration, which saw Claire ooze sass throughout, ‘You might wanna go and stick it up your ego up your ass. Considering your own secretary left you here to die.’
Resident Evil 4 logic: pic.twitter.com/4BlwFvwTMP
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3.) Albert Wesker
Wesker is one of the most well-loved villains to emerge from the Resident Evil franchise. One of his endearing qualities as a villain is his tendency to exhibit snootiness wherever he can, ‘Don’t be a hard dog to keep under the porch, Barry’ is one of many, many examples.
His first introduction shows him to be the leader of STARS, however, he was secretly an Umbrella agent with aims to create an unstoppable new race of creatures through the ‘Wesker Project.’
Wesker has seen two different actors take up the mantle of his character. Initially introduced through a small role in Extinction, the actor was re-cast for Afterlife with Shawn Robert’s acutely bringing Wesker to life through his tone of voice, as well as the way he demonstrated his superiority over other people.
2.) Leon Kennedy
Leon is introduced to the video games as no more than a rookie cop who wound up at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Kennedy, like Jill, survives Racoon City, however, he does not bear any great significance until the brilliant Resident Evil 4 where he comes out with some classic one liners such as; ‘Where is everybody going? Bingo’ or ‘I’m sure you boys didn’t tag along to sing Kumbaya together at some Boy Scout bonfire’ followed by ‘Then again, maybe you did.’
Sadly, the film saga does little to honour Leon, he appears in Retribution, but is no more than a throw away member of Barry Burton’s team. More than anything, Leon’s appearance in the films feels like he was forcefully cast as a tribute to his character in the game series rather than to show his amazing one liner skills and the hero that he is.
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1.) William Birkin
Birkin is a tremendously brilliant scientist who worked for the less-than-brilliant Umbrella Corporation developing his infamous G-Virus. A creation that he adores in a very Gollum like manner describing it as ‘sheer perfection’ and dubbing it his ‘precious’ telling it ‘no-one will ever take you away.’
He is betrayed by Umbrella which ultimately leads to the breakout of the T-Virus. Upon his inevitable death, Birkin injects himself with his own G-Virus and transforms into something out of this world, more commonly known as G.
Birkin doesn’t actively feature in the film saga. During the 2002 movie, he has a cameo but his face is purposefully left hidden to hint at the emergence of the Nemesis monster. Nemesis is later involved in the Apocalypse film, but Birkin is notably absent. It remains to be seen whether William Birkin will have a complete on-screen character.
Whether on the silver screen or the interactive one – Resident Evil has no shortage of memorable folks to fend off the waves of infected.