Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City's Tom Hopper and Avan Jogia geek out over the games

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
(Image credit: Sony)

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is a much more faithful adaptation of the video game series than Paul W.S. Anderson's previous cinematic adaptation. The new movie liberally borrows elements of the first two installments in the series, recreating the Raccoon City Police Department and the iconic Spencer Mansion. 

Tom Hopper and Avan Jogia are both set to appear in Welcome to Raccoon City, playing the villainous Wesker and rookie officer Leon. We sat down with the pair to talk about the movie – but ended up just geeking out about the games, and though brief, it was a lot of fun! Here's the Q&A, edited for length and clarity.

GamesRadar+: So, go on, who's the better Resident Evil player?

Tom Hopper: Oh, I would imagine Avan is because he's a much bigger gamer than I am. Maybe once upon a time, my 12-year-old self might have given you a good run for your money.

Avan Jogia: Exactly. If me and 12-year-old Tom had gone on [1996's] Resident Evil, then I would have been at a great disadvantage, but I mean, I got you on two or three or four. I'm probably pretty comfortable.

GamesRadar+: Do you both have a history with the games then, before the movie?

Tom Hopper: Definitely the past element, hugely for me. It was a big part of my growing up. I was probably around 12 when the first game came out, and it was my first experience of being scared by a game. I was like, "Oh my god!" I had never experienced that before. It was always so fun before, and this was testing me in a different way. When making this movie because it, making it look like the 90s and everything, there's something very nostalgic about it for me.

Avan Jogia: And I grew up with Resident Evil 4, that was my game. I was just a massive, especially four, it's terrifying. Everyone has a memory of it being two o'clock in the morning at your cousin's house, or your friend's house, having too much caffeine, and you're like, "I don't want to open the door," but you got to open the door. I really don't open the door. And you open the door and it's right there, swinging at you. And you're like, "I gotta get out of here!"

GamesRadar+: This movie's heavily based on the first and second games. I loved the second game's remake.

Avan Jogia: So good!

GamesRadar+: If you could be in another one of these movies, which game would you like to see recreated? You can play your character or someone else.

Avan Jogia: Four. You have Las Plagas, and the goal is so straight [referring to the game's central story that sees Leon save the President's daughter]. And that first chainsaw guy that you meet, or El Gigante  – there are so many good characters that were established in four that it would just be really fun. With the games, there's this level of awareness of the fun of it all. Even with Leon, there's this silliness and four is a great example of the balance of scary and horror, but also, there's a fun camp Spanish Dracula-like Castle. What's going on at that point?! All the little monks, it's super weird. I love that.

GamesRadar+: My favorite is actually Code Veronica, which really was one of the weirdest games, but Wesker has got a great role.

Avan Jogia: I never played that one.

GamesRadar+: It's one of the weirder ones because it's that old single angle.

Avan Jogia: Like the old-school style?

GamesRadar+: Yeah exactly.

Tom Hopper: Oh!

Avan Jogia: That's such a personal pioneering gaming style. We're so used to the over-the-shoulder style, but that that singular fixed camera made it deeply terrifying when you're taking turns, like going down hallways, and then you go to the next lens and he's right there, and you're like "Oh god, oh god, oh no!"

GamesRadar+: I've already been told to wrap, thanks for geeking out with me!

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City reaches theatres in the US on November 24, and UK cinemas on December 3. For more, check out the biggest new video game movies coming our way over the next few years.

Jack Shepherd
Freelance Journalist

Jack Shepherd is the former Senior Entertainment Editor of GamesRadar. Jack used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film for the likes of GR+, Total Film, SFX, and others. You can now find Jack working as a freelance journalist and editor.