The resident Evil The franchise is moving in a bold new direction with the upcoming Netflix live-action show. The series centers on Jade Wesker, daughter of iconic video game character Albert Wesker, through two timelines in which she learns of her and Umbrella’s dark past during her teenage years and fights for survival in a world torn apart by the virus. T.
Ella Balinska, well known for playing in the charlie’s angels film reboot, leads the cast of resident Evil as adult Jade alongside Lance Reddick as Albert Wesker, Tamara Smart as young Jade, Adeline Rudolph, Siena Agudong, Paola Núñez and Turlough Convery.
Before the premiere of the show, Screen Rant sat down exclusively with composer Gregory Reveret to discuss resident Evilhis love for the video game franchise, crafting an authentic South African sound to pay homage to his hometown and hiding Easter eggs throughout his score.
Screen Rant: The resident Evil The franchise is, of course, one of the most iconic in the horror genre. What really made you want to be part of it on the show?
Gregory Reveret: I grew up playing the game. Like many. I’m not just saying this because it’s an interview, I remember everyone was playing Grand Theft Auto and I really spent a lot of my upbringing playing Resident Evil. When I read the scripts it was such a cool expansion, but still respecting the story, being very careful to pay attention to the details of the original story and then giving it this new, bada– adventure .
I think what I’ve always loved about Resident Evil is that it’s not pure horror, it’s not like nightmare fuel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, it’s kind of fun horror that you participate in and can watch with your family. Also, being based in my hometown of Cape Town was a big thing for me, because I was like, ‘Wow, this is going to be fun scoring, finally I can record local music from a a South African.”
Usually when I hear South African based sheet music done by an American composer, it will be sort of what you expect to hear. But because of the ages of the characters on the show, I’d say Gen Z, it’s like, “How would the score sound from their perspective in South Africa, instead of being [typical] African music.” So there’s a whole bunch of things to consider. I was like, “Wow, that’s cool.” Besides just being a major franchise or whatever, I was, like, ” It’s cool and, also, has to be done well.” It’s something that I was really like, “Don’t screw this up!” [Laughs]
I felt the same way when I first heard about the series, but I think they’ve found a really good way to put an original spin on the games mythology. You just talked about trying to find that younger South African character tone, but what was it really like trying to find that balance between honoring the game’s score and coming up with your own material? Because I heard a lot of little nods, especially the dog scene. I immediately recognized that it was the corridor of the original Resident EviI play.
Gregory Reveret: I literally had goose bumps when you said that. Wow, I’m blown away, because I was like, “I wonder if anyone’s gonna pick this up.”
I love games, I just replayed the original resident Evil do it again like a month ago.
Gregory Reveret: It was fun, man. Initially, I proposed a more direct approach [score] in the Japanese style, which was more piano-heavy, the original is very piano and strings. Then the producers said, “You can be more adventurous,” so I went a little further with that. But yes, there are cool things and there are Easter eggs.
The producers were really engaged, we were emailing each other a lot, looking for old games, which wasn’t easy to find, because you can’t buy the stuff, it’s from 1998 or whatever. [Laughs] What I wanted to do was do an action-adventure and I was like, “What does it look like? Why should sci-fi look like sci-fi, should action look like action?
Going back to what I was saying, I remember growing up, Resident Evil was fun, it was horror, but it was fun, and I was like, ‘Okay, well, how do you do that? would it sound like Star Wars was horror? What would it be like if Mad Max was horror or what would it be like if Superman was horror?’ Every time I was looking for sheet music I was like, ‘Hey well, that sounds like scary music.” i think [having] African percussion, having musicians from South Africa was a great thing, just having the sound was very different from other orchestras I’ve recorded.
Use very talented people [artists], Zolani Mahola, who is probably one of the most famous singers in South Africa, she sings on the score and then has that classic action sound. Then on the other hand you have more industrials [sounds], with Jeremy on vocals doing this falsetto, it was a very classic sound. I think that’s what I wanted, I wanted to give something that sounded unexpected and related to all of those elements.
So, if I remember correctly, it was your first major project as a sole composer, is that correct?
Grégory Reveret: That’s right, yes.
How was it for you?
Gregory Reveret: It’s a big responsibility, that’s for sure. I am grateful for my [prior] experiences, I worked under Junkie XL, which taught me everything I know. When you work with a franchise under such pressure, there are a lot of things you have to juggle, there are a lot of opinions. It’s not just singular, it comes from all sides, and then it’s music, so it’s very subjective. So everyone says “No, it should be like that. Well, I think it should be like that” and then they have conversations with each other and you have to understand [a middle ground]so there are definitely a lot of variables.
But it was great, everyone was really great, everyone was very supportive, Andrew was extremely supportive. It’s not the first experience I’ve had, but it was for sure the first time that all the blame was on me. I took it very seriously. I remember I used to wake up every day at 2 or 3 in the morning, because I was recording the orchestra in South Africa, so they have a different schedule. I run a very tight ship. [Laughs]
Was this recorded in the middle of the COVID production, because I spoke with a couple of songwriters and musicians who worked during this time and they said it was quite a challenge to do this?
Gregory Reveret: Certainly, especially in South Africa, because they went much further than what we experienced in California. I think at the height of their closings they had curfews you couldn’t even walk your dog the block you could only take your dog up the stairs in your building and they banned the alcohol and tobacco. So yeah, man, it was a little difficult. I recorded a small ensemble and then we brought people in, because there was patchwork. Yeah.
It’s amazing that you succeeded in this challenge. In addition to your score, this series has some great licensed tracks, were you involved in assembling and researching some of these tracks for these episodes?
Grégory Reveret: No, not at all. It’s a completely different department, it’s the music supervisor, Justin Kamps. But yes, of course, the license with the two pieces of Billie Eilish, wow.
As a fan of the games, it’s great not only to hear the various Easter Eggs, but also to hear the return of Moonlight Sonata firsthand. How was it for you to get your hands on this song and put it on the show?
Gregory Reveret: It was really fun, actually. It was quite a process. They had a piano teacher, Toni Crichton, who trained actors to [play it]. A lot of times you just see fingers drown on a camera and that’s not what’s actually audible, so they trained the actors and I was in touch with her a lot. We talked for hours and hours and hours about the angle and how they should play and the recording.
I think what I did was I recorded it here, I sent it back over there and they recorded it in South Africa and then they brought it back to me and then I started working from there and then they lined it up on the cuts. A lot of effort went into that, it was quite extensive. I was quite impressed with the effort the producer put into this scene.
resident Evil Synopsis
Year 2036 – 14 years after Joy’s spread caused so much pain, Jade Wesker struggles for survival in a world overrun by infected and disruptive bloodthirsty creatures. In this utter carnage, Jade is haunted by her past in New Raccoon City, by her father’s chilling ties to the sinister Umbrella Corporation, but most importantly by what happened to her sister, Billie.
Check back soon for more interviews with the cast and crew of resident Evil.
More: Resident Evil Timeline: When Does Netflix’s New Show Take Place?
resident Evil begins streaming July 14 on Netflix. The public can listen The Reveret soundtrack here.
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