Resident Evil Village / CWA / Shang-Chi

Welcome to the Village

Today sees the release of RESIDENT EVIL VILLAGE, the eighth instalment in the blockbuster games franchise. I was the scriptwriter, and also worked with director Sato-san and the team at Capcom on breaking the story and scenario design.

(If you’d been wondering what I was doing in Osaka in 2019, finally you have your answer. Yes, this was the project I codenamed Gojira, for hopefully obvious reasons.)

VILLAGE is literally a huge game, featuring a large amount of narrative and cut scenes; over the course of development I wrote several hundred draft pages of script, not to mention thousands of words of lore, character backgrounds, and more.

I should also emphasise that I was merely part of a team; on a game like this, no one person writes literally everything. I got to do all the fun bits, though 😉

In answer to the inevitable question: no, it wasn’t me who decided one of the antagonists should be a formidable vampire giantess – though I can understand why you might think so. In fact, the marketing phenomenon that is Lady Dimitrescu was already conceived when I came on the board the project. But I did get to develop her character and write all her lines, so I’ll take a little of the internet’s adulation…

The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu

Back when I wrote for Marvel I did a Shang-Chi miniseries, for the Spider-Island crossover event, wherein I incorporated aspects of tai chi and wuxia film to the character. It was a tiny contribution, but I’m still proud of the work, and almost a decade on I’m delighted to see the series now featuring in several “Shang-Chi comics you must read before seeing the movie” lists.

I did hope to do more with Shang-Chi – I had a pitch for an ongoing series, reviving his occasional role as an MI6 agent, all but approved – but for various (non-creative) reasons Marvel shelved a bunch of planned new books and, alas, that was one of them. I doubt I’ll ever return to the character now, but I’ll be one of the first in line to see this movie.

Associating with Crime Writers

I am delighted – and, frankly, still somewhat baffled – to report that I was recently elected joint vice chair of the Crime Writers’ Association. I was already a board member, and I’ve managed the CWA’s social media since 2019, but still. Bit of a whirlwind.

Like so many institutions of its kind, the CWA has had to evolve and modernise a lot in recent years. I’m proud to have already contributed to that modernisation, and now I’m looking forward to helping it continue to move forward into the future.

Patrios Progress

Speaking of books ’n’ stuff, at time of writing I’m a hair over 66,000 words into THE PATRIOS NETWORK, the next Brigitte Sharp thriller. 

It’s something of a patchwork manuscript at the moment, to be honest, as I assemble all the puzzle pieces into something that makes sense – much like Bridge herself often does, come to think of it – but I’m feeling generally good about it. Sometimes, when you’re in the thick of a novel, that’s the best you can hope for.

Atomic Blonde Mondo vinyl

Would you like a double vinyl LP of the ATOMIC BLONDE soundtrack from Mondo, in lurid pink and a retropulp sleeve? Of course you would.

3 a.m. Returnal

RETURNAL was also released recently; I did some early work on this one for Housemarque, the Helsinki-based developer, focusing on concept development, lore, and backstory.

It was quite some time ago, so I honestly have no idea if anything of mine is still in the finished product! But it was fun working with Housemarque, for whom this is their first narrative-focused project, and I’m delighted that the reviews indicate they have a huge hit on their hands.

A Ghost Town of Disney Castles (!)

And here’s your utter weirdness for this newsletter: the empty Turkish ghost village of Burj Al Babas, consisting of 732 mini-castles near the Black Sea, planned as a haven for the rich.

Never completed thanks to a combination of Turkey’s cratering economy and the pandemic, it’s truly one of the most bizarre sights around. I can see this becoming a Pripyat-like tourist attraction if they don’t burn it to the ground first.