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…

https://www.residentevil.com/village

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.

https://thecwa.co.uk

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.

https://mondoshop.com/blogs/news/music-weekly-antoni-maiovvi-anta-death-waltz-originals

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.

https://housemarque.com/games/returnal

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.

https://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/haunting-photos-reveal-massive-abandoned-town-disneyesque-castles

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