Further notes

The Resident Evil film license was put up for sale in late 1996 following the success of the original game. It was bought by Constantin Film, a German film company who's President at the time was famous in Japan as the director of The Neverending Story. Film production was supervised by Yoshiki Okamoto, who also supervised the first three Resident Evil games.

Writing Edit

The film went through several scripts and writers owing to problems Capcom and Constantin had both with each other and their writers' visions.

First McElroy script Edit

The earliest script was written by Alan B. McElroy, known for writing Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. The script was a retelling of the original game, though - as PlayStation Magazine noted in 1999 - there was a lack of mention of Umbrella and S.T.A.R.S..

The film begins with a SWAT team being destroyed in Raccoon Forest while investigating a series of killings. The US government learns of this incident and realises its laboratory in the forest has been compromised. Releasing the mentally-ill Wesker from a hospital, they form a team of ex-military personnel: Barry; Chris; Jill and Mike, the latter of whom is impersonating the medic Brad in order to investigate the disappearance of his girlfriend, Becky. The team fights its way into the facility, where they meet a surviving researcher and discover the monsters they have fought are infected with a virus. While in the lab they discover their mission was all part of a plot to spread the virus across the world. The team searches for medicines to cure the infections before they unwittingly infect others; Wesker transforms into a Tyrant-like creature due to his infection and has to be defeated as the lab explodes. Chris and Jill, the survivors, take the cure away from the forest with them.

Second script Edit

McElroy's script became unpopular in the studio and the project was revamped. A second script was written, either by McElroy or Kevin Williamson, rumoured to have been attached to the project as McElroy's replacement. The new script was set in the near-future in a world where the Umbrella Corporation's pharmaceutical expertise has helped them cure all - or virtually-all - disease. At risk of losing business, they engineer the T-virus as a means of extorting money. The virus is leaked - either accidentally or intentionally - into the American town Raccoon City from a lab, prompting a mission to retrieve the cure. Producer Robert Kulzer was quoted in issue 211 of Fangoria saying that the 1998 release of Resident Evil 2 automatically made any film based on the original game "really dated and boring".[1] The writer, whether McElroy or Williamson, was let go.

Romero script Edit


George A. Romero

In late 1997,[2] George A. Romero was hired by Constantin to start the script-writing process afresh, soon after being made director as well. Having previously directed BIOHAZARD 2 TV-CM in September 1997, he was already familiar with the franchise. Romero sent, as he counts, "five or six drafts" based in various manners on the original game. However, the Romero-era was struck by creative differences. Romero wanted a film that had heavy action and gore elements, showing a military or paramilitary organization being attacked by a variety of gruesome monsters with some scenes in the style of Dawn of the Dead. However, producer Robert Kulzer insisted to Fangoria that Romero's vision of a hard X-rated film would have given it only a niche audience, and with countries like Germany that restricted such films in theaters and television, little profit would have been made from the film.[1] Romero was removed as writer by mid-1999, with Electric Gaming Monthly receiving an explanation from Yoshiki Okamoto that there was presently no script.[3] Soon after, it was decided he would be also be replaced as director with the studio wanting a complete restart of the project. Romero did not receive a confirmation of his suspension.[citation needed]

Anderson script Edit

At the end of Romero's writing job, Constantin considered abandoning the movie entirely. Paul W.S. Anderson found his way into the project after being offered several unrelated writing jobs by Constantin. A Resident Evil gamer, Anderson had already written a knock-off script called "Undead" after hearing months earlier Romero was attached. Constantin agreed to check out his script, and soon accepted him.[1]

The next draft directly associated with the film project was a 2000 draft titled Resident Evil: Ground Zero.[4] In these versions of the film script, Anderson wrote a larger role for the Umbrella Corporation. White Queen, ultimately appearing in Extinction, was to shut down Red Queen in an unseen computer war as Umbrella tries to retake control of the Hive prior to the Sanitation team's arrival at the Looking Glass House. The film's ending was to end in Alice and Matt being abducted by Umbrella and waking up in a Raccoon City hospital some weeks later, discovering the T-virus had spread out and infested the United States. The final shots were for Alice and Matt to drive out to the ruined New York City, setting up the scene for Resident Evil: Execution.

In the weeks after the 9/11 attacks, the remains of 1 and 2WTC became known by "Ground Zero", likely the reason the film's name was officially changed in October 2001.[5] This prompted a change in the planning for the sequel; rather than take place in New York it was decided any possible sequel would not take place there, ultimately resulting in Resident Evil: Apocalypse fitting in-between the first film and Extinction. Consequently the later scenes of the film were rewritten so Alice and Matt would be infected and taken away by Umbrella for experimentation, with Alice waking up a day later to a ruined Raccoon City.

Casting Edit

Casting took place in both the United Kingdom and United States, led by Suzanne Smith and Robyn Ray, respectively.[6] Around October 2000, Robyn Ray made calls to a number of New York-based casting agencies looking for actors for the characters Alice; Matt; One; Twelve; J.D.; Spence and Rain.[7] Suzanne Smith, it is assumed, was tasked with finding actors for the other characters.

The main actors were told to prepare for the film by getting copies of the games and playing them through. Some of them didn't know if they could complete them in time so they had to get video copies of other people beating the games and then watch it.[citation needed]

Filming Edit

Filming took place in Berlin.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Fangoria, issue 211, pp.17-18. "Resident Evil: Girls, Guns and Ghouls", by Mark Salisbury.
  2. Sega Saturn Magazine, issue 26 (December 1997), p.10.
  3. Official US PlayStation Magazine, Vol. 2, Issue 12, p.20.
  4. Resident evil : ground zero / by Paul W. S. Anderson.. Retrieved on 2015-04-27.
  5. Resident evil;. Retrieved on 2015-04-27.
  6. IMDb cast page.
  7. "RE Movie Characters - Casting".