Resident Evil Wiki
Resident Evil Wiki

George Andrew Romero was an American director and screenwriter, universally known for his 1968 film, Night of the Living Dead and its subsequent sequels. Romero is often credited for "creating the modern zombie".[1][2][3]

On July 16, 2017, George Romero passed away in his sleep after a brief but aggressive battle against lung cancer.[4]

History with Resident Evil

Romero's film "Dawn of the Dead" (released in Japan as "Zonbi") was one of many films which inspired the original Resident Evil. Capcom later hired him to direct a live-action trailer for Resident Evil 2 in late 1997.[5] Following positive reception of the trailer, he accepted an offer to write and direct Constantin Film's Resident Evil film after Alan B. McElroy's departure from the project.

Romero's screenplay took inspiration from the original Resident Evil game, and included concepts from the Japanese story notes such as the Tyrant having an animal heart grafted to its chest. The characters however were radically different, with Chris Redfield being a Mohawk ranchworker and in a relationship with Jill Valentine.[6]

Romero's script, in his own words, was to have "a lot of action [and be] visually like Dawn of the Dead".[7] However, while praised by producer Robert Kulzer, Berndt Eichinger was not willing to finance a film that could not be shown in cinemas or on television in its home country due to the violent content.[8] A number of drafts were made which failed to settle the dispute, and Constantin fired Romero instead.[8] The particular reason for the failure of the script was largely unknown, and Capcom's Yoshiki Okamoto instead assumed he was bad because the script was poor quality.[9]

Comments on the Romero script

"They didn't like my script, that's what it came down to. It was a German company and we were working with executives in LA and the guy who runs Constantine is the kind of guy who changes the toilet paper himself. We were working with executives who took us in a direction and, gosh, I think we wrote about five drafts of it and it turned out that when the big man came in he wanted to go in a completely different direction and that was that. All of a sudden it was over."
— Interview in Rue Morgue #34 (2003)[10]
"Fangoria: What happened with Resident Evil?
Romero: They didn't like [my version]. We put a lot of sweat into the script, trying to do what the studio wanted yet preserving the vision.
Fang: This is an obvious truism but talking with you about the process really drives hoome the point that in screenwriting, you have to be able to be collaborative, and park your ego in a safe place.
Romero: It
is tough. The secret is, if you don't go below where you've decided to go, you can keep your ego intact. I've never been in a situation where I was willing to say, "OK, let's do this piece of shit," I've always fought back. And that's probably what happened with Resident Evil. I kept trying to preserve the personality I thought it should have, and what happened is that the executive was very encouraging, but by the time it got to The Man, it wasn't what he wanted. I don't know what he initially saw in the property—probably name value, because her certainly in my mind was looking in a difference direction. I guess it was what they call "creative difference.""
— Interview in Fangoria #200 (2001)[11]

See also