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Summary
Plot
Production
Marketing
Reception
Credits
Gallery
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.

WritingEdit

The film went through several scripts and writers owing to problems Capcom and Constantin had both with each other and their writers' visions. The earliest script was written by Alan B. McElroy, known for writing Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. Though the script was accepted as serviceable, it was later thrown out when Constantin expressed concern the release of Resident Evil 2 would put fans off from seeing an adaptation of the original game. When McElroy failed to deliver a suitable replacement, he was let go.[1]
Romero

George A. Romero

For several months Constantin entertained the notion of hiring Romero as the new writer, already having distribution rights for Dawn of the Dead in Germany. Romero finally accepted this offer in June or July of 1998, also accepting the offer of director. 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. 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 theatres 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.[2] 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 scriptEdit

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][3]

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.

CastingEdit

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]

To prepare for their roles, the Sanitation Team cast were put through a boot camp led by former Navy SEAL and personal trainer Jaymes Butler.[3] Part of the reason for this was the belief that modern audiences would no longer accept stunt doubles, and expect the actors to really perform their own stunts.[3]

Actors and extras playing Undead were required to take choreography classes under dance coach Warnar Van Eeden.[3]

DesignEdit

Although many sets were already booked for Studio Adershof, locations were scouted across Europe by Richard Bridgland, who felt a real bunker would be more convincing. Though he investigated Great Britain, Latvia and Ukraine, many bunkers were Second World War-era and thus too antiquated. Instead, the then incomplete U-bahn at the Reichstag was picked.[3]

Pauline Fowler of Animated Extras led the special effects team, and researched medical textbooks so the Undead make-up would resemble real diseases.[3] Fowler established several make-up styles for the Undead to make them unique, with those who drowned appearing different from the Umbrella staff killed by the gas.[3] The Licker was picked as an appropriate non-human enemy for the film, as it could realistically be replicated as an animatronic. Fowler oversaw the production of two puppet versions, one for close-ups and another to be worn over a crewmember's shoulders for filming purposes.[3] Adding to the practical effects, Richard Yuricich provided CGI enhancements to the Licker model, such as rendering a tongue over the latex prop used as a stand-in.[3]

FilmingEdit

Filming began on 5 March, 2001, with other sets constructed at Studio Adlershof. These sets were designed by Bridgland to mimic Japanese architectural attitudes towards concrete blocks.[3]

SourcesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Fangoria, issue 211, pp.17-18. "Resident Evil: Girls, Guns and Ghouls", by Mark Salisbury.
  2. Official US PlayStation Magazine, Vol. 2, Issue 12, p.20.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Cinefantastique Vol. 34, Issue 2.
  4. Resident evil : ground zero / by Paul W. S. Anderson.. cocatalog.loc.gov. Retrieved on 2015-04-27.
  5. Resident evil;. cocatalog.loc.gov. Retrieved on 2015-04-27.
  6. IMDb cast page.
  7. alt.games.resident-evil "RE Movie Characters - Casting".
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