Resident Evil (film series)
Resident Evil is an action horror science fiction film series loosely based on the Capcom survival horror video game series of the same name. German studio Constantin Film bought the rights to adapt the series to film in January 1997. In 2001, Screen Gems acquired distribution rights and hired Paul W. S. Anderson as writer and director for Resident Evil (2002). Anderson continued as writer and producer for Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) and Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), and returned as the director for Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010), Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016).
Official film series logo
|Directed by||Paul W.S. Anderson|
|Written by||Paul W.S. Anderson|
|Based on||Resident Evil|
|Music by||Marco Beltrami |
|Distributed by||Screen Gems|
|Box office||$1.233 billion|
The films follow Alice (Milla Jovovich), a character created for the films, who is a former security specialist and covert operative who battles the Umbrella Corporation, whose bioweapons have triggered a zombie apocalypse. Characters from the games also appear, including Jill Valentine, Carlos Olivera, Claire Redfield, Chris Redfield, Barry Burton, Leon S. Kennedy, Ada Wong and primary antagonists Albert Wesker, the head of Umbrella Corporation, and James Marcus, the company's top virologist.
The Resident Evil film series is the highest-grossing film series based on a video game, having grossed over $1.2 billion worldwide.
|Film||U.S. release date||Director(s)||Screenwriter(s)||Producer(s)|
|Resident Evil||March 15, 2002||Paul W. S. Anderson||Bernd Eichinger, Samuel Hadida & Jeremy Bolt|
|Resident Evil: Apocalypse||September 10, 2004||Alexander Witt||Paul W. S. Anderson||Jeremy Bolt, Paul W. S. Anderson & Don Carmody|
|Resident Evil: Extinction||September 21, 2007||Russell Mulcahy||Bernd Eichinger, Samuel Hadida, Robert Kulzer, Jeremy Bolt & Paul W. S. Anderson|
|Resident Evil: Afterlife||September 10, 2010||Paul W. S. Anderson||Jeremy Bolt, Paul W. S. Anderson, Robert Kulzer, Don Carmody, Bernd Eichinger & Samuel Hadida|
|Resident Evil: Retribution||September 14, 2012||Jeremy Bolt, Paul W. S. Anderson, Robert Kulzer, Don Carmody & Samuel Hadida|
|Resident Evil: The Final Chapter||January 27, 2017||Jeremy Bolt, Paul W. S. Anderson, Robert Kulzer & Samuel Hadida|
Resident Evil (2002)
In January 1997, Constantin Film acquired the film rights to the Resident Evil franchise with Alan B. McElroy possibly writing the script. By 2001, Columbia TriStar was in final negotiations to acquire North American distribution rights to Resident Evil and budgeted the movie at $40 million. George A. Romero was hired by Sony Pictures and Capcom to direct and write Resident Evil. His script was later rejected and he was ultimately dropped. While Romero's script was supported by a number of people from Capcom and Constantin, it was rejected by Constantin producer Bernd Eichinger, as well as Capcom producer Yoshiki Okamoto who stated that "Romero's script wasn't good, so Romero was fired". Paul W. S. Anderson was then hired by Sony Pictures to write a screenplay and in late 2000, Anderson was announced as director and writer. Anderson stated the film would not include any tie-ins with the video game series as "under-performing movie tie-ins are too common and Resident Evil, of all games, deserved a good celluloid representation". In 2001, Milla Jovovich was cast as Alice, the protagonist of the film.
In the film, the Umbrella Corporation operates a top-secret genetic research facility named The Hive. Located deep beneath Raccoon City, The Hive has been sealed by The Red Queen (the AI that controls the Hive) due to the release of the T-Virus into the facility. The Red Queen kills every living thing in the facility to ensure that the T-Virus doesn't reach the surface, but the T-Virus reanimates them, transforming the humans into ravenous zombies and the animals into highly aggressive mutants. Alice (Milla Jovovich) was once a security operative working for the Corporation until her memory was wiped by the Red Queen's nerve gas. As the team attempts to escape The Hive, an Umbrella test subject, a huge monster called the Licker, escapes and pursues the team onto a train, which they use to leave the Hive. During this pursuit, two members of the group are killed, leaving only Alice and Matt; however, Matt obtains a deeply scratched arm from the licker in the start of their attack. When Alice and Matt reach the surface, Matt and Alice are separated and taken by an Umbrella hazmat unit, where Matt eventually transforms into Nemesis; however, this isn't known until Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Alice awakens from a coma to a ravaged Raccoon City after a T-Virus outbreak.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
The sequel to the first film began production in 2003 after the success of the first film. Anderson returned as the writer but, due to his work on Alien vs. Predator, he did not direct the film. Alexander Witt took over the director's role.
In the film, the viral outbreak reaches the surface and in an effort to contain the infection, Major Timothy Cain seals all exits to and from Raccoon City. Among the people trapped in the city are Jill Valentine and her partner Peyton Wells. After Alice awakens from her coma, she rescues Jill and Peyton from a group of Licker monsters who escaped The Hive. They are then contacted by Dr. Charles Ashford, who claims to know of an evacuation point in the city in exchange for the rescue of his daughter Angela Ashford, who is trapped in Raccoon City. The group knows that Umbrella plans to incinerate Raccoon City to get rid of the T-Virus. On their way to rescue Angela, Nemesis attacks the team after it is commanded by Cain to kill all STARS members. After Angela's rescue, they then make their way to the evacuation helicopter with Carlos Olivera, who has been dropped into Raccoon City and abandoned by Umbrella.
After Alice's confrontation with Cain and Nemesis, which leaves the latter two dead, the team flies away from Raccoon City as it is being "sanitized" by a nuclear bomb. The helicopter crashes in the Arklay Mountains. A wounded Alice is the only person found by an Umbrella search team. She is taken to the Detroit Umbrella research station. When Alice awakens, she escapes the facility and displays extraordinary powers. She is then driven away by Jill and Carlos, who are disguised as Umbrella employees. As they drive away, the Umbrella logo flashes in Alice's eyes and Isaacs states "Program ALICE Activated".
Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
In November 2005, Screen Gems gained the rights for the third installment in the franchise, which was then subtitled Extinction. Anderson returned as a writer and filming took place in Mexico. Russell Mulcahy was the director. The film was released on September 21, 2007.
In the film, the world has been consumed by the T-Virus and Umbrella Corporation develops clones of Alice in the hope of finding one who displays Alice's powers. Elsewhere, Claire Redfield leads a convoy of survivors across the Nevada desert, including Raccoon City survivors Carlos Olivera and L.J. Wayne. Alice roams the country in search of survivors. After failing to find living people, she comes into contact with Redfield's convoy, after which she rescues them from a mob of attacking crows using her special telekinetic powers. The convoy, along with Alice, heads to Las Vegas to gather supplies so that they can reach Alaska in an effort to get to a place called Arcadia, which is thought to be a safe haven. While there, they are ambushed by a group of Umbrella Corporation's new super zombies created by Dr. Alexander Isaacs, which kill most of the convoy. L.J was bitten before, but he hides his infection from the rest of the group; he then transforms and bites Olivera, amidst the ambush. Isaacs himself is bitten and in an effort to cure himself he injects himself with large doses of the anti-virus, which causes him to transform into a Tyrant, a towering creature with regenerative ability and psionic (psychic) powers similar to Alice's.
Alice, Claire and Carlos then locate a helicopter in Umbrella base and plan to use it for extraction of the survivors to Alaska. Olivera makes his last stand by sacrificing himself and plowing his truck into a horde of zombies, giving the rest some time to load the survivors into the helicopter. Claire and the remaining survivors head towards Alaska, while Alice stays behind to confront Isaacs. While searching the facility for Isaacs, she discovers that she was cloned. After Alice defeats Isaacs, she contacts Umbrella and warns them that she is coming for them and that she will be bringing "friends" with her to fight them.
Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
Before the third installment had been released, Constantin prepared to release a fourth entry. The film was set in Japan and filmed in 3D with the Fusion Camera System developed by James Cameron and Vince Pace for the 2009 film Avatar. The film was written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson.
Set after the events of Extinction, Alice and her clones attack the Umbrella Headquarters in Tokyo. Wesker escapes and destroys the facility, killing the clones. Wesker is confronted by Alice aboard his helicopter. He injects Alice with a serum that removes her super-human abilities. The helicopter crashes, and only Alice is seen emerging from the rubble. After six months of a failed aerial search for other survivors, Alice heads toward the supposed location of Arcadia. She lands on an airfield in Alaska, where she finds Claire in a different state. Claire has an Umbrella controlling device attached to her chest and her memory has been wiped. Claire and Alice fly to Los Angeles, where they stumble on a prison wherein they meet Luther West and Chris Redfield, Claire's brother. The survivors explain that Arcadia is really a tanker off the coast that has been broadcasting a looped message and is picking up survivors. During an attempted escape, Alice, Claire and Chris are the only ones to emerge and they reach the tanker only to find it abandoned. Claire's memory begins to return when she remembers Umbrella workers attacking her group of survivors and moving them to the tanker. They learn that the ship is an Umbrella research facility, which is conducting experiments on the survivors. The three then meet Wesker, who has been granted super-human abilities due to the T-Virus. After the fight, Alice transmits a message to survivors calling them to the tanker and hopes to create a new and true safe haven. As the film closes, a fleet of Umbrella Corporation gunships led by Valentine prepares to lead an assault on the survivors.
Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
Written and directed by Anderson, Retribution was planned to be filmed back to back with the sixth installment, but Anderson decided to focus on the fifth film. Filming took place in Toronto, Ontario from mid-October to December 23, 2011. Colin Salmon who played One and Michelle Rodriguez who played Rain Ocampo in the first film returned. Oded Fehr, who portrayed Carlos Olivera in the second and third film, also returned. Three characters from the video games made their debut in the film series, Johann Urb as Leon S. Kennedy, Kevin Durand as Barry Burton, and Li Bingbing as Ada Wong. It was released internationally on September 14, 2012.
In the film, Alice awakens in an Umbrella base where she is interrogated by Valentine. During a power failure orchestrated by Ada Wong, Alice escapes from her cell and encounters her. Wong explains that Wesker plans to aid Alice's escape and battle the base's supercomputer Red Queen, in order to save what's left of mankind. Wesker has organized a team of freelance operatives to infiltrate the base and help Alice and Ada escape, including Leon S. Kennedy, Barry Burton, and Luther West. Along the way, Alice finds a clone of a girl named Becky. They also face clone versions of Carlos Olivera, One, and Rain Ocampo, who are all under the direction of Valentine. After Alice meets up with the rescue team, Valentine's soldiers catch up to them, resulting in a shootout that kills Burton, Olivera and One. Alice, West, Kennedy, and Becky reach the surface and are met by a submarine, from which Valentine, the clone Rain, and a captured Ada emerge. With new orders from the Red Queen to kill Alice, Valentine battles Alice while Rain fights Kennedy and West. Alice manages to remove the scarab device from Valentine, returning her back to normal. Alice joins Kennedy in defeating Rain. Alice, Ada, Becky, Leon, and Valentine travel to Wesker's base. Wesker injects Alice with the T-virus, returning her former superhuman powers in order to enact his plan, then tells her that she is responsible for saving the remaining humans from extinction.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016)
Anderson wrote and directed the sixth and final film in the series, subtitled The Final Chapter, which was filmed in 2D and was post-converted to stereoscopic 3D. Milla Jovovich reprised her role as Alice, with only Shawn Roberts, Iain Glen and Ali Larter returning from previous entries as Albert Wesker, Dr. Isaacs and Claire Redfield, respectively. Continuing from the last film, Anderson expressed his desire for the final film to "come full circle", bringing back characters, themes and the environment of the Hive from the first movie. Filming was set to begin in South Africa in August 2014 but was delayed to the summer of 2015 due to Jovovich's pregnancy. Principal photography commenced on September 18, 2015 in South Africa.
Picking up three weeks after the events in Resident Evil: Retribution, humanity is on its last legs after Alice is betrayed by Wesker in Washington D.C. Alice encounters the Red Queen, who tells her that she must return to where the nightmare began – Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation has developed an airborne anti-virus which will kill every organism infected by the T-virus. In a race against time, Alice is captured by Dr. Isaacs, long thought to be dead, who reveals that the previous incarnation was a clone. Alice escapes and arrives first in Raccoon City, where she joins forces with Claire Redfield. After holding off Dr. Isaacs' undead army, Alice, Claire and a team of survivors make their way towards the Hive. They again encounter the Red Queen, who tells them the origins of the T-virus: it was created by James Marcus, the founder of the Umbrella Corporation to save his daughter, Alicia, from an ailment that caused her to age rapidly. James was betrayed by his business partner, Dr. Isaacs, and killed by Albert Wesker. Dr. Isaacs and the board of the Umbrella Corporation then intended to release the T-virus on purpose in order to cleanse the world, save the rich and powerful with cryogenics in The Hive, and later rebuild it as they desire.
After confronting Wesker and the real Dr. Isaacs at the bottom of the Hive, Alice also learns her own true nature: she is a clone of the still-living Alicia Marcus, who was unable to live a normal life due to her condition. Dr. Isaacs clone brought the army of undead towards Alice and the real Dr. Isaacs. Dr. Isaacs' clone could not believe that he was a clone and stabbed the real Dr. Isaacs to death. Alice then releases the anti-virus, eliminating all infected by the T-virus. Alice survives, and gains the memories of Alicia Marcus as a reward in order to reclaim the childhood she never had. The series ends with Alice riding a motorcycle to New York City and places unknown while being chased by huge flying BOW's (bio organic weapons), stating that her job isn't finished yet and that it will take several years for the anti-virus to circle the globe.
In May 2017, Constantin chairman Martin Moszkowicz said that a reboot of the film series was in development.
In the same month, it was announced that James Wan would produce the reboot with a script by Greg Russo. In December 2018, Johannes Roberts was hired as writer/director and Wan left the project for Mortal Kombat reboot.
In August 2019, Roberts told Screen Rant that the reboot would be "super, super scary" and more faithful to the games.
Cast and crew
- This table shows the major characters that were featured in the films, sorted according to the actors' billing order, including all those adapted from the video games.
- A dark grey cell indicates that the character was not in the film.
- A G indicates the character was adapted from the video games.
- An O indicates an original character that was later adapted by the video games.
- A Y indicates a role as a younger version of the character.
- A U indicates an uncredited role.
- A C indicates a cameo role.
- A V indicates a voice-only role.
- An A indicates an appearance through archival footage or stills.
|Resident Evil||Resident Evil:
The Final Chapter
|Alicia "Alice" Marcus||Milla Jovovich||Milla Jovovich|
Ever Gabo AndersonY
|Rain Ocampo||Michelle Rodriguez||Michelle RodriguezUA||Michelle Rodriguez||Michelle RodriguezA|
|Matthew "Matt" Addison / NemesisG||Eric Mabius||Matthew G. Taylor (Nemesis)
|Matthew G. Taylor (Nemesis)UA||Eric MabiusA
Matthew G. Taylor (Nemesis)UA
Matthew G. Taylor (Nemesis)A
|Spence Parks||James Purefoy||James PurefoyUA||PhotographU||James PurefoyA|
|Chad Kaplan||Martin Crewes||Martin CrewesA|
|James "One" Shade||Colin Salmon||Colin SalmonUA||Colin SalmonC||Colin SalmonA|
|Dr. Lisa Addison||Heike Makatsch||Heike MakatschUA||Heike MakatschA|
|J.D. Salinas||Pasquale Aleardi||Pasquale AleardiUA||Pasquale AleardiA|
|Olga Danilova||Liz May Brice||Liz May BriceUA||Liz May BriceA|
|Vance Drew||Torsten Jerabek||Torsten JerabekUA||Torsten JerabekUA||Torsten JerabekA|
|Alfonso Warner||Marc Logan-Black||Marc Logan-BlackUA||Marc Logan-BlackUA||Marc Logan-BlackA|
|Red QueenO||Michaela Dicker||Megan Charpentier
|Ever Gabo Anderson|
|William Birkin||Jason IsaacsUC|
|Jill ValentineG||Sienna Guillory||Sienna GuilloryC||Sienna Guillory|
|Carlos OliveraG / Todd||Oded Fehr||Oded Fehr||Oded FehrA|
|Major Timothy Cain||Thomas Kretschmann||Thomas KretschmannA|
|Angela "Angie" Ashford||Sophie Vavasseur||Sophie VavasseurUA||Sophie VavasseurUA|
|Terri Morales||Sandrine Holt||Sandrine HoltA|
|Sgt. Peyton Wells||Razaaq Adoti||Razaaq AdotiA|
|Dr. Charles AshfordG||Jared Harris||Jared HarrisA|
|Lloyd Jefferson "L.J." Wade||Mike Epps||Mike EppsUA|
|Nicholai GinovaefG||Zack Ward|
|Dr. Alexander Isaacs / TyrantG||Iain Glen||Iain Glen
Brian Steele (Tyrant)
Gary HeckerV (Tyrant)
|Iain GlenA||Iain Glen|
|Claire RedfieldG||Ali Larter||Ali LarterA||Ali Larter|
|K-Mart||Spencer Locke||Spencer LockeC||Spencer LockeA|
|Chase||Linden Ashby||Linden AshbyA|
|Albert WeskerG||Jason O'Mara||Shawn Roberts|
|White Queen||Madeline Carroll|
|Bennett Sinclair||Kim Coates||Kim CoatesA|
|Angel Ortiz||Sergio Peris-Mencheta|
|Luther West||Boris Kodjoe||Boris KodjoeA|
|Chris RedfieldG||Wentworth Miller||Wentworth MillerA|
|Crystal Waters||Kacey Clarke|
|Kim Yong||Norman Yeung||Norman YeungA|
|AxemenenG||Ray Olubowale||Ray Olubowale
|J Pop Girl||Mika NakashimaC||Mika NakashimaA|
|Barry BurtonG||Kevin Durand||Kevin DurandA|
|Becky||Aryana Engineer||Aryana EngineerA|
|Leon S. KennedyG||Johann Urb||Johann UrbA|
|Ada WongG||Li Bingbing
|Commander Chu||Lee Joon-gi|
|Dr. James MarcusG||Mark Simpson|
|Resident Evil||Resident Evil:
The Final Chapter
|Director||Paul W. S. Anderson||Alexander Witt||Russell Mulcahy||Paul W. S. Anderson|
|Producers||Paul W. S. Anderson
|Paul W. S. Anderson
|Paul W. S. Anderson
|Paul W. S. Anderson
|Paul W. S. Anderson
|Paul W. S. Anderson |
|Executive producer(s)||Victor Hadida
Daniel S. Kletzky
Kelly Van Horn
|Victor Hadida |
|Writer||Paul W. S. Anderson|
|Jeff Danna||Charlie Clouser||Tomandandy||Paul Haslinger|
|Director(s) of photography||David Johnson||Derek Rogers
|David Johnson||Glen MacPherson|
|Editor||Alexander Berner||Eddie Hamilton||Niven Howie||Doobie White|
Box office performance
With the exception of the first entry and The Final Chapter, all films opened at number one at the North American box office. The series holds the record for the "most live-action film adaptations of a video game" in the 2012 Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition. It is also the highest-grossing film series to be based on a video game, grossing over 1 billion worldwide.
Critical and public response
|Resident Evil||36% (128 reviews)||33 (24 reviews)||B|
|Resident Evil: Apocalypse||20% (130 reviews)||35 (26 reviews)||B|
|Resident Evil: Extinction||24% (99 reviews)||41 (12 reviews)||B−|
|Resident Evil: Afterlife||22% (103 reviews)||37 (14 reviews)||B−|
|Resident Evil: Retribution||29% (73 reviews)||39 (17 reviews)||C+|
|Resident Evil: The Final Chapter||37% (100 reviews)||49 (19 reviews)||B|
The first, third, and sixth film received mixed reviews from critics, while the second, fourth and fifth films were received more negatively. The series was criticized for its unrestrained use of violence, cliffhanger endings and habit of abandoning established characters without explaining what happened to them. However, The Chicago Tribune declared the first film as "one of the few video game movies to truly re-create the gaming experience" and The Austin Chronicle calling it "an absolute wreck. But what an ambitiously mind-blowing wreck it is, bursting with dazzlingly sordid cinematography". The Seattle Times marked the second film an improvement from the original, saying the film "makes up for the wretched mess that was 2002's "Resident Evil"". The Hollywood Reporter gave the third film a positive review stating "Fast-paced and filled with brisk action sequences—the film should reasonably satisfy the devotees." Michael Ordoña of The Los Angeles Times gave the fourth film a positive review, claiming that "the action is easier to read than in most films of the genre, and therefore more enjoyable. Anderson makes particular use of sets and locations to wring out more bang for the stereoscopic buck."
The novelizations for the first three Resident Evil films were written by Keith R. A. DeCandido. The novelization for the fifth film was written by John Shirley, and the sixth by Tim Waggoner. The fourth film did not receive a novelization.
The novel for the first film, titled Resident Evil: Genesis, was published over two years after that film's release, while the Extinction novel was released in late July 2007, two months before the film's release. There was also a Japanese novelization of the first film, unrelated to DeCandido's version, written by Osamu Makino. Makino also wrote two novels based on the game Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles.
- Jason Isaacs, who appeared in most of Anderson's early films, was brought in for a day of filming, making a cameo appearance as a doctor near the end of the film, and he also provided the narration that opens it. In interviews, Anderson said Isaacs' character would be expanded on the sequel, to which Isaacs responded he would be happy to return for. When Isaacs didn't return, Anderson created the character of Dr. Isaacs, played by Iain Glen, as a homage to the unnamed doctor that Jason Isaacs played originally.
- According to Anderson, the Ashford family and particularly Dr. Charles Ashford is "based on the game but with a slightly different role", indicating he based him on Resident Evil – Code: Veronica's Dr. Alexander Ashford.
- Based on the "Executioner Majini" creature, from Resident Evil 5.
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