The History of What Could Have Been

Back in early 1998 / mid 1999, rumors began circulating that RESIDENT EVIL, a zombie based game, that has highly character-driven and influenced by the Romero Trilogy would be put into development as a film.

Almost from the start, Romero's name became attached to the film, but nothing was offical during pre-development of the film until word was announced that Romero was attached.  Romero being the writer and director, that he is intended to adapt the film based as accurately as he could on the game as the first draft (dated Oct. 7, 1998 and co-written with Peter Grunwald).  The attempt as you can tell from reading the script is true to the game in almost every form, but Constantin Films, the Producers on the film didn't take to the film and Romero was fired.

Romero went away to work on his first draft of DEAD RECKONING after being fired.  Constantin Films hired Writer / Director Paul W. Anderson, who created a loosely based prequel to the game.  Anderson's film met with decent reviews and spawned the current sequel, but backed out of directing the sequel allowing Alexander Witt to take the reigns, while Anderson focused on ALIEN VS. PREDATOR.




  • Night of the Living Dead (1968) director George A. Romero was originally attached to write and direct, but left the project in 1999 due to creative differences over the script. The project was dormant for over a year before Paul W.S. Anderson signed on to write and direct the movie.

  • This film was originally titled "Resident Evil: Ground Zero," but the title was changed to just "Resident Evil" after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the USA.

  • The final fate of the Matt character is known to fans of the games.

  • The password into the Red Queen's Chamber is '12177'

  • A newspaper in Racoon City reads 'The Dead Walk!' This is a direct reference to Day of the Dead (1985), in which a newspaper at the beginning of the film reads the same.

  • The front of the Umbrella train to the Hive reads 'Alexia-5000'. Alexia is the name of one of the heads of Umbrella in Biohazard Code: Veronica (2000) (VG).

  • Near the end of the movie one of the men in white biohazard outfits movie makes a reference to transporting Matt to the 'Nemesis' project. The Nemesis is the creature that pursues Jill Valentine through Biohazard 3: Last Escape (1999) (VG).

  • There is a shot near the end of the film of Alice's eye close up. This is a direct reference to the first game in the series. The close up eye shot is the logo/title screen of the game.

  • The second movie based on a video game directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. The first was Mortal Kombat (1995).

  • Connections to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland:
    • Main character's name is Alice.
    • Computer is named 'Red Queen'.
    • 'The Red Queen' needs to kill someone who is infected, so she tries to get someone else to chop off their head. (Off with her head!)
    • Alice in Wonderland paperweight.
    • A white rabbit was use to test the T-virus.
    • To enter the hive they go through a mirrored door (through the looking glass).

  • The film begins a few days prior to the original Biohazard (1996) (VG), but ends in the middle of the timeline for Biohazard 2 (1998) (VG) and Biohazard 3: Last Escape (1999) (VG). However, this is complicated by the newspaper at the end of the film, which says the year is 2002. None of the characters featured in the film are present in the Resident Evil/Biohazard game series, unless you count Matt, who is theoretically turned into Nemesis, the primary monster in Biohazard 3: Last Escape (1999) (VG).

  • The police car Alice gets the shotgun from at the end of the movie displays the Logo "S.T.A.R.S." from Resident Evil 1 on its hood.

  • One of the smaller headlines on the newspaper at the end of the film references the S.T.A.R.S. from the first Resident Evil videogame.

  • References to the each of the Resident Evil Games: Resident Evil Survivor: Some one loses their memory and at the end it returns to them. Resident Evil Code Veronica: Matt runs into his sister that is now a zombie and has to watch her "die". This is similar to Steve Burnside having to watch his zombie father die, but by his own hands.

  • The film pokes fun at several elements in the games: Alice and Matt look very similar to Jill and Chris from Biohazard (1996) (VG). Steve from Biohazard Code: Veronica (2000) (VG) looks similar to Leon from Biohazard 2 (1998) (VG).

  • Like in the games, after something is switched on/off, something else happens elsewhere. When the Red Queen is deactivated for the first time, all doors elsewhere are opened. -The wedding picture of Alice and Spencer looks similar to the pictures from the first two games (with the subjects up close and spliced onto the background image, and always in black and white).

  • In the movie, Alice's faux husband is named Spencer. This is a reference to the first game which took place in a mansion named the "Spencer Estate".

  • Cameo: [ Jason Isaacs] The narrator at the opening of the film and the voice of the scientist who wants to re-open the hive.

  • Cameo: [ Jeremy Bolt] The producer appears as a zombie several times throughout the movie.

  • The zombie guard who attacks Alice after the appearance of the first dog zombie is the stunt coordinator and trainer.

  • Even though they're everywhere, the word "zombie" is never spoken in this film.

  • Romero's unproduced script for this movie feature the game character Jill Valentine as the female lead. The concept of never having the word zombie spoken in the film is a reference to Night of the Living Dead (1968) the movie known for creating the zombie genre but also never speaks the word zombie in the film.

  • The flock of crows Alice sees at the beginning of the film is digitized.

  • The presidents of Capcom Japan and America have cameos as zombies. Capcom created the Resident Evil series.

  • Milla Jovovich's character, Alice, never has her name spoken, written or identified until the end credits.

  • When Matt and Alice return to the mansion at the end of the movie the case Alice is carrying is just a box covered in foil. The actual case was locked inside a studio.

  • When Matt's arm begins to mutate there are no digital effects until the very end.

  • In the first draft of the script Kaplan was simply referred to as "Twelve". His full name was Isiab Tagawa Mercurio.

  • After returning to the laser hallway they fine the bodies have vanished. This is a direct reference to the games, in which the bodies will vanish if you leave and reenter an area. Kaplains lines draw attention to this.


    Red Queen : You are all going to die down here.

    Narrator : At the beginning of the 21st century, the Umbrella Corporation had become the largest commercial entity in the United States. Nine out of every ten homes contain its products. Its political and financial influence is felt everywhere. In public, it is the world's leading supplier of computer technology, medical products, and healthcare. Unknown, even to its own employees, its massive profits are generated by military technology, genetic experimentation and viral weaponry.

    [Alice points her gun at Rain]
    Rain : I'm not dead yet.
    [Rain takes the gun from Alice]
    Rain : I think I'll take this back.
    Alice : I could kiss you, you bitch.

    Red Queen : I've been a bad, bad girl.

    [Rain and J.D. have just fought off a zombie]
    J.D. : I shot her five times! How was she still standing?
    Rain : Bitch isn't standin' now.

    Rain : She bit me man, she took a chunk clean right outta me!"

    Rain : That homicidal bitch killed my team.
    Alice : That homicidal bitch may be our only way out of here.

    Kaplan : You're going to have to work for your meal.

    [Matt and Spence are helping Rain]
    Rain : When I get outta here... I think I'm gonna get laid.
    Matt : You might wanna clean yourself up first.

    Rain : Your boyfriends a real asshole!

    Rain : No pressure, guys.

    Red Queen : I implore you.
    Kaplan : Implore away!

    Alice : There's a cure!
    Rain : I was beginning to worry.

    Rain : I Don't want to be one of those things. Walking around without a soul.

    Matt : What the fuck was that?

    Alice : I'm not sure I want to remember what went on down here.
    James "One" Shade : I don't blame you.

    Rain : All the people that work here are dead.
    Spence : Well that doesn't stop them from walking around.

    Alice : I'm missing you already.

    Mr. Grey : Thank you!
    Ms. Black : Some people.
    Mr. Grey : Ya.

    Red Queen : I can give you the code, but first you must do something for me.
    Alice : What?
    Red Queen : One of your group has been infected. I require her life for the code.

    Red Queen : The T-virus is protean, changing from liquid to airborne to blood transmission, depending on its environment. It is almost impossible to kill.

    Rain : Why didn't you tell us about the antivirus?
    Red Queen : This long after infection, there was no guarantee it would work.
    Rain : But there's a chance... right?
    Red Queen : I don't deal in chance.

    [the lethal laser bar approaching One becomes an unavoidable lattice]
    James "One" Shade : Shit!

    Kaplan : Bitch wouldn't open the door, so I had to fry her.

    Kaplan : She was right. We are gonna die down here.

    Kaplan : What are they? It's pretty goddamn obvious what they are. Lab coats, badges, THOSE PEOPLE USED TO WORK HERE!

    Kaplan : [surrounded by zombies, Kaplan contemplates suicide and finds one bullet left in his gun] That's lucky.

    Kaplan : [they see the holographic representation of the Red Queen] It's a Holographic representation of the Red Queen, based on the head programmer's daughter. Don't listen to anything she says. She's only trying to deceive us... confuse us... she'll say anything to stop us shutting her down.

    Red Queen : Just one bite, one scratch from these creatures is sufficient. And then, you become one of them.


  • Natasha Henstridge was asked to play the role of Jill Valentine, but could not accept due to other work commitments.

  • "Nemesis" is the subtitle of the third game in the Resident Evil videogame series.

  • The character of Jill Valentine wears exact same outfit she wore in the third "Resident Evil" game.

  • Sienna Guillory based her movements of Jill by watching the way Jill moved in the game Resident Evil 3: Nemesis.

  • Was originally entitled "Resident Evil: Nemesis" after the third game in the Resident Evil videogame series of the same name, which also had a similar plot. The title was changed to Resident Evil: Apocalypse after the release (and subsequent failure) of Star Trek: Nemesis (2002).

  • Jason Isaacs was set to play Doctor Birkin but left the project.

  • The movie uses elements of the plots of Biohazard 2 (1998) (VG) and Biohazard 3: Last Escape (1999) (VG).

  • The first trailer released for this movie featured an ad run by Umbrella Corporation advertising a skin-regeneration product using a special formula called T-cells. In the movies and video games, the virus responsible for zombie mutations is called the T-virus. All the footage in the advert was either shot specially for the advert or from the original film (there was no footage from the film it was advertising).

  • The trailer for Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) was one of the most watched trailers on the internet with 8.5 million downloads from November 2003 to May 2004.

  • Nemesis' weapon in the movie is his trademark rocket launcher and a modified General Electric M134 mini gun that the armorer, Charles Taylor, deconstructed, shorten the barrels to 14" and added muzzle brakes which divert the burning gunpowder to create a unique plasma effect when firing.

  • The building that is blown up in the movie (digital FX) is actually a real building - the Toronto City Hall.

  • Emily Bergl was originally casted as Claire Redfield, but left the project.
    [from trailer]
    Jill Valentine : I'm good, but I'm not that good

    [from trailer]
    Alice : I used to work for them, I saw the error of my ways.

    [from trailer]
    Carlos Olivera : We're expendable assets, and we've just been expended.

    [from trailer]
    Alice : My name is Alice and I remember everything.

    [from trailer]
    Alice : My name is Alice. I worked for the Umbrella Corperation, There was an accident, then, everybody died. Trouble was...they didn't stay dead.

    [from trailer]
    Jill Valentine : We're gonna need more ammo...