Resident Evil (film series)

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Resident Evil
Cover for the 2012 The Resident Evil Collection Blu-Ray box-set of the first five films
Written by Paul W. S. Anderson
Based on Resident Evil 
by Capcom
Starring Milla Jovovich
Distributed by Screen Gems
Budget $248 million
Box office $915,934,664

Resident Evil is a science fiction action-horror film series loosely based upon the Capcom video games of the same name. Constantin Film bought rights to the first film in January 1997 with Alan B. McElroy and George A. Romero as potential writers. In 2001, Sony acquired distribution rights and hired Paul W. S. Anderson as writer and director for the first film (2002). Anderson continued on as writer and producer for the sequels, Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) and Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), and returned as the director for Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) and Resident Evil: Retribution (2012).

The Umbrella Corporation acts as the main antagonist in the series, a bioengineering pharmaceutical company responsible for the zombie apocalypse as a result of creating the T-virus. The films follow protagonist Alice, an original character created for the films portrayed by Milla Jovovich, who was once a security operative working for Umbrella and became the enemy of the corporation.

Characters from the Resident Evil video games also appeared in the film series, including Jill Valentine, Carlos Olivera, Claire Redfield, Albert Wesker, Chris Redfield, Barry Burton, Leon S. Kennedy and Ada Wong.

With five films released, the Resident Evil film series is the highest grossing film series to be based on video games of all time, having grossed US$915 million worldwide.[1] It is set to continue with a sixth and final film, written by Anderson.


Resident Evil (2002)[edit]

Main article: Resident Evil (film)
Actress Milla Jovovich portrays Alice in the film series.

In January 1997, Constantin Film acquired the rights to the Resident Evil franchise with Alan B. McElroy writing the script.[2] By 2001, Columbia TriStar was in final negotiations to acquire North American distribution rights to Resident Evil and budgeted the movie at $40 million.[3] George A. Romero was hired by Sony and Capcom to direct and write Resident Evil. His script was later rejected and he was ultimately dropped.[4] Capcom producer Yoshiki Okamoto stated that "Romero's script wasn't good, so Romero was fired".[5] Paul W. S. Anderson was then hired by Sony to write a screenplay and in late 2000, Anderson was announced as director and writer.[6][6] 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".[7] In 2001, Milla Jovovich was cast as Alice, the protagonist of the film.[8]

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 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. When they reach the train that leads them to the exit, the Licker attacks and scratches Matt before Alice can kill it. When they reach the surface, Matt is taken away by Umbrella workers and he eventually transforms into Nemesis. Alice wakes from a coma to a ravaged Raccoon City after a T-Virus outbreak.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)[edit]

The sequel to the first film began production in 2003 after the success of the first film.[9] 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, Mayor 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 also knew 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's computer states "Project Alice Activated".

Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)[edit]

In November 2005, Screen Gems gained the rights for the third film in the franchise, which was then named Resident Evil: Afterlife.[10] Anderson returned as a writer and filming took place in Mexico. Russell Mulcahy was the director. The film was released on September 21, 2007.[11]

In the film, the world has been consumed by the T-Virus and Umbrella Corporation develops clones of Alice in hopes of finding one who displays Alice's powers. Elsewhere, Claire Redfield leads a convoy of survivors across the Nevada desert, including Raccoon City survivors Oliviera and L.J. Wayne. Alice roams the country for survivors. After failing to find any living people, she comes into contact with Redfield's convoy after she rescues them from a mob of attacking crows using her special telekinesis powers. The convoy, along with Alice, heads to Las Vegas to gather supplies so they can reach Alaska in an effort to get to a place called Arcadia, thought to be a safe haven. While there, they are attacked by a group of Umbrella Corporation's new super zombies who kill most of the convoy. After Wayne is bitten and hides his infection from the rest of the group, he transforms and bites Oliviera. Isaacs himself is bitten and in an effort to cure himself, injects himself with large doses of the anti-virus which causes him to transform into a Tyrant. Redfield leaves for Alaska, while Alice stays behind to confront Isaacs. While searching the facility for Isaacs, she discovers that she was cloned. After Alice defeats Isaacs, contacts Umbrella and warns them that she is coming for them and that she will be bringing the clones with her to fight them.

Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)[edit]

Before the third installment had been released, Constantin prepared to release a fourth film in the series.[12] 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.[13] 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 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 device attached to her chest and her memory has been wiped. Claire and Alice fly to Los Angeles where they stumble upon a prison where they met Luther West and Chris Redfield, Claire's brother. The survivors explain that Arcadia is a tanker off the coast which 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 removing them to the tanker. 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)[edit]

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.[14] Filming took place in Toronto, Ontario from mid-October to December 23, 2011.[15] Colin Salmon who played One and Michelle Rodriguez who played Rain Ocampo in the first film returned.[16][17] 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.[18][19][20][21] It was released internationally on September 14, 2012.[15]

In the film, after having been captured at the Arcadia, Alice experiences a dream sequence or hallucination where she is the wife of Carlos Olivera and has daughter named Becky, and their suburban home is overrun by zombies. Alice awakens in an Umbrella base. Jill Valentine interrogates Alice, who unsuccessfully pleads with her to remember her true identity. During a power failure orchestrated by Ada Wong, Alice escapes from her cell and encounters her. Ada explains that she and Wesker are no longer working for Umbrella. 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 young girl named Becky, who believes Alice is her mother. 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, causing a shootout that kills Burton, Oliviera 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.[22]

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter[edit]

The sixth and final film in the series, Anderson is set to direct and write the film.[23] According to Anderson, the film is tentatively titled as Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. The film will be filmed in 3D.[24] Jovovich and Li are set to reprise their roles as Alice and Ada.[25][26] Filming was set to begin in South Africa in August 2014 but is delayed to the summer of 2015 due to Jovovich's pregnancy. Principal photography will commence in August 2015.[27][28]

Cast and characters[edit]

Character Film
Resident Evil Resident Evil: Apocalypse Resident Evil: Extinction Resident Evil: Afterlife Resident Evil: Retribution Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Alice Milla Jovovich
Rain Ocampo Michelle Rodriguez Archive footage Michelle Rodriguez
Matt Addison / Nemesis Eric Mabius Matthew G. Taylor Archive footage
James "One" Shade Colin Salmon Colin Salmon
Spence Parks James Purefoy Archive footage
Chad Kaplan Martin Crewes Archive footage
Olga Danilova / Medic Liz May Brice Archive footage
Vance Drew Torsten Jerabek
Alfonso Warner Marc Logan-Black
J.D. Salinas Pasquale Aleardi Archive footage
Red Queen Michaela Dicker Megan Charpentier,
Ave Merson-O'Brian (voice)
Jill Valentine Sienna Guillory Sienna Guillory
Carlos Olivera Oded Fehr Mentioned Oded Fehr
Lloyd Jefferson "L.J." Wade Mike Epps Mentioned Archive footage
Dr. Sam Isaacs / Tyrant Iain Glen Archive footage
Angela Ashford Sophie Vavasseur
Dr. Charles Ashford Jared Harris
Major Timothy Cain Thomas Kretschmann
Nicholai Ginovaeff Zack Ward
Terri Morales Sandrine Holt Archive footage
Peyton Wells Razaaq Adoti Archive footage
Albert Wesker Jason O'Mara Shawn Roberts
Claire Redfield Ali Larter Archive footage Ali Larter
K-Mart (Dahlia) Spencer Locke Archive footage Spencer Locke
White Queen Madeline Carroll
Betty Ashanti
Mikey Christopher Egan Mentioned
Chase Linden Ashby
Captain Alexander Slater Matthew Marsden
Otto Joe Hursley
Luther West Boris Kodjoe
Chris Redfield Wentworth Miller Archive footage Wentworth Miller
Bennett Kim Coates Archive footage
Angel Sergio Peris-Mencheta Archive footage
Crystal Waters Kacey Barnfield Archive footage
Wendell Fulvio Cecere
Kim Yong Norman Yeung Archive footage
J-Pop Girl (Patient Zero) Mika Nakashima
Leon S. Kennedy Johann Urb
Ada Wong Li Bingbing
Becky Aryana Engineer
Barry Burton Kevin Durand


Occupation Film
Resident Evil Resident Evil: Apocalypse Resident Evil: Extinction Resident Evil: Afterlife Resident Evil: Retribution Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Director Paul W. S. Anderson Alexander Witt Russell Mulcahy Paul W. S. Anderson
Producers Paul W. S. Anderson
Jeremy Bolt
Bernd Eichinger
Samuel Hadida
Paul W. S. Anderson
Jeremy Bolt
Don Carmody
Paul W. S. Anderson
Jeremy Bolt
Bernd Eichinger
Samuel Hadida
Robert Kulzer
Paul W. S. Anderson
Jeremy Bolt
Don Carmody
Bernd Eichinger
Samuel Hadida
Robert Kulzer
Paul W. S. Anderson
Jeremy Bolt
Don Carmody
Samuel Hadida
Robert Kulzer
Executive producer(s) Victor Hadida
Daniel S. Kletzky
Robert Kulzer
Yoshiki Okamoto
Bernd Eichinger
Samuel Hadida
Victor Hadida
Robert Kulzer
Victor Hadida
Martin Moszkowicz
Kelly Van Horn
Victor Hadida
Martin Moszkowicz
Martin Moszkowicz
Writer Paul W. S. Anderson
Composer(s) Marco Beltrami
Marilyn Manson
Jeff Danna Charlie Clouser tomandandy
Director(s) of photography David Johnson Derek Rogers, Christian Sebaldt David Johnson Glen MacPherson
Editor Alexander Berner Eddie Hamilton Niven Howie


Box office performance[edit]

Film Release date Box office gross Budget Reference
United States Other
North America Other
Resident Evil March 15, 2002 March 21, 2002 $40,119,707 $62,321,367 $102,441,077 $33 million [29]
Resident Evil: Apocalypse September 10, 2004 September 11, 2004 $51,201,457 $78,193,437 $129,394,837 $45 million [30]
Resident Evil: Extinction September 21, 2007 September 19, 2007 $50,648,677 $97,069,157 $147,717,837 $45 million [31]
Resident Evil: Afterlife September 10, 2010 September 9, 2010 $60,128,567 $236,093,097 $296,221,667 $60 million [32]
Resident Evil: Retribution September 14, 2012 September 12, 2012 $42,345,537 $197,813,727 $240,159,257 $65 million [33]
Total $244,443,937 $671,490,727 $915,934,667 $248 million [34]

Except for the first film, all the Resident Evil films opened at #1 at 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.[1]

Critical and public response[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Resident Evil 33% (123 reviews)[35] 33 (24 reviews)[36] B[37]
Resident Evil: Apocalypse 21% (124 reviews)[38] 35 (26 reviews)[39] B[37]
Resident Evil: Extinction 22% (95 reviews)[40] 41 (12 reviews)[41] B-[37]
Resident Evil: Afterlife 23% (95 reviews)[42] 37 (14 reviews)[43] B-[37]
Resident Evil: Retribution 31% (65 reviews)[44] 39 (17 reviews)[45] C+[37]

All films received negative response from the critics. However, The Chicago Tribune declare the first film as "one of the few video game movies to truly re-create the gaming experience"[46] and The Austin Chronicle calling it "an absolute wreck. But what an ambitiously mind-blowing wreck it is, bursting with dazzlingly sordid cinematography".[47] 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"".[48] 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."[49] 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."[50]


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. 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.

Home media release[edit]

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the first five Resident Evil films on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download. The films were also released on DVD and Blu-ray box sets:

Title Format Release date Films Reference
Resident Evil / Resident Evil: Apocalypse – Resurrected Edition DVD September 4, 2007 Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Apocalypse [51]
Resident Evil: The High Definition Trilogy Blu-ray January 1, 2008 Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction [52]
Resident Evil Trilogy DVD December 9, 2008 [53]
The Resident Evil Collection DVD, Blu-ray September 4, 2012 Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction, Resident Evil: Afterlife [54]
December 21, 2012 Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Resident Evil: Retribution [55][56]

Capcom films[edit]

Aside from the live-action film series, Capcom have released animated films which are tied to the video game series.

Biohazard 4D-Executer[edit]

Main article: Biohazard 4D-Executer

Biohazard 4D-Executer features Raccoon City, but none of the characters from the video game series are present. The short film was released in November 2000.

Resident Evil: Degeneration[edit]

Resident Evil: Degeneration is Capcom's first full-length feature film set in the video game series. Taking place between the events of the video games Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, follows Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield.[57] It was released on October 18, 2008.

Resident Evil: Damnation[edit]

Resident Evil: Damnation is Capcom's second full-length feature film set in the video game series. Taking place between the events of the video games Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6, follows Leon S. Kennedy and Ada Wong. It was released on September 15, 2012.


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External links[edit]