Resident Evil (film series)

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Resident Evil
Resident evil ver4.jpg
Poster for the first film
Directed by Paul W. S. Anderson (1,4-6), Alexander Witt (2), Russell Mulcahy (3)
Produced by Paul W. S. Anderson, Jeremy Bolt, Bernd Eichinger (1, 3-4), Samuel Hadida (1,3-4), Don Carmody (2,4-5), Robert Kulzer (3,4,5)
Written by Paul W. S. Anderson
Based on Resident Evil 
by Capcom
Starring Milla Jovovich
Music by Marco Beltrami (1), Marilyn Manson (1), Jeff Danna (2), Charlie Clouser (3), tomandandy (4,5)
Cinematography David Johnson (1,3), Derek Rogers (2), Christian Sebaldt (2), Glen MacPherson (4,5)
Editing by Alexander Berner (1), Eddie Hamilton (2), Niven Howie (3-5)
Distributed by Screen Gems
Country
Language
Budget $248,000,000
Box office $915,934,664

Resident Evil is a video game based film series 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 to the film and hired Paul W. S. Anderson as writer and director for Resident Evil (2002). He continued on as writer and producer for Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) and Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), and returned as director for a fourth installment, Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) and the fifth film Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), in 3D. A sixth installment is planned for a 2015 release date.

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 franchise protagonist Alice, a completely original character created for the films portrayed by Milla Jovovich, who was once a security operative working for Umbrella and is now the ultimate enemy of the corporation. Through her battle with Umbrella, she eventually meets with the main antagonist, Chairman Albert Wesker (Jason O'Mara/Shawn Roberts). A number of video game characters also make an appearance in the films, including Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr), Claire Redfield (Ali Larter), Chris Redfield (Wentworth Miller), Barry Burton (Kevin Durand), Leon S. Kennedy (Johann Urb) and Ada Wong (Li Bingbing).

Despite a mixed reaction from film critics, the franchise has collectively brought in US$915 million worldwide on a $248 million budget and is the most successful film series to be based on video games.[1]

Development[edit]

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 from the movie.[4] Capcom producer Yoshiki Okamoto explained to the editors of Electronic Gaming Monthly that "Romero's script wasn't good, so Romero was fired".[5]

Hired by Sony, Paul W. S. Anderson wrote a screenplay,[6] and in late 2000, Anderson was announced as director and writer, and Resident Evil re-entered pre-production stages.[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] Milla Jovovich was cast as protagonist Alice in 2001,[8] a character she plays for a further four films.

A second film began production in 2003 after the first was a success.[9] Anderson was confirmed to write the script but not confirmed to return as a director, due to his work on Alien vs. Predator. As with the previous installment, Constantin provided financing for the film.[9]

In November 2005, Screen Gems gained the rights for the third film in the franchise, which was then named Resident Evil: Afterlife.[10] It was announced Anderson would again return as a writer. Filming took place in Mexico and the movie was released September 21, 2007 as Resident Evil: Extinction.[11]

Before the third installment had been released, Constantin prepared to release a fourth film in the franchise.[12] Originally set in Japan, the film was soon confirmed to be released to THEATERS late 2010.[13] Resident Evil: Afterlife was filmed in 3D with the Fusion Camera System developed by James Cameron and Vince Pace for their 2009 film Avatar.[14] The film had a $60 million budget, the biggest budget in the Resident Evil franchise at the time.[15]

A fifth film in the franchise, entitled Resident Evil: Retribution, was released internationally on September 14, 2012.[16] Filming took place in Toronto, Ontario from mid-October to December 23, 2011,[16] marking the third time the franchise has filmed in Toronto. Paul W. S. Anderson returned as writer and director, Glen McPherson serves as director of photography and Kevin Phipps as production designer.[16]

Jovovich was confirmed, as well as Guillory, reprising her role as Jill Valentine.[17] Boris Kodjoe returned as Luther.[18] Colin Salmon who played One and Michelle Rodriguez who played Rain Ocampo in the first film returned.[19][20] Oded Fehr who portrayed Carlos Olivera in the second and third film returned for the film. Three new characters from the games appeared together with the returning cast: Johann Urb was cast as Leon S. Kennedy and Kevin Durand as Barry Burton[21][22][23] with Li Bingbing portraying Ada Wong.[24]

Originally, Anderson planned to film Retribution and a sixth installment back-to-back, but he later decided to focus on just the fifth film. In the same interview, Anderson stated that if Retribution does well financially, then a sixth film would be developed and it will be the finale of the series. Milla Jovovich revealed that she is planning to star in a sixth and final installment of the franchise which will close out the series' storyline.[25] Speaking with Variety, Rory Bruer, the distribution head of Sony, has confirmed that a sixth film would be made, with Milla Jovovich as the star.[26] On March 4, it was announced that a sixth installment is scheduled for a release of September 12, 2014.[27] On March 13, 2013 Anderson was confirmed to direct the film.[28]

In an interview with Forbes, producer Samuel Hadida stated that a sixth and seventh Resident Evil are planned and a reboot of the series is possible. "It will go another one, another two, and then I’m sure it will be rebooted." says Hadida. "Spider-Man did. Why not Resident Evil? You can come back to the original idea, the start of everything. You can take out characters. You can evolve. You can live with this world very easily. You know, characters were dead and they are still here.[29]

Plot[edit]

Resident Evil (2002)[edit]

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 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.

Alice is portrayed by actress Milla Jovovich.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)[edit]

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 Lickers 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 learns 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 taken to the Detroit Umbrella research station where she gets cloned by Dr. Sam Isaacs. When she 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]

The world has been consumed by the T-Virus and Umbrella 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 Carlos Olivera and L.J. Wayne along with K-Mart, Nurse Betty, and Mikey. A secluded Alice roams the country for survivors. After failing to find any living people, she comes into contact with Claire's convoy after she rescues them from mutated crows using her super-human abilities.

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 and free of the T-Virus. While there, they are attacked by super zombies who kill most of the convoy. After L.J. is bitten and hides his infection from the rest of the group, he transforms and bites Carlos. 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 Tyrant.

Claire and K-Mart leave for Alaska with what remains of the convoy in a helicopter, 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 the clones with her to fight them.

Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)[edit]

After the events of Extinction, Alice and the clones attack the Tokyo Umbrella station. Wesker escapes and destroys the facility, killing the clones. Wesker is confronted by the original Alice aboard his escaping 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 abandoned airfield in Alaska, where she finds Claire in an animalistic state. Claire has an Umbrella device attached to her chest and her memory has been wiped; she begins to recover after Alice removes the device. Claire and Alice fly to Los Angeles where they stumble upon a prison surrounded by zombies. Among the survivors in the prison are 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 really an Umbrella research facility which is conducting experiments on the survivors. Among the prisoners is K-Mart. The three then meet Wesker, who has been granted super-human abilities due to the T-Virus in his system. After a victorious and epic battle, Alice transmits a message to survivors calling them to the tanker and hopes to create a new haven, a true safe haven

Luther emerges from a sewer drain alive. A fleet of Umbrella Corporation aircraft led by Jill Valentine, thought missing since the events of Resident Evil: Apocalypse, prepares to lead an assault on the survivors.

Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)[edit]

After having been captured at the Arcadia, Alice experiences what seems to be a lengthy dream sequence or hallucination. In this sequence, she is the wife of Carlos Olivera and has a deaf daughter named Becky, and their suburban home is overrun by undead. 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 (an associate of Albert Wesker), Alice escapes from her cell and encounters her. Ada explains that she and Wesker no longer work 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. Ada also reveals that the base is underwater and serves as a testing ground for experiments. Additionally, 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 Jill. After Alice meets up with the rescue team, Jill's soldiers catch up to them, causing a shootout that kills Barry, Carlos and One. Alice, Luther, Leon, and Becky reach the surface and are met by a submarine, from which Jill, the clone Rain, and a captured Ada emerge. With new orders from the Red Queen to kill Alice, Jill battles Alice while a now "enhanced" Rain, fights Leon and Luther, with Luther being killed in the process. Alice manages to remove and destroy the scarab device from Jill, returning her back to normal. Alice joins Leon in defeating Rain. Alice, Ada, Becky, Leon, and Jill (who is no longer being controlled by the Red Queen) travel to Wesker's base: the heavily barricaded and guarded White House. 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 once and for all.[30] The camera pulls back to show the fortified base surrounded by a seemingly endless horde of undead of many varieties, including a previously unseen flying type.

Future[edit]

Director Paul W.S. Anderson stated in an interview that their original plan was to produce Retribution and a sixth installment back-to-back, but he later decided to focus on just the fifth film. In the same interview, Anderson stated that if Retribution does well financially, then a sixth film would be developed. Milla Jovovich revealed that she is planning to star in a sixth installment of the franchise. Her husband, Anderson, pitched her the idea while vacationing following wrapping the fifth film and that the series would most likely continue past a sixth film, just not with her as the star.[citation needed]

A sixth film was confirmed by Sony distribution's head, Rory Bruer.[31] In an interview with Forbes, producer Samuel Hadida stated that a sixth and seventh installment are planned and a reboot of the series is possible.[32] Sony officially scheduled the 6th movie for a September 12, 2014 premiere.[33] Director Paul W.S. Anderson has been confirmed to direct "Resident Evil 6,"[28] and has stated that it will be the last film in the series.[34]  Jovovich thinks that the sixth film will come out in 2015.[35] Anderson revealed in an interview that he will start shooting the film in fall 2013.[36] On February 1, 2014, Anderson spoke to Collider while talking about his film Pompeii say that "we’d like to do another Resident Evil movie. Definitely. But the wheels aren’t quite in motion yet", some reports that saying the film will be released in 2015.[37][38][39][40][41]

Cast and characters[edit]

Character Film
Resident Evil
(2002)
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
(2004)
Resident Evil: Extinction
(2007)
Resident Evil: Afterlife
(2010)
Resident Evil: Retribution
(2012)
Resident Evil: 6
(2015)
Resident Evil: 7
(2018)
Alice Milla Jovovich
Rain Ocampo Michelle Rodriguez  Archive footage   Michelle Rodriguez
Matt Addison / Nemesis Eric Mabius Matthew G. Taylor  
James "One" Shade Colin Salmon   Colin Salmon
Spence Parks James Purefoy  
Chad Kaplan Martin Crewes  
Olga Danilova Liz May Brice  
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  
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  
Peyton Wells   Razaaq Adoti  
Albert Wesker   Jason O'Mara Shawn Roberts
Claire Redfield   Ali Larter  Archive footage
K-Mart (Dahlia)   Spencer Locke  Archive footage
White Queen   Madeline Carroll  
Betty   Ashanti  
Mikey   Christopher Egan  
Chase   Linden Ashby  
Luther West   Boris Kodjoe
Bennett   Kim Coates  Archive footage
Angel   Sergio Peris-Mencheta  
Crystal Waters   Kacey Barnfield  
Wendell   Fulvio Cecere  
Kim Yong   Norman Yeung  Archive Footage
Chris Redfield   Wentworth Miller  Archive footage
J-Pop Girl: The Patient Zero   Mika Nakashima
Leon S. Kennedy   Johann Urb
Ada Wong   Li Bingbing
Barry Burton   Kevin Durand
Becky   Aryana Engineer

The Other Characters[edit]

Ivan Green Ashley Kinger

Crew and other[edit]

Crew/detail Film
Resident Evil
(2002)
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
(2004)
Resident Evil: Extinction
(2007)
Resident Evil: Afterlife
(2010)
Resident Evil: Retribution
(2012)
Director Paul W. S. Anderson Alexander Witt Russell Mulcahy Paul W. S. Anderson
Producer 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
Music Marco Beltrami
Marilyn Manson
Jeff Danna Charlie Clouser tomandandy
Writer Paul W. S. Anderson

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Film Release date Box office revenue Budget Reference
United States International Worldwide
Resident Evil March 15, 2002 $40,119,707 $62,321,367 $102,441,077 $33,000,000 [42]
Resident Evil: Apocalypse September 10, 2004 $51,201,457 $78,193,437 $129,394,837 $45,000,000 [43]
Resident Evil: Extinction September 21, 2007 $50,648,677 $97,069,157 $147,717,837 $45,000,000 [44]
Resident Evil: Afterlife September 10, 2010 $60,128,567 $236,093,097 $296,221,667 $60,000,000 [45]
Resident Evil: Retribution September 14, 2012 $42,345,537 $197,813,727 $240,159,257 $65,000,000 [46]
Total $244,443,937 $671,490,727 $915,934,667 $248,000,000 [46]

Resident Evil opened domestically on March 15, 2002 to the #2 spot at the box office. The film grossed $17,707,106 from 2,528 theatres averaging $7,004 per theatre.[47] By the end of its theatrical run, Resident Evil had made $40,119,709 domestically and $102,441,078 world-wide on a $33 million budget.[42]

Resident Evil: Apocalypse debuted at #1 in its opening weekend (September 10–12, 2004) with $23,036,273.[48] Averaging $7,014 at 3,284 theatres, the movie had an increased budget of $45 million and made $129,394,835 world-wide.[43][49]

Resident Evil: Extinction followed the success of the second film opening at #1 during September 21–23, 2007.[50] The film became the second highest grossing movie in the franchise with $147,717,833 world-wide, $97,069,154 of it coming from international territories.[44]

Resident Evil: Afterlife opened in theaters September 10, 2010 to $26.7 million, setting a franchise record for highest domestic opening weekend and becoming the eighth highest September opening of all time.[51] Afterlife scored the least-attended debut of the series and its large opening weekend tally was due to the higher ticket prices for 3D.[52] Overseas, the fourth installment grossed $42.7 million from 3,971 screens in 34 markets, earning another franchise record.[53] In total, the film earned $73.2 million worldwide in its opening weekend and stayed at the top of the international box office for four consecutive weeks.[54] Resident Evil: Afterlife made $296,221,663 at the end of its theatrical run.[45]

Resident Evil: Retribution opened in 2,012 theaters on September 14, 2012 to a weekend gross of $21,052,227, the second lowest opening in the franchise after the first film. It had already grossed $50,000,000 worldwide in the Far East and Russia. It held the #1 spot at the box office against the 3D re-release of Finding Nemo and eventually grossed well over double its $65,000,000 budget.[46]

The series holds the record for the "most live-action film adaptations of a videogame" in the 2012 Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition, which also described it as "the most successful movie series to be based on a videogame."[1]

Novelizations[edit]

Novelizations of four of the five films:

The Genesis novel 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.

Critical response[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Resident Evil 34% (122 reviews)[55] 33 (24 reviews)[56]
Resident Evil: Apocalypse 21% (123 reviews)[57] 35 (26 reviews)[58]
Resident Evil: Extinction 22% (93 reviews)[59] 41 (12 reviews)[60]
Resident Evil: Afterlife 24% (88 reviews)[61] 37 (14 reviews)[62]
Resident Evil: Retribution 30% (64 reviews)[63] 39 (17 reviews)[64]

The first film has a 34% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[55] There were positive reviews with The Chicago Tribune declaring it "one of the few video game movies to truly re-create the gaming experience"[65] and The Austin Chronicle calling it "an absolute wreck. But what an ambitiously mind-blowing wreck it is, bursting with dazzlingly sordid cinematography".[66]

Similar to the first installment, Apocalypse was not well received by critics. A BBC review noted, "A zombie movie as dead-eyed and soulless as its walking dead villains." [67] Not all reviews were negative, The Seattle Times marked it an improvement from the original, saying the film "makes up for the wretched mess that was 2002's "Resident Evil"".[68]

As with the first two installments, Extinction was negatively received by critics with a 22% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[59] Empire deemed it "Better than the silly second instalment and boasting an effectively creepy empty world setting, it’s nevertheless scuppered by a lack of coherence."[69] The Hollywood Reporter also gave a positive review of the film, "Fast-paced and filled with brisk action sequences -- the film should reasonably satisfy the devotees."[70]

Resident Evil: Afterlife was on par with its predecessors. On Rotten Tomatoes, 24% of 87 critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 4.1 out of 10.[61] Michael Ordoña of The Los Angeles Times gave the 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."[71] Kim Newman of Empire Magazine was less enthusiastic about the movie giving Afterlife two stars out of a possible five, stating "What fun there is to be had is undermined by drab 3D, hacked-out dialogue and rehashed plots."[72]

Resident Evil: Retribution has also received mostly negative reviews from critics, with Rotten Tomatoes giving it a 30% rating and Metacritic giving it a similar score of 39, while IGN gave it a more favorable rating of 6.0.[73]

Capcom film series[edit]

Aside from the American-produced live-action film series, Capcom have also produced CGI films which are tied to the original game series.

Biohazard 4D-Executer[edit]

Biohazard 4D-Executer uses the original setting of Raccoon City, but none of the original characters of the video game series are present. The film was released in November, 2000 and runs for 17 to 18 minutes.

Resident Evil: Degeneration[edit]

Resident Evil: Degeneration is Capcom's first full-length feature film taking place between the events of the games Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, and follows Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield.[74]

Resident Evil: Damnation[edit]

A sequel of Degeneration, titled Resident Evil: Damnation, which again follows Leon S. Kennedy and takes place between the events of Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6, was released in Japan on October 27, 2012.

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External links[edit]