Resident Evil is a science-fiction 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 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, released on September 2012 in 3D.
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 (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), Leon S. Kennedy (Johann Urb) and Ada Wong (Li Bingbing).
Despite a mixed reaction from film critics, the films have become the most successful film series to be based on video games, and the franchise has collectively brought in US$876 million worldwide on a $284 million budget.
In January 1997, Constantin Film acquired the rights to the Resident Evil franchise with Alan B. McElroy 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 and Capcom to direct and write Resident Evil. However, his script was later disapproved and he was ultimately dropped from the movie. Capcom producer Yoshiki Okamoto explained to the editors of Electronic Gaming Monthly that "Romero's script wasn't good, so Romero was fired".
Hired by Sony, Paul W. S. Anderson wrote a screenplay, which was ultimately favored over Romero's. In late 2000, Anderson was announced as director and writer, and Resident Evil re-entered pre-production stages. 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". Milla Jovovichwas cast as protagonist Alice in 2001, a character she plays for a further four films.
A second film began production in 2003 after the first was a success. Anderson was confirmed to write the script but not confirmed to return as a director, due to him working on Alien vs. Predator. As with the previous installment, Constantin provided financing for the film.
In November 2005, Screen Gems gained the rights for the third film in the franchise, which was then named Resident Evil: Afterlife. 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.
Before the third installment had been released, Constantin prepared to release a fourth film in the franchise. Originally set in Japan, the film was soon confirmed to be released to theatres late 2010. Resident Evil: Afterlife was filmed in 3D with the Fusion Camera System developed byJames Cameron and Vince Pace for their 2009 film Avatar. The film had a $60 million budget, the biggest budget in the Resident Evil franchise.
A fifth film in the franchise, entitled Resident Evil: Retribution, was released internationally on September 14, 2012. Filming took place in Toronto, Ontario from mid-October to December 23, 2011, 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 asproduction designer.
Jovovich was confirmed, as well as Guillory, reprising her role as Jill Valentine. Boris Kodjoe returned as Luther. 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 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 with Li Bingbing portraying Ada Wong.
It has been five years since the T-virus outbreak in Raccoon City. Despite Umbrella's best efforts to contain it, the lethal T-virus had spread across the globe, not only turning humans into zombies, but also causing rivers and lakes to dry up and reducing entire continents to deserts. Alice was now on the run across the deserts that now cover the Western part of the United States. After facing a group of criminals that had managed to trap her using a fake radio emergency call, she found a journal detailed a route to Alaska; the state, being isolated as the journal said, might be virus-free.
Dr. Isaacs has been trying to reproduce/clone Alice's powers by creating clones of her, but none of them survived the tasks they were faced with. He concluded to Wesker and the other Umbrella board members that he needed the original Project Alice in order to obtain her blood and hopefully find a mass cure for the virus. Wesker and the Umbrella board members thus made this together with the capture of Alice among their highest priorities. Using her clones' blood as a basis for the cure, he planed to domesticate the zombies with his newly-developed serum harvested from Alice's blood. Initially, the enhanced zombie displayed signs of heightened intelligence, increased memory power and gentleness, but soon grew to be stronger, faster, and more vicious. Isaacs used this to his advantage by secretly creating a bigger group of these 'super zombies', defying Wesker's orders.
At the same time, Carlos Olivera and L.J. have joined a convoy of survivors, consisting of K-Mart, Otto, Mikey, Chase, Liam and Betty led by Claire Redfield, moving in search of supplies. While searching a motel, L.J. was bitten but didn't tell anybody. At morning, the convoy was waken up by thousands of infected, hungry crows. When everything seemed lost, Alice arrived and using her telekinesis manages to save the convoy. Despite her efforts, Betty, Otto and five others died in the attack.
She told the group about her plan to Alaska, and they decided to follow it by popular vote. However, before trying the long journey they needed supplies, and they decided to search the nearby Las Vegas, now in ruins. Meanwhile, Dr. Isaacs had been looking for Alice, hoping her DNA could be the source for a cure; he finally managed to track her by satellite, but only by a 62% confirmation. He later reported this to Wesker, who instead refused to have Isaacs recapture Alice until the satellite confirmation hits 100%, but Isaacs was later revealed to have recorded Wesker's speech and edited it to make it appear as if Wesker ordered his second-in-command, Captain Alexander Slater, to send a force to capture Alice. Isaacs then sent a group of his newly created super-zombies to Las Vegas, both to test their ability and capture Alice.
The convoy was attacked by the superzombies, and most of its members were killed; L.J. eventually succumbs to the T-virus and bit Carlos before being shot dead, Mikey was devoured by a band of super-zombies, and Chase fell from his sniper position in the Paris Las Vegas Eiffel Tower replica while fighting with the super-zombies who managed to locate his position. Dr. Isaacs tried to control Alice via satellite, but she was powerful enough to hack Umbrella's computer network and find out that Isaacs was just a few meters away on the roof of a nearby building. She attacked the few Umbrella men and killed all of them but Isaacs, who managed to escape by helicopter after being bitten by one of his own creatures.
The few survivors decided to raid a nearby Umbrella facility, hoping to use their helicopter to fly to Alaska. Inside the underground laboratories, Isaacs tried to save himself by injecting more and more antivirus, but he seemed helpless and began to exhibit signs of mutation as a result of the overdose. His second-in-command, Captain Slater, was sent by Wesker to kill him due to his failure and insubordination, but Isaacs proved resistant to gunfire and killed Slater and some nearby guards with his new tentacled hand. He then began to kill everyone in the base, but he was trapped inside the lower levels by the White Queen, the computer which controlled the facility.
The convoy arrived to the facility, only to find out that its perimeter was surrounded by thousands of undead. Carlos, believing his infection to be beyond any cure, chose to sacrifice himself in order to open a safe path for the rest of the convoy to pass through. He get into a gasoline truck with some dynamite, drove into the crowd and detonated the explosives. Claire, K-Mart, Liam and the remaining surviving convoy members got into the chopper and flew away to Alaska, leaving the convoy's fate open to viewers. Alice, meanwhile, decided to get her revenge on Umbrella.
When she got into the labs, she was told by the White Queen, who confirmed that the real Alice's blood is the ultimate cure for purging the world of the biohazard, that she had to reach to lower level in order to create a cure. Down there, she found one of her clones, but before she can examine it, Isaacs now a Tyrant, attacked her. She stabbed him with a knife and he fleed and was able to instantaneously heal his stab wound. The clone woke up, seemingly dying in Alice's arms. A battle of telekinetic powers then continued inside the Mansion, and in the replica of the laser corridor from the Hive where One, Drew, Warner and Olga died. In the corridor, the laser appeared and cut Isaacs into pieces, but stopped just before reaching Alice when Alice's clone turned it off.
In Tokyo, Wesker informed the rest of Umbrella that contact with the North American branch had been lost, and decided to control further experimentation from his Japan facility. Using their holographic technology, Alice joined the meeting and informed them that she was going to go after them will bringing a few of her friends. Alice, next to one of her clones, then watched her hundreds of clones awaking.
After the incident in the underground labs, Alice gathered her clones and traveled to Tokyo to find and stop Albert Wesker. They infiltrated his underground base, dispatching several guards along the way before Alice confronted Wesker. During the fight, Wesker injected Alice with a serum that killed the T-virus inside her, effectively neutralizing all of her superhuman abilities, including her telekinesis. Alice escaped the base, but not before Wesker activated a bomb inside the building which led to its destruction, and the death of all the clones.
Six months later after escaping from Tokyo, Alice traveled to Alaska to join the convoy survivors. She arrived and found no one but Claire, who has been implanted with a device on her chest, and attacked her. Alice then removed the device from Claire's chest and hours later, Claire awakened with her memory lost, Alice and Claire decided to fly to Los Angeles. They spotted survivors that have taken shelter in the Los Angeles Prison that was surrounded by thousands of zombies. Among the survivors were Chris Redfield, Luther West, Bennett, Crystal, Angel Ortiz, Kim Yong and Wendell. Luther introduced Alice to Chris,who was being held in a cage due to being wrongfully accused that he was a criminal. The barricades around the prison were eventually broken. Few mutated zombies got in and killed Wendell. Alice decided to release Chris as he knows a way out of the prison. After releasing Chris, he was shocked to see that his sister, Claire, was still alive. Chris tried to make Claire remember him but she just attacked him, telling him that she doesn't know him. Alice explained to Chris that Claire lost her memory. Alice, Chris and Crystal then went to get the guns but they were attacked by zombies and Crystal was not able to get away from the zombies and got killed. When they were preparing to leave the prison, Bennett shoot Angel to take the plane that Alice and Claire used to get in to the top of the prison. Bennett flew away successfully. The rest then went to the shower room to escape through a hole. First was Chris and then Luther. When Kim Yong was about to get into the hole, he was sliced by an Executioner. A battle happened between Alice and Claire and the Executioner. The two were able to kill the Executioner and went through the hole. When the rest were about to leave the hole, Luther, being the last, was attacked by a zombie and got into a separate way.
After escaping the prison, the remaining survivors ended up on a massive ship off the coast of Los Angeles, where Wesker returned and had a final showdown with Alice, Claire, and Chris. The ship was the Arcadia, the so called safe place where there was no infection. After boarding it, the group found over 2,000 survivors and after seeing an Umbrella logo, realized that its an Umbrella trap to capture people to experiment upon. At least some of Claire's memory returned and she remembered that after landing on the beach they were approached by Umbrella men and had the devices put upon their chests, but Clarie fought back and managed to escape but lost her memory as a result of the device. They started releasing the prisoners, starting with K-Mart and Alice, while searching the ship further, encountered Wesker who survived the earlier fight thanks to the T-Virus along with Bennett, who crashed his plane on to the ship, and two zombie dogs which kept her at bay.
Claire and Chris ambushed Wesker and fought him, while Alice retrieved one of her shotguns and killed the dogs, but Chris and Claire were unable to defeat Wesker and were trapped. Wesker tried to eat Alice, but she stabbed him in the head with a knife, stunning him and tried to go for her other shotgun. Bennet got there first, but is knocked out by a recovered K-Mart who tossed Alice back her shotgun, allowing her to blast Wesker's head open and free Claire and Chris. Wesker's powers kept him alive so Claire and Chris empty their pistols into him before locking him and Bennett in the room together and freed the other prisoners. Wesker regenerated and killed Bennett then escaped into a helicopter and activated the purging bomb to kill everyone aboard Arcadia. However, he found that Alice hid the bomb aboard the helicopter and it blew. During the purging bombs explosion, a parachute falling from the sky went unnoticed by Alice, Claire, and Chris hinting that Wesker may still be alive.
After that, Luther was able to escape from the prisoner and noticed an approching Umbrella helicopters led by Jill Valentine, who was under the control of a device on her chest similar to the one Claire had on her when Alice found her, flying towards Arcadia to take Alice, Claire, Chris and the others.
Jill Valentine and the other Umbrella troops have landed to Arcadia and took Alice, Claire, Chris, and K-Mart and killed the other survivors.
Meanwhile, a suburban housewife who appeared to be a clone of Alice and her husband Todd, a clone of Carlos Olivera and their deaf daughter Becky, a clone of a girl who was killed in the genuine disaster back in 2002, were under a test by disrupting them with zombies. The zombies attacked the family and killed Todd. Alice and Becky escaped to the streets and were rescued by a good clone of Rain Ocampo, who let them ride in her car. As the three escaped, they were hit by a truck, knocking Rain unconscious while Alice and Becky escaped. Alice ran and was attacked by a zombified Todd.
In an Umbrella base, the real Alice awakened. Jill interrogated Alice, who unsuccessfully pleaded her to remember her true identity. During an unexpected power failure, Alice was able to escape from her cell. After battling a horde of zombies, Alice encountered Ada Wong, an associate of Albert Wesker. Ada explained that she and Wesker no longer work for Umbrella. Wesker appeared in a screen and seeming to have redeemed himself, revealed that the Red Queen was the one controlling what remains of Umbrella and he planned to aid Alice's escape and battled the base's programs, in order to save what was left of mankind. Ada also revealed that the base was underwater and served as a testing ground for experiments. Additionally, Wesker organized a team of freelance operatives to infiltrate the base and help Alice and Ada escape, including Leon S. Kennedy, Barry Burton, Sergei, Tony and Luther.
Leon's team planted explosives near the entrance of the base, which will detonate in two hours and trap anybody who is still inside. The group planned to meet with Alice and Ada in a simulated Raccoon City suburbia. As Alice and Ada walked through a simulation of New York City, they defeated two Axemen. Leon and his team entered a Moscow simulation, but were cut off by armed Las Plagas zombies. One of the zombies approached the team with a chainsaw and drove the blade into Tony's chest, killing him immediately. Alice and Ada managed to enter the suburban simulation where they were supposed to meet up with Leon and his team. In the arena, the two found Becky, as well as Jill and her mercenaries, consisting of clones of Alice's deceased allies: Rain, Carlos and James "One" Shade. A shoot-out occured, resulting in Ada being captured and Alice and Becky escaping.
Alice and Becky ran into the good Rain and headed to Moscow, where they met up with Leon's team without Sergei, being beheaded by a Licker that followed the team when they managed to escape from the Plaga undead. The group escaped the intelligent zombies, and reached an elevator that leads them to submarines that could help them escape, although it shut off. An enormous licker appeared, with it capturing Becky and killing the good Rain. The group pursued the licker, where they encountered Jill's group and another battle ensued, in which Barry was killed but not before he killed One. Alice managed to rescue Becky. During their escape from the licker they arrived at a cloning facility where Alice and Becky saw multiple copies of themselves. Realizing this, Becky pleaded and asked Alice to tell her the truth, at which Alice declared that she was now her mother. The licker followed them into the cloning facility, where Alice dropped grenades, and fired a grappling hook from the Grapple gun, and escaped the explosion. They rejoined Leon and Luther as the detonation occured. The explosion resulted in the flooding of the facility and the death of the clone of Carlos.
The group reached the surface and escaped. However, they were stopped by Jill, the bad Rain, and a captured Ada. With new orders from the Red Queen to kill Alice, Jill fought Alice while Rain, injected herself with the Las Plagas parasite that gave her strength and apparent invincibility, knocked out Ada and fought Leon and Luther. Luther was unable to handle Rain and got killed. Alice managed to remove and destroy the scarab device from Jill, returning her to normal. Alice joined Leon in fighting Rain and she noticed there were zombies from the facility swimming up to the ice. She shooted the ice where Rain was standing, and Rain fell into the water, leaving her fate to the zombies. Alice, Ada, Becky, Leon, and Jill, who is no longer being controlled by the device, traveled to Wesker's base, the heavily barricaded and guarded White House. As they got into the base, Wesker injected Alice with the T-virus, returning her former superhuman powers in order to enact his plan, then told her that she was responsible for saving the remaining humans from extinction once and for all. Wesker then led them up to the top of the White House, explaining that this was the last stand of the human race. Up there, they saw the remaining U.S troops and Wesker's Umbrella army fighting against enormous hordes of zombies and mutant creatures.