After returning to the laser hallway they find 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. Kaplan's lines draw attention to this.
All the minor cuts and bruises on Milla Jovovich's character are real. No make-up was applied.
The crew had a hard time dealing with the dogs who kept licking the blood and meat off themselves.
Michelle Rodriguez had informed her agent that if anyone ever wrote a script about Resident Evil that she wanted to be a part of it. Her agent duly put her in contact with Paul W.S. Anderson when his screenplay was bought.
(at around 50 mins) One of the most popular scenes in the film - when Alice runs up a wall and flings round to kick a zombie dog in the head - took 3 months of training for Milla Jovovich.
According to Milla Jovovich on the DVD commentary, it was a crew member's birthday on the last day of filming. Bottles of champagnes were brought on the set. Paul W.S. Anderson was worried that the cast and crew would drink too much, but they said they'll just have a glass and no more. Sure enough, the whole cast and crew got drunk whilst waiting for filming the final scene in the film.
During the shooting of the sewer scenes, Milla Jovovich right-hooked Paul W.S. Anderson in the face, giving him a big black eye. By the end she hurt about three cast and crew members.
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.
Milla Jovovich did all of her own stunts except the pipe jump in the sewer scene. She used a stunt double in that scene, because her agent thought she would get strangled by the hanging wires.
(at around 45 mins) The pass code for opening the door in dining hall B, the one Kaplan has trouble remembering, is 04031965. Writer/Director Paul W.S. Anderson was born on 04 March 1965.
Originally set to star Sarah Michelle Gellar as Alice. Jennifer Love Hewitt, Kirsten Dunst and Natasha Henstridge were some of the actresses considered to play Jill Valentine when different scripts were being developed for the film, but it's been said that the big problem lot of them had with those was the level of violence and the amount of nudity.
Milla Jovovich said the real reason she did this movie was because her brother Marko was a huge fan of the video games.
In December 2001, Sony gave fans a chance to design the film's poster with the prize being an undisclosed amount of cash, a free screening of the film and the chosen design being used on all the advertising material. Nick des Barres, a 23 year old aspiring actor and ex-video game magazine designer, won the competition.
The main actors were told to prepare for the film by getting copies of the games and playing them through. Some of them didn't know if they could complete them in time so they had to get video copies of other people beating the games and then watch it.
(at around 1h 30 mins) There is a shot of Alice's eye close up near the end of the film. This is a direct reference to the first game in the series; Resident Evil (1996). The close-up eye shot is the logo/title screen of the game.
The presidents of Capcom Japan and America have cameos as zombies. Capcom created the Resident Evil series.
(at around 48 mins) The zombie guard who attacks Alice after the appearance of the first dog zombie is the film's stunt coordinator and trainer, Jaymes Butler.
The studio had hoped at one time to make the film PG-13, but the director insisted that to be true to the game, the film must be rated R.
Anna Bolt learned how to scuba dive in order to portray the drowned research scientist who revives underwater.
Paul W.S. Anderson wanted to change the usual disclaimer at the end of the film to read that it didn't contain any resemblance to persons living or undead but he wasn't allowed to for fear of legal action.
Director Paul W.S. Anderson and star Milla Jovovich became engaged the following year.
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.
(at around 1h 30 mins) 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 White Queen was slated to appear in the film but was excised from the screenplay. She was supposed to be the main Artificial Intelligence in the Umbrella headquarters monitoring the Hive. After the incident in the beginning, the White Queen would jam the systems of the Red Queen providing an explanation as to why the soldiers entered easily, since the defenses of the Red Queen were dysfunctional.
When the cast were doing ADR for the film, Milla Jovovich wasn't happy with her performance. She originally delivered her lines in her own actual speaking voice. She decided to loop her entire dialogue by giving Alice a lower speaking voice.
Milla Jovovich and Paul W.S. Anderson, who met on the set of "Resident Evil", were married on 22nd August 2009 and (as of January 2019) have two children.
Its successful opening weekend sparked a frenzy among US studios, eager to capitalize on the interest in video games. Titles like Doom (1993), Silent Hill (1999) and Max Payne (2001) were all snapped up.
Jason Isaacs - a personal friend of director Paul W.S. Anderson - took a day off from filming The Tuxedo (2002) for his cameo.
To prepare for their roles, the actors playing commandos and Milla Jovovich and Eric Mabius had a week of commando training (climbing, martial arts, weapons handling, etc.) with former Navy SEAL Jaymes Butler.
George A. Romero's unproduced script features the game character Jill Valentine as the female lead.
The second movie based on a video game directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. The first was Mortal Kombat (1995).
George A. Romero, director of Night of the Living Dead (1968), 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. Anderson later claimed that he had once locked himself inside his apartment for 4 weeks while playing the first three Resident Evil games back-to-back, and became so obsessed with them that he contacted his producer Jeremy Bolt, telling him that they had to make this series into a movie.
Milla Jovovich revealed in a interview that she almost quit the film because she was unsatisfied with some significant script changes all revolving around Michelle Rodriguez's character of Rain. In original script by Paul W.S. Anderson she was the one who got killed by zombies when they first attack the team. Anderson changed it so that J.D. is the one who dies during the attack. According to him and others, another big part of the script Anderson kept changing was the ending. In early version of the script with original Undead title when it wasn't written as Resident Evil movie, ending was similar to the one in the film but lot darker, with Alice waking up in hospital, but in the script she has no clothes on and walks outside naked, and hears all the monsters roaring throughout destroyed streets, implying that she has no chance and that they're coming for her. In Anderson's later drafts when he changed the script instead of the hospital she was held captive inside some facility very similar to the one where she is interrogated by Jill Valentine in Resident Evil: Retribution (2012) before escaping due to power failure but the scene where she goes outside was the same like in first draft. Anderson did later re-use part of this scene in fifth film. There were few different versions of the ending in which Matt turns into monster (but not Nemesis like in the sequel) and encounters Alice when she wakes up. In one he has completely lost his memory and corners her in the room where she wakes up and the film would cut to credits, leaving it ambiguous to what happened next, although in one draft he helps Alice to get out of facility and leaves her to escape on her own, while in other draft they stay together. The ending which they almost went with had both Alice and Matt being captured by Umbrella but are released from their facility by another A.I. called White Queen after T-virus spreads throughout the world, and this draft, which can be found and read online, ended with Alice and Matt becoming lovers and driving in armored camper vehicle across deserted roads. However only alternate ending that was scripted and filmed was a sequel bait ending where Alice escapes from Umbrella and then months later goes back to rescue Matt.
(at around 1h 30 mins) 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 video game (Resident Evil (1996)).
Director Paul W.S. Anderson hired composers Marco Beltrami and Marilyn Manson because he wanted an edgy score, similar to those that appeared in John Carpenter's early films.
In the movie, Alice's fake husband is named Spence. This is a reference to the first game which took place in a mansion named the Spencer Estate. Also, one of the three founders of Umbrella Corporation in the game series is named Ozwell Spencer.
Original cut of the movie got NC-17 rating due to graphic violence and nudity, so all of those scenes had to be cut down for R rating. Paul W.S. Anderson said in interviews after movie came out how he will release his director's cut with all the scenes that were cut for rating, and ones which were cut for other reasons, such as pacing issues, but he never did. There was however a VHS workprint of the film available in early 2000's with alternate title, Resident Evil: Genesis, which was also used during test screenings of the film, and which was fully uncut, but it never showed up anywhere again since then.
(at around 1h 27 mins) Near the end, when the underground tram pulls back to the Mansion station, the serial number on the front of the lead car reads "ALEXIA" followed by a string of digits. Alexia Ashford is the final antagonist of Resident Evil Code: Veronica. Also, Underground Trams are a recurring mode of transportation in the Resident Evil games.
Clashes with the studio - particularly after his experience with Event Horizon (1997) - prompted Paul W.S. Anderson to seek financing in Europe. This came from Germany's Constantin Film and the UK's New Legacy. Sony Screen Gems picked the movie up for distribution halfway through preproduction.
David Boreanaz was originally going to play Matt Addison, but turned down the part to work on his TV series Angel (1999).
Two full-scale Lickers (the 'Creature') were made. One was more detailed than the other and was capable of many movements (the jaw and lips could part open, the tongue could extend). The other was for wider shots where the whole body was seen.
When this film debuted, it had the largest opening weekend for a European-financed film.
Before the team enter the hive they set a timer of 3 hours to get out. In the video game in order to unlock most bonuses you have to beat the game in 3 hours or less.
The film has four Oscar nominated crew members; Composer Marco Beltrami, Art Director Tony Reading, Make up Effects creator Duncan Jarman and Visual Effects Supervisor Richard Yuricich.
(at around 3 mins) San Francisco is the cityscape shown near the elevators in the Hive.
(at around 12 mins) The crows that Alice sees at the beginning of the film are digitized.
According to George A. Romero the rejection of his script was due to Bernd Eichinger. Everyone else associated with the pre-production apparently liked the script.
Even though Colin Salmon's character is referred to- and credited only as One, his real name is James Shade.
The German version is infamous amongst fans for its incredibly bad dubbing, with some even referring to it as a "Pornosynchro."
A lot of the onscreen graphics provided by the London effects house AMX had to be redone as they were spelled in English rather than American English.
To help him achieve the underground look of the film, set designer Richard Bridgland visited nuclear bunkers in the UK and in Europe.
Rain uses a Springfield Armory Mil-Spec M1911A1 with Pachmayr grips and an accessory rail as her sidearm. This weapon is also shared between the characters, specifically Alice, when all of their other weapons run out of ammunition.
On the cover Alice is using a G-36 C with grenade launcher from Heckler & Koch, but she never uses it in the film. She only uses a handgun.
(at around 1h 30 mins) The banner on the bus in the end of the movie shows several toys on the right, among them a teddy bear. The text on the left reads: "At Umbrella Medical, we try to make teddy a little softer". Along the bottom, it reads: "Umbrella Medical - Sheltering Your Family".
(at around 11 mins) The wedding picture of Alice and Spencer looks similar to the pictures from Resident Evil (1996) and Resident Evil 2 (1998) (with the subjects up close and spliced onto the background image, and always in black and white).
Opened with a $17.7 million dollar opening weekend. The second weekend's haul was down to $6.7 million and at the third weekend, it had nosedived down to $2.9 million. It fell out of the Top Ten after only 2 weeks, dropping from appearing at over 2500 screens down to just 67. Still, with a production budget of $33 million and a domestic gross of $40 million ($102 million worldwide), it is seen as a success.
(at around 14 mins) In the script the soldiers arrived at the mansion by helicopter . They would even have communication via radio with the chopper pilot before they entered the Hive. Although this subplot was dropped there are still hints of the chopper's presence. In the scene where they are debating if they should take Matt along and Rain makes a rude retort to Matt , you can still hear the chopper flying if you pay attention. The subplot would've also been a reference to Brad Vickers from the original Resident Evil game.
All the visual effects were done by the Computer Film Company, an FX house based in London.
Scene where Alice wakes up naked in the shower was probably leftover of similar scene from one of the scrapped versions of the script in which Jill Valentine is showering when she gets attacked by monster and has to run and fight with it while she's naked and with no weapons. Supposedly the monster was Chimera from the first game, and it even attempts to rape Jill in same scene.
The final fate of the Matt character is known to fans of the games and to those who watched the sequel.
Another reference to Alice in Wonderland. The first onscreen kill by the Red Queen (except for the falling lift where you don't get to see the occupants.) is the woman in the lift trying to to climb out is eventually beheaded (Off with her head!).
In the final scene when Milla Jovovich's character wakes up in the medical facility barely covered by a short garment open at the sides, her revealing her pubic hair when she gets off the table was an accident. But they kept the shot.
Reference to Resident Evil: Survivor (2000): Some one loses their memory and at the end it returns to them.
In the commentary it's mentioned that actor James Purefoy (Spence) used his own blue jeans instead of the costume prop.
When Alice first wakes up in the mansion, while not remembering anything, she finds a handwritten note saying "today all your dreams come true x", she tries to rewrite it to see if her hand writing matches. This is a clear hommage to Total Recall(1990, Paul Verhoeven), in which Arnold Schwarzenegger finds out his memory was erased, he does the same when he checks in his hotel on Mars, trying to rewrite "Melina". Both movies have directors named Paul too though the outcome of the scene is different in each movie.
Matt stating that he is a cop who recently transferred could possibly be a reference to Leon Kennedy in Resident Evil 2. Leon's story being that he is a cop who just transferred to the Raccoon City police department at the beginning of the game.
In the first draft of the script Kaplan was simply referred to as "Twelve". His full name was Isiab Tagawa Mercurio.
Jason Isaacs: The narrator at the opening of the film and the voice of the scientist who wants to re-open the hive.