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.
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.
The crew had a hard time dealing with the dogs who kept licking the blood and meat off themselves.
All the minor cuts and bruises on Milla Jovovich's character are real. No make-up was applied.
(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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 presidents of Capcom Japan and America have cameos as zombies. Capcom created the Resident Evil series.
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.
(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.
Director Paul W.S. Anderson and star Milla Jovovich became engaged the following year.
Anna Bolt learned how to scuba dive in order to portray the drowned research scientist who revives underwater.
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.
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.
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.
Contrary to the popular belief, George Romero's 1998 rejected script was NOT the first and only version of Resident Evil script which was written before Paul W.S. Anderson's. When Constantin Films bought the rights for the movie adaptation in January of 1997, they hired Alan B. McElroy, screenwriter of action films like Rapid Fire (1992), horror films like Halloween 4 The Return of Michael Myers (1988) and Wrong Turn (2003), and co-writer of Todd McFarlane's Spawn series (1997-1999), to write a script for the film. Although considered to be very good, the script was rejected along with several others by different writers (including Romero) before Constantin Films eventually went with one by Anderson, which originally wasn't even written for Resident Evil film, but for what Anderson himself said was "a terrible ripoff" of the game. According to several movie and gaming magazine articles at the time, McElroy's script was action packed, very bloody and violent, but also very creepy, and the plot was similar to the plot of original game; Following the disappearances and strange mutilations of campers and park rangers in Raccoon forest, S.W.A.T team is sent in to find out what's happening in there but then they disappear. Military special forces team, which included all the characters from the game (Wesker, Chris, Jill, Barry, Brad and others), is then sent after them. But once they enter the forest during night, they are attacked by mutated animals and have to run to the mansion where they discover underground labs underneath it and end up fighting against more monsters. Some of the scenes from McElroy's script which were described in articles included; More action sequences with zombies and zombie dogs during which team members would keep running out of more and more ammo. Team sneaking through area full of corpses without knowing which ones could be zombies. Team gets cornered between the zombies and giant tarantula right when they ran out of ammo. Team gets trapped inside service elevator while being surrounded by giant hornets. A "Jill Valentine shower scene", during which she possibly would be stalked by a monster while not having any weapons and being completely defenseless. One of the other rejected versions of the script was written by Kevin Williamson, writer of horror films like Scream (1996) and The Faculty (1998). The plot of this script was much closer to the plots of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. It took place in near future where all the diseases in the world are cured thanks to Umbrella, but once they are in danger from losing money they create T-virus and they hold the world at ransom for not releasing it on the public and for the cure. However virus leaks out from their labs and into Raccoon City and causes chaos in it. STARS team is then sent to find and retrieve the antivirus, and throughout the story they would have to fight their way through and out of the city full of zombies and other monsters created by virus.
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.
George A. Romero's unproduced script features the game character Jill Valentine as the female lead.
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.
(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)).
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.
When the Red Queen is watching Dr. Green yelling at the camera when the room is filling with water ("There's no fire!"), her face gets magnified in a yellow box with data under it, one of which lists her name not as Dr. Green but as Dr. Anna Bolt, which is the name of the actor who plays Dr. Green.
The second movie based on a video game directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. The first was Mortal Kombat (1995).
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.
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.
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.
(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.
David Boreanaz was originally going to play Matt Addison, but turned down the part to work on his TV series Angel (1999).
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.
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.
Even though Colin Salmon's character is referred to- and credited only as One, his real name is James Shade.
(at around 3 mins) San Francisco is the cityscape shown near the elevators in the Hive.
To help him achieve the underground look of the film, set designer Richard Bridgland visited nuclear bunkers in the UK and in Europe.
(at around 12 mins) The crows that Alice sees at the beginning of the film are digitized.
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.
The German version is infamous amongst fans for its incredibly bad dubbing, with some even referring to it as a "Pornosynchro."
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.
A lot of the onscreen graphics provided by the London effects house AMX had to be redone as they weren't spelled correctly.
(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".
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.
(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.
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 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.
All the visual effects were done by the Computer Film Company, an FX house based in London.
Reference to Resident Evil: Survivor (2000): Some one loses their memory and at the end it returns to them.
This is the only Resident Evil movie to be released onto HD DVD, but after Blu-Ray became the official format for high definition movies, Resident Evil then switched from HD DVD to Blu-Ray.
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 commentary it's mentioned that actor James Purefoy (Spence) used his own blue jeans instead of the costume prop.
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.