Evil Rules!

You saw it here first! Prepare to be terrified as the best-selling computer game becomes a chilling new movie – Resident Evil!

More pictures and a fuller interview in the issue!

 

Rain (Michelle Rodriguez) faces the residents' association

A Shivers exclusive interview by Alan Jones

  Selected from Shivers #90

Resident Evil: Ground Zero is already one of the most eagerly-awaited pictures in movie history. Based on Capcom’s best-selling computer game – since 1996 the series has grossed over $600 million – the $35 million action Horror thriller has just finished shooting at the spanking new Studio Adlershof in East Berlin and on stark locations all over that city.

Starring Milla (The Fifth Element) Jovovich, Michelle (Girlfight) Rodriguez, James (Lighthouse) Purefoy, Eric (The Crow: Salvation) Mabius, Martin (Dream Team) Crewes and Colin (The World Is Not Enough) Salmon, for a while it didn’t seem that the high profile Constantin Film production would ever get made. Numerous genre talents from George (The Vanishing) Sluizer to George (Dawn of the Dead) Romero tried writing scripts but no one could ever properly crack the concept of taking an interactive video game and transferring it intact to the big screen as viable entertainment.

Die-hard Fan

That was until Paul Anderson came into the frame. The director of Event Horizon, Soldier and Mortal Kombat, the latter significantly being one of the few video-game-to-film box-office success to date, said, “I’m a huge fan of the game and as a die-hard fan I wanted a movie version that is respectful of it, builds on its premise and delivers on its promise. To be scary you have to be unpredictable and that’s why I felt completely free to reinvent the story and use my own set of fresh characters. There was no point in using the Jill Valentine character from the first Resident Evil game as the fans would know she wasn’t going to be killed because she pops up in the later games. The suspense dynamic of who is going to live, who is going to die and what people’s allegiances are was only going to work with new characters.”

Anderson’s story, originally titled Undead, is set in the Hive, a vast underground genetic research facility where a deadly viral outbreak occurred just hours earlier. Alice (Jovovich) and Rain (Rodriguez) lead a crack team of commandos sent in to isolate the T-virus that has wiped out the entire research staff and brought them back as ravenous Undead. Alice and the military task force have only three hours to trap the virus inside the hi-tech complex or the Undead threaten to overrun the Earth. To make matters worse they soon realize that not only Undead humans are roaming the corridors of the sinister compound….

Prequel

“What led to the Undead in the mansion?” continued Anderson. “How did the deadly T-virus escape into the underground laboratory? This film is the explanatory prequel all the game players have always wanted to see using the scary mechanisms and devices that have become part of the Resident Evil cyber-culture. I felt the Ground Zero idea was the correct approach for both people who had never heard of the game and were unfamiliar with it and for the avid players who will adore all the references included in the action-packed scenario just for them..."

Anderson’s past experiences in the Fantasy and Science-Fiction realms, and his love of the Horror genre, also gave him an insight into what audiences expect from a multi-million dollar terror extravaganza. He said, “It’s all about maintaining surprise so I’m slightly twisting the genre to keep audiences constantly on the edge of their seats. I worked hard on that aspect of the script. When Resident Evil: Ground Zero begins the audience is introduced to a set of characters and I expect them to start picking which one will be the lead. A few minutes later they’re all dead! I continually want to pull the rug out from the audience’s feet by ever-increasing smart shifts in tone and clever mood changes...”

Shiver #90, Milla Jovovich Resident Evil cover• See Shivers #90 for the full version of Alan Jones's interview with Paul Anderson

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Feature © Visual Imagination Ltd 2001. Not for reproduction