The Netflix Sci-Fi Horror Action Blockbuster That Kicked Off A Mega Franchise

By Douglas Helm | Updated

The Resident Evil franchise has some of the best horror games of all time throughout its many entries, and the popularity of the franchise led to quite a few live-action movies. Unfortunately, the live-action films don’t quite live up to the best the games have to offer, but they’re still pretty funny. If you want to see the movie that kicked off the live-action franchise, you can stream 2002’s Resident Evil on Netflix now.

Borrows From The Games But Tells Its Own Story

Resident Evil 2002

While Resident Evil cribs some elements from the first and second games in the video game series, it tells an original story and introduces us to the heroine Alice (Milla Jovovich), who is an amnesiac that tries to stop an outbreak of a deadly, zombie-creating virus in a vast underground genetics laboratory. Along with Milla Jovovich, the film stars Michelle Rodriguez, Eric Mabius, James Purefoy, Martin Crewes, and Colin Salmon. Paul W.S. Anderson directed and wrote the script.

Big-Budget B-Movie In Spirit

Resident Evil 2002

Now, if you’re expecting the level of quality that we’ve had with recent video game adaptations like The Last of Us and Fallout when you watch Resident Evil, then you’re going to be sorely disappointed. But, if you’re expecting some dumb, gory B-movie fun wrapped in the packaging of the Resident Evil video game franchise, then you’ll get exactly what you’re looking for. You’ll also get a great performance from Milla Jovovich, who does a lot to elevate these movies into top-tier B-movie territory.

Kicked Off An Epic Franchise

Resident Evil 2002

Despite the negative reviews that Resident Evil received, there’s no denying that the film franchise has been successful. The first film brought in a respectable $103 million worldwide against a budget of $33 million. This would kick off a franchise, leading to the sequels Apocalypse, Extinction, Afterlife, Retribution, and The Final Chapter.

The Resident Evil film franchise has brought in over $1.2 billion to date, so it’s no surprise that they made so many. And while it’s a delightfully cheesy horror sci-fi in its own right, there is a world where we would have gotten a very different version of this film. That’s because, at one point, George A. Romero, aka the godfather of zombie movies, was hired to write the script.

Original Script Penned By George A. Romero

Resident Evil 2002

It would have been amazing to see a George A. Romero-penned version of Resident Evil, but multiple drafts he wrote were rejected. Some of the reasons given were that the movie would have gotten an NC-17 rating and that the script was based on the first game, which the execs thought wouldn’t be fresh enough with the second game coming out. Undoubtedly, fans of the franchise would have been fine with both of those things, but Romero’s script ended up getting nixed in the end nonetheless. 

See The Film That Started It All

Resident Evil 2002


While it’s disappointing we’ll never see the version Romero cooked up on screen, it’s still pretty fun to see what the on-screen version of Resident Evil became. And if you’re not a fan of the movies you can always play the recent master remakes of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 4. Otherwise, enjoy watching this very 2002-era film over on Netflix.