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George A. Romero's other Resident Evil scripts still exist!

Ark2000

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More i hear you talking about it and how much of a let down the script was, more i'm also getting disappointed just from these few bits of info. I think comparing it with some of Boll's films really did it for me :LOL:

And i still can't figure out, how could McElroy ****ed it up so bad? How difficult would it be to write a script based on first game in '97, considering how it was still first one in the franchise when they started the development on the movie. Unless he wanted to write something which would be more of his own version of the game's story, but i don't think that's it.

If only there was some way to find that damn second draft by McElroy and get it to you! I think it would have been interesting to see all the differences between the two in your documentary. Maybe it was better, like maybe McElroy or somebody else decided to make necessary changes after reading that first draft. But again, those comments about "terrible story structure" were reported after the synopsis of second draft leaked out, so it's most likely how that one too wasn't very good.
 

Hardware

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It'll take some time to type up. Honestly, I was so disappointed by it, that it's really a labor to type up. It makes the Anderson films feel like game accurate adaptations.

No zombies... just crazy cannibals.
Wesker is the Tyrant.
The dogs are giant mutated dogs.

All the characters are assholes and have really ****ty back stories. Almost felt like a slap in the face... like a Uwe Boll House of the Dead type or Alone in the Dark type adaptation... maybe even some of bargin bin stuff, like Dead or Alive or King of Fighters bad.

I'll type up what I can when I wake up. Just worked 12 hours. Need rest.
Jeez...I knew about Wesker becoming the Tyrant, but I had no idea about the lack of zombies. And the giant mutated dogs sound pretty bad. I reckon the RE movie was doomed from the get-go.
 

Hardware

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And i still can't figure out, how could McElroy ****ed it up so bad? How difficult would it be to write a script based on first game in '97, considering how it was still first one in the franchise when they started the development on the movie.
My 2 cents is that at that time they didn't know how to make it marketable in producers' circles. The mid-90s were a terrible period for horror movies: the genre kind of got back on its feet in the early-00s. In the 90s Hollywood believed that horror was dead: everything had to be labeled "thriller" (even "28 Days Later", which arrived just a few years before the horror renaissance, was sold as a "viral thriller"). And zombies were more than dead: Mark Pavia (director of "The Night Flier", one of the few notable horror flicks from the period) said in an interview that he tried for ages to get an adaptation of the comic book "Deadworld" off the ground but the powers that be kept turning him down, saying that zombies were never going to come back. So they were probably trying to take RE in a different direction to make it look sexier for possible bakers. It's kind of depressing to read even the fabled McElroy script wasn't good though - it pretty much means Anderson's version was indeed the best of the bunch unless Romero's later drafts improved on the version we all got to read (which, let's admit it, wasn't very good too).
 

Bran

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Alright. Sorry for the extreme delay. Just been very busy on my end. Between prepping the documentary, and now another project got picked up, it's been an exhausting time.

Anyway, the original Alan B. McElroy script was dated May 29, 1997. It is 114 pages (which would result in about a 1 hour, 54 minute movie. Roughly). It is an adaptation of the original game. Definitely horror. Much of the rumored plots over the years, including some that had no author attributed to it, actually come from this draft.

The opening sections deal with park rangers getting killed after finding a bloody camp site. Next scene is Bravo Team arriving. They too get massacred.

One thing to keep in mind, S.T.A.R.S. in this is a special forces military unit. A few things in this script were actually used by George Romero. A few things were studio mandates.

After this, Wesker has to put together a new team. The Alpha Team. He is given profiles of military delinquents. We get a scene of each. Joseph Frost is the XO for the group. He is the kiss-ass LT that no one listens to. Chris was kicked out for insubordination. He now delivers cars for shady Russians. Jill Valentine is an explosives expert. Gets off on waiting until the last second to defuse bombs. Currently works for the Las Vegas Police Department. Barry Burton is an African-American that is going through a divorce. His third stripper wife is taking his silver age comics collection and his Matchbox cars. (No, I am not making this **** up). He gets angry, powerbombs her lawyer through a car windshield, and Wesker bails him from jail. Brad Vicker is the medic. Former Marine. Gets attacked and bound up at his apartment, where a guy named Mike assumes his identity (we find out later that he is looking for his girlfriend Rebecca -- Becky Chambers in the script -- and was a DOD employee that got access to the mission).

All characters come together and have one day of training as a group. By the time they get to Raccoon Forest, we are at about page 46. (A lot of this was just wasted ****ing pages... but that's my opinion.)

They land in Raccoon Forest. Their mission is to secure an Umbrella Lab that they think leaked. Umbrella was experimenting with a new virus, T-134 (or just called the T-Virus). They just have to enter the first floor and secure the entrance to the labs...

Except they get attacked by giant monstrous dogs... GIANT. The dogs eat the pilot, Frost, and begin chewing on the helicopter like a toy. Everyone shoots the dogs. One goes down... except they watch the wounds regenerate... the benefits of the T-Virus.

So everyone runs to the labs... NO MANSION... Just a complex built into a mountain.

Inside, they find out their maps and planning are useless. The facility is laid out different.

They meet a scientist that is eating Sullivan. Turns out all the scientists have become crazy cannibals. Also, they regenerate their wounds.

Bunch of scenes of them running, being cornered by scientists, attacked by a giant spider. At no time does it FEEL like Resident Evil.

Anyway, they find out Vickers is really Mike, Barry gets overwhelmed by scientists and thought dead, they find Rebecca. They are attacked by giant wasps in an elevator. At some point, they get overwhelmed by scientists, Rebecca is mortally wounded, so her and Mike go out like Gorman and Vasquez in Aliens and blow themselves up to kill the cannibals.

Chris and Jill separate from Wesker, who was sent for the research. Wesker enters the main lab and four scientists attack him. They explain that they have been waiting for him, and begin injecting him with T-Virus. Turns out everyone was picked to be a test subject. Wesker was the prime subject. The ultimate soldier.

Chris and Jill make it to the chopper, only for Wesker-Tyrant to appear. Wesker still talks. They fight. A mutated Barry shows up (the way it is described, I basically pictured a Hunter with Barry's face. LOL) They fight. Wesker impales Barry. Chris and Jill board the chopper. Wesker grabs on. Chris grabs a rocket launcher and blows up Wesker.

Chris and Jill kiss as the chopper flies away.

A few notes:

Dialogue feels like it is written by a teenager. Cliche. Everyone is an asshole to each other. Chris at one point wants to blow Barry's brains out when he becomes infected. Jill treats everyone like ****. Barry is constantly angry and wants to punch people.

This feels a lot like how the 2005 DOOM movie treated its source material. Even how the T-Virus affects people differently. One of the crazy scientists that attacks Wesker explains that it depends on your personality. So some of the scientists are cannibals, while the four that infect Wesker are obsessed with their research. The main characters were chosen because they would have different mutations?

Overall, just a really, really, REALLY, bad screenplay.

Other than what I wrote above, I'm okay answering questions. I just don't want to spend more time on writing this post. I'm mentally exhausted over it.
 

Ark2000

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This also helps to put lot of questions and rumors to rest, thank you so much for everything Bran! I'll send a link for this thread to mutual friend of ours and ask him for his thoughts.

Even based on this, i can see how some producers would want changes or include notes for later drafts. From the way you described them, the characters do seem like they could use some polish to make them not just likeable but maybe even work on the relationships between each others. That kiss at the end seems to come out of nowhere for example. But at least Brad survives this version, unlike what looks like will be happening with him in new film :)

Lots of stuff that is in this script, like Barry's entire background, definitely sounds bit too cliched and downright silly for movie which should have serious horror tone. I think the change in second draft by making him retired military man and in charge of restaurant sounds better than what McElroy did with him in this script. And i swear, that whole setup you described about characters and short training and how they are all assholes to each others reminds me a lot on the unproduced Dirty Dozen remake i read.

That giant dogs scene would be too ridiculous even for some later RE games or movies, even i couldn't defend McElroy's decision to add something like that in the script. WTF was up with that?

I don't want to say anything regarding the pacing of the script since it is a first draft, but 46 pages to get to main story, in 114 page script? Yeah, some cuts needed to be made on that.

Some of those Aliens (1986) similarities explain McElroy's comments about the script. I think i read how that was one of the main ideas for first adaptation (i think some producer said this in Fangoria interview...?), but one thing is to be inspired by a movie, and other is to steal entire scenes from it for your movie.

I don't know would i mind that mansion is not in the script, but it depends on how its's written. First film mostly takes place underground, but i always felt they could have done something more with it. Honestly if they decided for this new one to also take place in underground labs but used first game and its remake and RE:Zero as a source for inspiration, i'd like to see how that version would turn out.

This feels a lot like how the 2005 DOOM movie treated its source material. Even how the T-Virus affects people differently. One of the crazy scientists that attacks Wesker explains that it depends on your personality. So some of the scientists are cannibals, while the four that infect Wesker are obsessed with their research. The main characters were chosen because they would have different mutations?

You know, McElroy did wrote one of the early scripts for Doom adaptation around the same time he was working on this script, and that does sounds similar to one of the plot points in 2005 film, makes me wonder...

This pretty much confirms to me that second draft which PSM reviewed was the real thing, and to tell you the truth Bran, i still think it sounds little better than this first draft. I'll keep looking for it, and who knows, maybe one day you, me or somebody else will get lucky. As for this one you were kind enough to talk about, no matter how painful it must have been for you :), if this was the draft which everybody complained about before Romero was hired... now i can see why would they feel like that about it.

I don't wanna bother you anymore, since i know far too well how it feels to be disappointed by reading the lackluster script you were building in your mind as something special, so only question i have for you is regarding this;

Much of the rumored plots over the years, including some that had no author attributed to it, actually come from this draft.

I'm guessing you're talking about everything that was rumored about McElroy's version, and not the ones you said were never even real to begin with ("Evil Dead" script, Kevin Williamson script...), so does this means;

No Umbrella, Wesker in asylum, some funny (?) scenes involving "zombies" (don't know the details, it's just what i heard), game's cutscenes jump scares re-used in the script, or this;


(Resident Evil: Afterlife Trivia)

The first entry in the series where Alice is not seen naked. At one point, she does prepare to take her clothes off and have a shower but immediately stops undressing after noticing a peeping tom. In the original script however she had a shower scene during which she would be watched by someone or something before being attacked by monsters. Similar scene was also included in the very first script for Resident Evil movie adaptation in 1997 written by Alan B. McElroy, and in that script Jill Valentine had a shower scene while some monster is stalking her.
 
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Hardware

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Wow, thanks for the breakdown, man - much appreciated.

Yeah, it doesn't sound very good. Actually, not very good at all.

Had this movie been made, I could've probably lived without the mansion - it's an element that everyone else who came on board essentially skipped - I mean, both Romero and Anderson's versions do have the estate, but it's only seen briefly before everyone moves to the lab. And I can see why - it's pretty hard to make a movie about commandos trapped in a mansion who have to look for small keys to open doors they could easily tear down. Many horror movies take place in a spooky estate, but they usually involve common people who get trapped there and have no means to defend themselves. Had the black kid from Wes Craven's "The People Under The Stairs" had a shotgun, the movie would've been over in 5 minutes. A lab with electronically locked doors is certainly a better setting for that kind of characters. I am pretty sure even in the new movie, the mansion won't be there for too long.

I guess that after almost 20 years, we can put our weary heads to rest: at no stage Constantin Films had a really good RE movie in their hands.
 

Bran

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This also helps to put lot of questions and rumors to rest, thank you so much for everything Bran! I'll send a link for this thread to mutual friend of ours and ask him for his thoughts.

Even based on this, i can see how some producers would want changes or include notes for later drafts. From the way you described them, the characters do seem like they could use some polish to make them not just likeable but maybe even work on the relationships between each others. That kiss at the end seems to come out of nowhere for example. But at least Brad survives this version, unlike what looks like will be happening with him in new film :)

Lots of stuff that is in this script, like Barry's entire background, definitely sounds bit too cliched and downright silly for movie which should have serious horror tone. I think the change in second draft by making him retired military man and in charge of restaurant sounds better than what McElroy did with him in this script. And i swear, that whole setup you described about characters and short training and how they are all assholes to each others reminds me a lot on the unproduced Dirty Dozen remake i read.

That giant dogs scene would be too ridiculous even for some later RE games or movies, even i couldn't defend McElroy's decision to add something like that in the script. WTF was up with that?

I don't want to say anything regarding the pacing of the script since it is a first draft, but 46 pages to get to main story, in 114 page script? Yeah, some cuts needed to be made on that.

Some of those Aliens (1986) similarities explain McElroy's comments about the script. I think i read how that was one of the main ideas for first adaptation (i think some producer said this in Fangoria interview...?), but one thing is to be inspired by a movie, and other is to steal entire scenes from it for your movie.

I don't know would i mind that mansion is not in the script, but it depends on how its's written. First film mostly takes place underground, but i always felt they could have done something more with it. Honestly if they decided for this new one to also take place in underground labs but used first game and its remake and RE:Zero as a source for inspiration, i'd like to see how that version would turn out.



You know, McElroy did wrote one of the early scripts for Doom adaptation around the same time he was working on this script, and that does sounds similar to one of the plot points in 2005 film, makes me wonder...

This pretty much confirms to me that second draft which PSM reviewed was the real thing, and to tell you the truth Bran, i still think it sounds little better than this first draft. I'll keep looking for it, and who knows, maybe one day you, me or somebody else will get lucky. As for this one you were kind enough to talk about, no matter how painful it must have been for you :), if this was the draft which everybody complained about before Romero was hired... now i can see why would they feel like that about it.

I don't wanna bother you anymore, since i know far too well how it feels to be disappointed by reading the lackluster script you were building in your mind as something special, so only question i have for you is regarding this;



I'm guessing you're talking about everything that was rumored about McElroy's version, and not the ones you said were never even real to begin with ("Evil Dead" script, Kevin Williamson script...), so does this means;

No Umbrella, Wesker in asylum, some funny (?) scenes involving "zombies" (don't know the details, it's just what i heard), game's cutscenes jump scares re-used in the script, or this;


(Resident Evil: Afterlife Trivia)
Who is the mutual friend?
 

Ark2000

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KiramidHead. Back when you did your first video about McElroy's script, i think it was me who told him about it, and me and him both commented on the video and talked with you about the script. I still remember him saying how other than Wesker-Tyrant and Brad/Mike thing, he didn't think it sounded bad, but after i sent him link for this synopsis... well, let's just say his opinion changed and he made actually really funny comparison between Wesker and Barry fight with Pyramid Head vs Claudia fight in Silent Hill Revelation.
 
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Bran

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Ah. Yes. Kiramidhead. Wish he would still do Screenplay Archaeology still. Was a fun podcast.
 

Ark2000

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Oh he still does it on his Youtube channel, one every month. He just did one few days ago about John Carter of Mars. Here's the full playlist of all his episodes;


He said couple times he wasn't happy with how his Resident Evil episode turned out, so maybe if he revisits it again you can ask him can you be a guest on the episode, if you want to get back on Youtube. He always does a great job with the podcast and listening him and his guests talking **** about some of the lesser scripts they read is hilarious. Since we already talked about bad video game movie scripts here, i'd recommend listening his Tomb Raider episodes. If you thought McElroy's RE script was bad, wait till you hear about some of the early TR scripts from 90's.
 

Bran

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Oh he still does it on his Youtube channel, one every month. He just did one few days ago about John Carter of Mars. Here's the full playlist of all his episodes;


He said couple times he wasn't happy with how his Resident Evil episode turned out, so maybe if he revisits it again you can ask him can you be a guest on the episode, if you want to get back on Youtube. He always does a great job with the podcast and listening him and his guests talking **** about some of the lesser scripts they read is hilarious. Since we already talked about bad video game movie scripts here, i'd recommend listening his Tomb Raider episodes. If you thought McElroy's RE script was bad, wait till you hear about some of the early TR scripts from 90's.

It's always an option. Right now I'm trying ro get the documentary going. Company finished their current film, so we begin meetings next week to enter preproduction.
 
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