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RESIDENT EVIL - WELCOME TO RACCOON CITY (2021) - Original Scripts and Deleted Scenes


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Apr 28, 2018
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Most RE fans probably already know about this, and can find some more info if you search for it, but just to give anyone else a short version of troubled development through which Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City went through;

Originally developed as $40 million action horror sometime between late 2019 and early 2020, it was meant to be even closer to original RE games. But in 2020, after Constantin Film cut the budget down to $25 million, all the COVID problems, and the fact that at the end of the day Constantin cared more about keeping the rights for the franchise than making a really good film, Johannes Roberts had to keep re-writing his script again and again and again. And not just during pre-production, but during filming as well. And even months later after the filming was finished, the film had to go back for re-shoots.

In this thread i will include everything i could find about alternate storylines, changes, deleted scenes and anything similar regarding the film. Might be helpful to someone or just interesting to read and see what could have been.

RE Wiki posted some comments on couple reddit threads which went into details about what went wrong with the reboot;

Reddit Thread - "Why did James Wan leave the Resident Evil reboot?" - Posted by RE Wiki on r/residentevil, September 2022

"In short? James Wan and Greg Russo were working together on a project that would be built on modern Resident Evil, which Constantin wasn't comfortable with. The two had the idea of an RE7 sequel story - make it so the games "happened" in this universe, with their RE movie being a follow-up. Russo has since claimed it would have had Ethan and Mia in. For various reasons this ended up not happening. Wan drifted from the project and later claimed he was never really involved at all, while Russo claims he and Wan had creative issues with Constantin. What we know is two things from this:

Constantin didn't feel comfortable with an RE7-inspired movie, as the game was too recent and was unique. There was a chance that RE7 wasn't as popular as it initially looked, that it wouldn't last in pop culture and that an RE7-themed movie coming out in 2020 wouldn't be of interest to anyone. After all, they need to appeal to general audiences as well as gamers.

Constantin tried to press for an alternate story which led to Wan and Russo leaving. According to Russo, they briefly considered a time travel aspect being introduced, perhaps to link the previous movies to the reboot Days of Future Past style.

So, anyway, in late 2018 both are out of the project and within a month later Constantin has secured Johannes Roberts. They agree that it should be more game focused likes Wan's was, and since Resident Evil 2 remake is coming out an RE2-based film being made in Toronto makes sense, and one of the two parties suggested RE1 as an 'origin story' so they ended up doing two-in-one."

Reddit Thread - "Unpopular opinion that will definitely get me downvoted to oblivion" - Posted by RE Wiki on r/residentevil, August 2022

"Constantin had always planned to do a reboot movie once Anderson departed, as he had suggested even in 2012. Everyone involved however were the same people. The first movie idea was with James Wan, who wanted an RE7 sequel movie -- the continuing adventures of Mia and Ethan (and Evie). After a year of prep, Constantin and Sony rejected the entire script and everything about it. They didn't feel it was a profitable film as it was too different from what was expected of an RE movie at this point -- as in, people who liked Afterlife wouldn't watch this movie. The last straw was Constantin asking for a TIME TRAVEL subplot to be added. Wan and the writer, Russo, quit the project in late 2018.

The replacement for the reboot team was Johannes Roberts, who had a career doing lower-mid budget films. This was up Constantin's alley, as because of Retribution and Final Chapter, Sony was unwilling to fund the movie any higher than $40 million. Roberts idea, from the looks of it, satisfied Constantin by building-up on the hype of RE2make, but focused heavily on RE1. This would be a mix-mash of the two games set in one day like the Romero movie, but with VFX monsters like Giant Spiders, a Tyrant, G-Birkin and Hunters showing up. Over the course of 2019 though there appears to have been a budget cut --- I suspect Sony didn't like Roberts' 47 Meters Down movie's box office score. This meant that many of the monsters had to be cut out of the movie entirely and we'd only get brief shots of non-Zombie monsters. The Mansion was reduced to just being people wandering the hallways until Zombies show-up, while the city parts had a lot of atmospheric build-up to make-up for the lack of anything happening.

Then CoVID happened, and the RE movie had to face more cuts. In 2020 the changes included:

International shooting in Serbia being cut in favour of only using Canada.

Claire is re-written to be a conspiracy theorist to allow her to give exposition dialogue, rather than just being in town seeing her brother.

Chris given a relationship with Birkin to basically give Neal more lines, as he's already transformed into a G-mutant and killed Wesker by the time Chris and Jill catch up.

Lisa was to reach the train and attack Birkin, saving Claire at the cost of her own life. This scene was cut so late there's no replacement, so I suspect they simply ran out of the VFX budget.

Naturally, this left a very confused and divided RE fandom. One the one side it had all the characters they wanted and was faithful in tone. On the other, the movie was clearly in a different universe so anyone who wanted a canonical RE live-action movie obviously was never satisfied. Constantin and Roberts' attempt to hype the movie in marketing by saying it's faithful to the games was misunderstood by a lot of people as an absolutist statement of fact rather than being a typical marketing spin (the script notes had already leaked in 2020, so a lot of people already knew what the movie was going to be about). Then you have the racism which was used by YouTube Outrage channels to encourage hate on the series on the grounds of the actors' ethnicities, forcing one actor to privatise his social media. On top of that, with the VFX budget being cut that meant the monster scenes were too few, so the one thing that could have united fans didn't show.

The movie ultimately underperformed financially, which Sony had already anticipated to the extent they'd already been re-scheduling the film and even pulling it from some countries before it was even out. In 2022, Sony took out a big loan to pay off its debts, putting forward the movie as collateral, meaning if they miss a payment then a movie mortgage company will now have distribution rights to WtRC. They're presently sitting on the RE project, not letting Constantin continue until they've got their money back. We may have to wait until the end of the year to know if Sony will continue the Reboot universe or abandon the series altogether."

At this time, not much is known about Roberts's first drafts, other than how those had more characters, monsters, and locations, and other things from original video games which would probably make the film better. This is all based on interviews with Roberts and some other people involved in the film, but i think this here is the best example of some great stuff from those drafts that we are missing thanks to budget cuts, studio interference and everything else which ultimately screwed this film up. Hunters, Crimson Heads, Pale Heads, giant spiders, Tyrant (or Mr X)... Check links for concept art of all of these;

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City concept art shows Mr. X, alternative designs


"Those are the ways you can see the movie, but if you’re interested in knowing about some things that were designed for the movie but didn’t end up on the screen, you’ll be interested to see what was shared to Applied Arts FX Studio’s Instagram account.

Applied Arts FX posted a batch of concept art that was created by Daniel Carrasco, letting followers know that they were showing off “lots of concept stuff that was in the works at various times for an earlier version of the script, and some alternative ideas. Hardly touches on the design work Daniel Carrasco did with us on (Resident Evil) over several months last year.” This concept art gives a look at different designs for some characters and creatures that did appear in Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, while revealing that things that didn’t make it to the screen – like a spider monster and the Tyrant creature known as Mr. X – must have been mentioned in an earlier draft of the script."

‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City': Unused Monsters Revealed In Concept Art


"Applied Arts FX Studio has revealed on Instagram a set of creature concept art photos from Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, which includes unused monsters like zombie-spiders, Hunters, and the fan-favorite Mr. X. According to the studio, these arts were created by Daniel Carrasco, a concept designer who previously worked on modern horror classics like Hellboy, It, and Crimson Peak.

The images show a few alternate looks for characters who appeared in the movie, such as regular zombies and Lisa Trevor (Marins Mazepa). However, it’s interesting to notice that Carrasco created art for classic monsters from the games that didn’t appear in the movie — one particular concept shows Mr. X attached to a bed, teasing how the Resident Evil 2 fan-favorite enemy could have been a part of the film reboot. The post also underlines that the concepts “hardly [touch] on the design work [Carrasco] did with us on the show over several months last year”, so perhaps some of the pictured concepts may show up in other projects in the future."

On one of my other threads, Maverick1 posted couple comments in which he talked about draft of the script for WTRC which he has. I know that one draft leaked out during filming but i don't know any details about it, and i don't know is it the same as the one Maverick1 has;

"Early draft of Welcome To Racoon City was actually really good overall, in fact I was shocked by how good it was considering Roberts' previous works, it was maybe second best video-game adaptation ever written after John Logan's Bioshock and obviously much better than any previous RE adaptation, produced or unproduced. It took one-dimensional cartoons and turned them into real human beings with personal stakes, Racoon felt like a real place with its own history and not just scenery. It was like an early John Carpenter's film. I wouldn't blame Roberts for what happened with the final product because he was given a miserable budget to work with (almost twice less (if we consider inflation) than Paul W. S. Anderson's first movie that had much smaller scale) and it affected execution across the board. They had to cut down scale, cut character development, cut action, use cheap CGI and a lot of darkness and close-ups. And they also changed some backstories and motivations for worse, dialogues became noticeably worse and I felt they made wrong emphasis. So Constantin Film is to blame for most of the film's failures, they ruined what could've been a really good film."

"Unfortunately I'm not allowed to share the script, but I can post differences between early Roberts' draft and the final movie. As far as I remember:

- Claire arrived to Raccoon City just to get her brother out of the dying town, she didn't show him Ben Bertolucci tape and didn't tell him any conspiracy theories, she doesn't know what's going on in Racoon outside of all the weird and scary stuff that she saw when she arrived or when she escaped The Raccoon City Orphanage when she was a kid. She also didn't know Ben Bertolucci personally, Ben was a TV reporter in Raccoon who claimed that Umbrella poisoned water in the city.

- Truck driver tried to sexually assault Clarie, but she quickly "disarmed" him and it didn't go any further. Part of the scene is actually in the film.

- Leon had more character development and kind of a character arc. There was an extra scene when Leon woke up in hangover, his father called him and expressed his disappointment in him after that accident with Leon's partner and that he hopes Leon won't embarass him even more on a new job. Leon was really embarassed he let down his big name father as he watched their family photo from Leon's police academy graduation. He was still kind of comedy relief character, but I thought it worked in the context of the story, he had an underdog hero's journey arc. He's incompetent, but gets better and in the end saves the day by killing mutated Birkin and I guess making his father proud. There was an emphasis on this arc that I felt was missing in the final film.

- Dialogues were noticeably better with a lot less exposition and character names dumps.

- Raccoon felt more developed in the script and there was no exposition text, with bigger emphasis on build up to what's coming.

- Rebecca Chambers and a bunch of other characters had cameos in a caffee instead of Wesker and Jill. One of the cops (not Wesker) tried to make fun of Leon because of his backstory with shooting his partner, but Rebecca calmed her teammate down and was really nice to Leon. Wesker, Jill and Chris actually made fun of Leon in the police station by putting different things on him while he was peacefully sleeping after hangover. They had some extra interractions where Chris and Jill were foolling around the police station while Wesker watched them (it's implied that Wesker has feelings for Jill, just like Chris, but they are just close friends since school)

- There was Barry Burton instead of Richard Aiken and he played the same role, so it was more a character name change.

- There was an extra scene with Ada Wong. People complained that Wesker was dumb in the final film and was manipulated by phone messages, but in the script he secretely met Ada in the police station behind his friends' backs, to discuss what he has to do in Spencer Mansion, right before they board the chopper to fly there.

- Jill was a bit less agressive and rock-n-roll, probably closer to games.

- During chief Irons' briefing in the police station he reported that Chambers' team didn't come back after they went to check reports of animal attack near the Spencer Mansion and he also got audio messages with screams and shooting. There was a funny scene where Barry, after hearing those messages and a long pause, assumed it was a bear and everyone in the room rolled their eyes and looked at him like he's an idiot.

- Chief Irons was such a coward he was ready to leave his family in Raccoon and tried to escape the city without them as his wife tried to call him to find out what's going on in the city, even though Irons felt guilt about that. There was a very similar scene to Resident Evil: Apocalypse where large crowds of people and cars gathered near the walls with Umbrella's mercenaries. Irons tried to use his status to escape, but mercenaries wouldn't let him. Then mercenaries opened fire at people when they saw first infected folks in those crowds and Irons had to drive back to police station to find some other way to escape. It was probably cut because of budget constraints.

- Wesker's betrayal was better written. After Jill saved Wesker from the fallen chopper, a bunch of zomies started moving towards them and Wesker grabbed Jill's hand and took her to the room with a piano. Then he opened the tunnel to the lab and told her about his secret connections and real plans in the mansion (steal Birkin's documents, earn a lot of money and escape the city using the underground train). Jill told him that she actually knew about his secret meetings and the same people tried to make the same deal with her, but she would never agree to betray her friends, so he should just forget about this nonsense and come with her to save Chris. Wesker thinks that Chris is probably dead and that risk of coming back is not worth it. Jill doesn't believe what she hears and pulls Wesker to come with her (come to light in a symbolic way). He hesitates for a second, lets her pull him, but then says no and leaves, entering the tunnel to the lab, betraying his friends to save his ass. Jill on the hand runs to find Chris, she saves him from zombies and they both fight their way to the tunnel. In the contrasting moment, wounded Jill asks Chris to leave her to save himself, but he point-blank refuses to leave her.

- Wesker reluctantly threatened Birkin and his family to give him documents and was really surprised he took his wife and daughter here. Birkin ouright refuses to give the work of his life and opens fire at Wesker. Wesker returns fire and mortally wounds Birkin. Annett Birkin calms her dying husband, then suddenly grabs husband's pistol and wounds Wekser. Wesker docks to cover and blindly shoots back, killing Annett. Wesker is shocked by what he just did, he never killed anyone before. He really regrets it, calls Birkin a madman because forced him to do this and screams to Sherry that he didn't want to kill her parents. But there's no turning back.

- Wesker was "killed" by mutated Birkin, not Jill. Chris and Jill came to Birkin's lab a bit later and found Wesker's body.

- Birkin was a bit more likable and scenes with his family life were different and a bit longer.

- Birkin had no personal connection to Chris at all, he took no part in his education/growing up and they probably hadn't seen each other since orphanage.

- Lisa Trevor showed up in the final battle to help our heroes and attacked fully mutated Birkin on the train. She jumped him like raptors vs T-Rex in Jurassic Park, but after some fight Birkin killed her.

- After our heroes escaped Raccoon, they had a conversation that Umbrella must be stopped and the world must find out what really happened in Racoon. Leon sighs and says he needs a drink. That was actually the only "save the world" dialogue, all characters' motivations throught the script were personal.

- Wesker's ressurection was part of the ending and not post-credit scene, but it's word to word the same as in the script."

Maverick1 didn't mentioned what happened to Barry and Rebecca in that draft, but looks like this article did;

"Barry & Rebecca's Cut Roles In Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City


While neither Barry Burton nor Rebecca Chambers appear in Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City, here are their roles from an early screenplay draft explained. While the Milla Jovovich-fronted Resident Evil movies may have been box-office successes, they tended to be lambasted by critics and fans of the games. Those entries put a firm focus on action and outlandish setpieces over horror, and 2021 reboot Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City was a valiant attempt to rework the franchise on the big screen.

Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City adapted the first two games, placing the Spencer Mansion raid and the fall of Raccoon City on the same night. While this meant classic characters like Chris and Claire Redfield, Jill Valentine, Leon Kennedy and many more appeared, the cluttered narrative often meant they had little to do. The movie's focus on horror was a welcome change, but overall, Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City was let down by cliched characters and dialogue, in addition to its unfocused storyline. Director Johannes Roberts later stated in interviews for Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City that fan favorite Barry Burton was being saved for a potential sequel. In the original 1996 Resident Evil game, both Barry and S.T.A.R.S rookie Rebecca Chambers served as key supporting players, but they are nowhere to be found in the horror video game adaptation Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City. That wasn't always the case, as an earlier draft by Roberts included them both - and their fates may have left fans very unhappy.

In this early Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City script, Rebecca is one of the R.P.D members introduced during the diner scene with Leon. Instead of introducing Jill and Wesker as the final film does, it's Rebecca who talks with Leon and mentions she and some other officers are heading out to investigate reports of attacks at the old Spencer Mansion. Later, during the briefing scene, Barry Burton is introduced as the leader of the team, answering a distress call left by Rebecca at the mansion.

This version of Barry is depicted as somewhat dim-witted and incompetent, however, and lacks his famous magnum revolver from the games. Barry essentially serves the role that Richard Aiken took in the final version of Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City - which should have been two movies - and that includes his fate. In the movie's recreation of the iconic turn-around zombie moment from the first Resident Evil game, it's revealed that the creature is actually chewing on a dying Rebecca. Chris and Barry are left stunned by this reveal and shoot down the zombie when it advances on them.

Chris comforts Rebecca before she dies while the "turn around" zombie raises again and attacks Barry before he has a chance to respond, bitting a huge chunk out of flesh from his neck. Chris finally kills the zombie and sees Barry lying dead in a pool of gore. This Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City (which sets up a sequel) moment likely would have shocked fans by killing off Barry and Rebecca so abruptly. This might have set up the threat the zombies pose, but given how little development they get - and Barry's change from dependable sidekick to cowardly leader - might have just angered franchise devotees instead. Ultimately, Roberts wisely dropped both characters, likely deciding there just wasn't room for them and they might be better served in a potential Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City sequel."

I read somewhere around here another comment regarding the script for the film (not the draft Maverick1 talked about), which mentioned how it was 125 pages long. This means that the film could have been around two hours long. But the final film is barely 100 minutes long, and that's without without seven minutes long credits.

Here's the picture of script's cover which Robbie Amell posted on October 8, 2020. Might be hard to see without zooming on the picture, but the script is only titled "Resident Evil", which pretty much confirms that "Welcome To Raccoon City" was added later during post production. In my opinion, it's probably something else which Constantin wanted changed, maybe to not confuse audience, since they already have a film with RE title (Anderson's original). The draft on that picture is listed as "Shooting Draft" and is dated 30th September 2020 (funny enough, i'm posting this thread exactly two years later after this draft was written), it's also listed as "Version 7.2", and has three revisions from September 1, September 15 and September 30. All this points out to me that this script really did kept changing all the time during production;

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In May 2021 Amell said how the film was going through re-shoots at that time. I don't know how big the re-shoots were or anything about changes, cuts, etc, but i do have to mention how about couple months earlier (March?), i remember how while doing some promo stuff for Resident Evil: Village, somebody from Capcom who was involved in the film as well said how they were just finishing CGI effects for Licker in the cut of the film he saw, so at least we know how probably nothing from the sequence at Raccoon City Orphanage was part of the re-shoots.

No deleted scenes from the film were released, but all the trailers for the film do show quite a few scenes and dialogue which are not in the film. These include;

Official trailer

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0:07 - 0:16, Cut dialogue from Claire; "Every story has a beginning. Discover the origin of evil."

0:09 - 0:11, Extended road block scene showing Umbrella soldier with the sniper and more citizens arriving in their cars.

0:23 - 0:27, Cut dialogue from Claire; "We need to expose Umbrella."

0:56 - 0:57, Very quick shot of what looks like extended attack scene on Brad while he's in the helicopter, but i could be wrong about this.

1:00 - 1:02, Cut dialogue from Claire (i think); "We have to contain this."

1:13 - 1:15, Birkin looking at some file or something similar while in underground lab, right next to the zombie on the table who is still in the film.

1:18, This one's weird. It's a shot from Claire's nightmare scene but it looks like it's also part of the Ashford footage which she and Leon are watching after they get into the lab...?

2:00 - 2:02, Cut dialogue from Claire; "We're gonna take Umbrella down." This and dialogue from 0:23 could be part of original ending, described in Maverick's synopsis of leaked draft.

International trailer;

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0:44 - 0:49, More dialogue from Claire which i don't think is in the film; "If we don't contain this, it could threaten the whole world."

1:34 - 1:36. Even longer road block scene with more extra shots, not shown in official trailer. It shows Umbrella soldier firing from grenade launcher and another one on what looks like military Humvee or something firing from machine gun.

Nightmare trailer;

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0:10, - I think that shot of Lisa Trevor twisting her head is not in the film.

0:15 - 0:26, More cut dialogue from Claire; "The Umbrella corporation has been experimenting on this town since we were kids. People are getting sick. We have to stop Umbrella."

0:32 - 0:35, Again, more cut dialogue from Claire; "The world needs to know what's really going on."

0:32 - 0:35, Three shots showing Raccoon City during the day, but it looks to me like first two shots are showing an actual city and third shot is only one which shows some small town in middle of nowhere, like what Raccoon is supposed to be in the film, so i don't know what's going on there.

0:43 - 0:45, Extra scene with Lisa Trevor at Raccoon City Orphanage showing her twisting her arms around.

That's all for trailer stuff. If i missed something or made a mistake, let me know.

And there's also this, behind the scenes picture and video showing Gun Shop Kendo. Another original location from RE 2, which however is not in the final film;

I know there was also a picture someone from the film crew released which showed the head of Tyrant/Mr. X inside the underground lab where Birkin and his family are, but i couldn't find the picture. This scene, or at least any shots which would show this practical effect, are not in the film.

Another thing i remember reading, including on some posts here on RE.org, but can't find any source to confirm is how originally Jill and Leon were written as white characters just like they are in the games, but Constantin once again stepped in and demanded changes, apparently for more "diverse casting"...? I did read about some original casting choices, like how Alexandra Daddario was early choice for Jill, India Eisley for Claire, and Brenton Thwaites or Harris Dickinson for Leon, so i don't know, might be true, specially with how some similar decisions and choices movie studios make nowadays.
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Apr 28, 2018
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Some more pictures of deleted scenes and artwork of monsters which were in earlier scripts. Many thanks to NemesisBiohazard for letting us know about this;

Deleted Scene; Wesker and Ada talking inside RPD station before he and Alpha team board the chopper. Of course, this is the same scene which Maverick1 said is in leaked draft of the script;

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I found the picture of the deleted practical effect, Tyrant's head inside Birkin's lab. Wonder why this one was cut out;

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Some great concept artwork by Daniel Carrasco, includes monsters who were in original scripts, like Hunter, Chimera, Neptune, and giant spider.


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(Notice how this one has RPD uniform, maybe this was another part from earlier drafts which was cut?)

Lisa Trevor;

Lisa Trevor without mask;

Birkin's transformation;

(Carrasco's comment; "Thank you! I am a big fan of video games, this is the first mutation and it is of normal size, at first they did not want it to have the gigantic eye so characteristic.")

Tyrant/T-103/Mr X;




Giant spider;