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Why George Romero’s Resident Evil Movie Never Happened

Resident Evil

This January we will witness the end of an era when Resident Evil: The Final Chapter debuts in theaters. The undead action franchise has persisted under the guidance of Paul W.S. Anderson for the last 15 years, and we've watched the film series deviate from the games at pretty much every turn. However, we almost had a far more faithful version of the series with George Romero at the helm. Actress Adrienne Frantz explained:

I know George was really disappointed that he didn't do it. Still to this day, I just can't believe that his version didn't end up making it.

Adrienne Frantz recently spoke to Variety, and opened up about George Romero's dedication to the Resident Evil 2 commercial in which she had the opportunity to portray Claire Redfield. When the opportunity came up to potentially direct the actual film adaptation of the game, Romero reportedly jumped at the chance, despite not being a gamer himself. He worked hard on the on the original pitch for the Resident Evil movie, but the studio eventually passed on it and fired the zombie legend. Once his version of the story was rejected, Paul W.S. Anderson entered the picture and brought us the action-heavy Resident Evil movie that maintained only tenuous connections to the game franchise.

It's not terribly surprising to learn that the studio opted for Paul W.S. Anderson's version of Resident Evil. In 2002, hyper stylized action movies were an incredibly hot commodity, and skewing the Resident Evil franchise towards action probably seemed like a smarter move. The original Resident Evil isn't necessarily a bad movie, but this is definitely one of those hypothetical "what if" situations that we will never stop wondering about. George Romero is considered an icon within the horror genre, and seeing a legitimate live-action recreation of the Spencer Mansion would've been undeniably awesome for fans of the franchise.

You can check out the George Romero-directed Resident Evil 2 commercial below to get a better sense of how his Resident Evil movie could've panned out:

Badass right? It looks like a genuine George Romero zombie flick set firmly in Raccoon City during the events of the second game. It's stylish, but definitely within the realm of horror. Fans of the video game franchise will forever be left wondering what could've been.

CinemaBlend will keep you up to date with all of the latest and greatest news pertaining to the future of the Resident Evil franchise as more details become available to us. Paul W.S. Anderson's Resident Evil: The Final Chapter will debut in theaters on January 27, 2017.

Check out a trailer for Resident Evil: The Final Chapter on the next page for a good look at the last installment in the Resident Evil franchise!

Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.