Romero Off the Resident Evil Movie

The big screen version of the wildly popular game series set back yet again as Capcom confirms that George Romero got the shaft.

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News about the Resident Evil motion picture has been on and off over the past year - we've continually heard of its coming, but also of its production snags.

Capcom first hinted at the movie back in 1997. The company wouldn't say who was involved, but reports on the Internet were abuzz with the rumors that Samantha Mathis, Jason Patric, and Bruce Campbell would fill the Resident Evil character roles. And talented scriptwriter, Alan McElroy, known best for penning the screenplay for the Spawn movie, was employed to do the same for the Resident Evil movie.

Fast-forward a year. Capcom ditched McElroy's script and hired George Romero (director of such fright flicks as Night of the Living Dead) to both write and direct the film version of its most coveted property. So despite the months gone by with no progress, Resident Evil fans were once again contented by the choice of Romero, whose past zombie-laden films spared no expense in the area of gruesome shock value. In the middle of last year, GameSpot News spoke to the conspicuous director to get the scoop on the movie.

"I'm hoping that it can just be dark and chilling like the game - good zombies, good makeup, good effects. I've had the advantage, doing my zombie films, of not having to have them rated. I think for the US release it's going to have to fall within an 'R' because it's going to be an expensive film, and nobody's going to take the chance of letting it go unrated," he said.

When asked when the movie would finally be released Romero said, "I know Capcom would like to have it released sometime around when the third game breaks. So that's really all I know, I don't know when that is."

Fast-forward another year, to the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) two weeks ago in Los Angeles. Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) editors sat down with the famed Capcom producer Yoshiki Okamoto to discuss everything resident and evil. One of the topics, of course, was the movie.

The EGM editors got right to the point. When Okamoto was asked about when gamers could expect the movie in theatres, he replied, "We know the movie is going to be out there someday. There is a scenario coming, but there's no script yet."

So the film isn't out of its scripting stages yet. That's odd - Romero's Resident Evil vision was supposed to be in progress months ago. The next question of course had to be about Romero's involvment. What became of his script? Okamoto commented, "His script wasn't good, so Romero was fired." Yikes.

So where does that leave the belated Resident Evil motion picture? Well, according to Mr. Okamoto, "People are trying to get the script done, but we have to be careful because it has to fit the Resident Evil feel." So it could be quite a while before we see the survival horror at the local cinema, but at least it's nice to hear that Capcom is pushing to make this film great. It had better be, after all this time we've waited.

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