First Umbrella Academy and now Umbrella Corporation – Netflix’s quest to dominate all pop culture umbrellas knows no limits. The streaming service is developing a TV series based on the long-running video game and film franchise, Resident Evil. Deadline first reported the news.
The TV series will be a Netflix original and debut globally if picked up. Deadline reports that this wouldn’t just be a Resident Evil TV series in name only, it will delve deep into the franchise’s mythology. The series will cover the inner workings of the villainous Umbrella Corporation and the terrifying new world it has ushered in with the release of the T-virus. Yes, there will be easter eggs.
In February 2020, Netflix published a synopsis of the upcoming series before quickly taking it down from its website, but eagle-eyed Resident Evil fans were able to nab a screenshot of the plot description before it could be removed:
“The town of Clearfield, MD has long stood in the shadow of three seemingly unrelated behemoths – the Umbrella Corporation, the decommissioned Greenwood Asylum, and Washington, D.C. Today, 26 years after the discovery of the T-Virus, secrets held by the three will start to be revealed at the first signs of outbreak,” the synopsis reads.
What does this reveal about the Netflix series? Not much. Clearfield, MD is a new location in the Resident Evil universe, which has largely taken place in Raccoon City, a fictional city in the Midwest. Interestingly enough, the synopsis seems to position the show as a sequel of sorts to the original series of games, which was released in 1996 (although it’s set in 1998). “26 years after the discovery of the T-Virus” could place the series in 2024, although we’re just speculating here.
Either way, we’re left to wonder how Greenwood Asylum and Umbrella fit into all of this. The plot description doesn’t tell us much in that regard, either.
Constantin Film, the German studio behind all six Resident Evil films, will also be the studio for the TV series. Despite Constantin’s involvement, it’s very unlikely that Resident Evil movie heroine Milla Jovovich will return for the show. The sixth Resident Evil movie was titled Resident Evil: The Final Chapter and Hollywood wouldn’t just lie to us like that, would it?
The Resident Evil film franchise launched in 2002 with the aptly named Resident Evil starring Jovovich. The movie saw five subsequent sequels, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Resident Evil: Retribution, and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. All directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, those six films together earned $1.2 billion worldwide and can lay claim to the title of most successful video game film franchise ever.
The games that inspired the film franchise and now the TV series first launched with Resident Evil (known as Biohazard in Japan). A total of 24 sequels and remakes have since been released in the franchise with the most recent being 2019’s Resident Evil 2 remake. The game series pioneered the concept of survival horror in video games and established a surprisingly deep mythology based on zombies terrorizing the citizens of an ill-fated city.
The Netflix series doesn’t have a showrunner or any other timeframe in place yet but we’ll keep you updated. Likewise with the Resident Evil film series reboot. This franchise really is a zombie.