For decades, “movies based off of video games” has been one of the more quality-deficient entertainment sub-genres out there. Recent years, however, have seen more and more video game properties opting for more expansive adaptations as TV series. It looks like hit horror franchise Resident Evil will be one of the first to hit both mediums, as Netflix is reportedly gearing up for an episodic take on the virus-stricken chaos.
At this early point in the process, Resident Evil TV details are few and far between, and nothing is being confirmed at the highest level. According to Deadline, though, the word is that Netflix’s small screen Resident Evil will be growing its central narrative out from the video game’s foundational elements. Naturally, the new series also aims to expand the twisted mythology while also deepening the stories for the already established elements.
Basically, the Umbrella Corporation remains at the crux of the drama, so viewers can probably expect to hear some particularly dark backstories laying out the company’s origins and ongoing controversies. As well, the series will explore the deadly T-virus and how the world completely changes once the planet’s living matter faces perhaps its biggest threat yet.
Fans are obviously going to hope to high heaven that Netflix’s Resident Evil will be a more faithful adaptation of the video game series than Paul W.S. Anderson’s films did. Thankfully, it’s rumored that this new version will indeed retain all of the elements inherent to Resident Evil fun. So expect some big action sequences, some pulse-pounding frights, and lots of fan-friendly references to the originals.
Who will the main characters be? Will we finally get to see fan-favorites Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine co-leading a live-action Resident Evil project? Or perhaps Claire Redfield and Leon Kennedy will be used to set this universe up. Not that there aren’t tons of other celebrated characters to focus on. (I’d honestly just love to see Resident Evil 7: Biohazard’s Baker family horrors adapted into their own standalone project.)
Details are still scarce for the Resident Evil TV series because it doesn’t yet have a creative team to put it all together. It’s reported that s showrunner is currently being sought out to handle putting the first season together. The project, which looks to have global aspirations, will be produced by Constantin Film, the German production company that was behind Milla Jovovich’s six Resident Evil films.
It’s not hard to understand why any studio would want to back a new Resident Evil live-action project, especially one with the marketability of a TV series. The films, which spanned from 2002-2016, may not have been the most critically lauded, but they’ve combined to gross over $1.2 billion worldwide. What’s more, the game title’s popularity has grown in recent years, thanks to the amazingly stellar Resident Evil 7 and Capcom’s just-released remake of 1998’s Resident Evil 2.
Strangely enough, this isn’t the only Resident Evil update that’s come out in the recent past. In December, Constantin announced that a new feature film version was in the works, to be completely disconnected from the previous six films. The Strangers: Prey at Night director Johannes Roberts was hired to write and direct the potential big screen reboot. It’s unclear how this TV news will affect that, if at all.