Is Netflix’s Resident Evil Based on the Video Game?

Image Credit: Marcos Cruz/Netflix

Netflix’s ‘Resident Evil’ is a sci-fi action-thriller series. It’s part of the multimedia franchise of the same name. There are two timelines in the show. In 2022, “twin” sisters Billie (Siena Agudong) and Jade Wesker (Ella Balinska) move to New Raccoon City, South Africa, with their father, Albert Wesker (Lance Reddick), three months before the T-virus spreads across the world, and most of humanity either dies or is turned into zombies. In 2036, 14 years after the apocalyptic event, an Older Jade (Tamara Smart) tries to find a solution to the zombie problem with the hopes that the virus has mutated. Meanwhile, Older Billie (Adeline Rudolph) is part of Umbrella Corporation, the dreaded conglomerate that developed the T-virus. If you are wondering whether the plot of the Netflix series is based on the video games, we got you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Is Resident Evil Inspired by the Video Game?

While Netflix’s ‘Resident Evil’ isn’t based on any particular entry in the video game series and has its own continuity, multiple events of the games are canon in the TV series lore, according to the showrunner Andrew Dabb, known for his work on The CW’s ‘Supernatural.’ “The games are our backstory. Everything that happens in the games exists in this world,” Dabb said during a press conference following a screening of two episodes at The Netflix headquarters in New York City in April 2022.

Dabb even said ‘Resident Evil: Village,’ the most recent entry in the game series as of June 2022, is also part of the canon of the Netflix show. “We may not get there until season 5, but it is in our world,” he stated. “As we’re moving ahead and talking about scripts for season 2, the village is a resource we can draw on.”

This might come as a surprise for many due to the presence of Albert Wesker in the show. One of the primary antagonists of the game series, Wesker died in the ‘Resident Evil 5’ video game. “If you know the games, Wesker is dead. He got blown up by a rocket launcher in a volcano — how I think we all wanna go,” Dabb said, before assuring that the character isn’t alive for silly reasons such as having immunity against lava. “I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say the explanation for why Wesker is the way that he is and how he is still alive go hand in hand,” he explained.

In Netflix’s ‘Resident Evil,’ it is revealed that the Albert Wesker we meet there is actually a clone of the original Wesker, who indeed died on that volcano in 2009. According to Dabb, there hasn’t been a definitive adaptation of ‘Resident Evil.’ He doesn’t even consider their own show as definitive because he believes that ‘Resident Evil’ is too big to be defined by just one thing.

The show acknowledges that the original Raccoon City was destroyed by a nuclear strike in 1998. A struggling Umbrella Corporation tries to find a way back to prominence under the leadership of Evelyn Marcus, the daughter of James Marcus, by shifting its focus from bioweaponry to healthcare. The problem is that Umbrella’s supposed miracle drug, Joy, which they market as a cure for depression and anxiety, was created from the research data associated with the T-virus.

While the show is quite faithful to the narrative of the games, Dabb wants to take his time before introducing fan-favorite characters. “It’s not, ‘Episode 3, Meet the Redfields.’ ‘Episode 4, Here’s Leon,'” he elaborated. “You could do that version, and there’s a certain part of the fanbase that I’m sure would be like, ‘Please do that version,’ but for us, it was more important to take you on this journey. And then as the journey goes on and on, we will touch on different corners and aspects of the mythology.”

Read More: When and Where Does Netflix’s Resident Evil Take Place?