Netflix’s live-action series ‘Resident Evil‘ is part of the sprawling franchise of the same name. Although the show has its own continuity, several events from the game are canon in the Netflix series. The narrative is split into two timelines. In 2022, teenage “twin” sisters Billie (Siena Agudong) and Jade Wesker (Ella Balinska) arrive in New Raccoon City, South Africa, with their father, Albert Wesker (Lance Reddick), three months before the zombie apocalypse. In 2036, 14 years after the cataclysmic event, an Older Jade (Tamara Smart) searches for a possible solution in the ruins of London.
In ‘Resident Evil,’ like in every other entry in the multimedia franchise, the insidious Umbrella Corporation plays an important role in the narrative. It’s the company that developed the T-virus, the root cause of the zombie outbreak. If you are wondering if The Umbrella Corporation is real, we got you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD.
What Is the Umbrella Corporation?
In the main canon of the ‘Resident Evil’ franchise, Umbrella Corporation is a multinational conglomerate founded by Oswell E. Spencer, James Marcus, and Edward Ashford in 1968. It reached the height of its activities in the 1980s. The conglomerate quickly expanded and had subsidiary companies in different sectors, including industrial machine production, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, consumer products, transportation, tourism, chemicals, and health foods. While conglomerates often have such massive portfolios of subsidiaries, in Umbrella’s case, it was mostly to hide the illegal and immoral acts they committed.
Despite what one might presume, Umbrella’s ultimate goal wasn’t to establish its absolute monopoly over the bioweaponry industry. Instead, it sought to implement eugenics. Its executives wanted to usher in a new age of superhumans and act as their gods. This plan never materialized. After Raccoon City’s destruction in 1998, Umbrella was found liable in the subsequent trial and was ordered to pay compensation. The victims numbered over a hundred thousand. Umbrella became bankrupt as a result and was forced to shut down along with all its subsidiaries in 2003. In the Netflix show, Evelyn Marcus, the daughter of James Marcus, seeks to revitalize Umbrella with the introduction of Joy, a type of antidepressant that Umbrella claims cures anxiety, depression, and OCD. The problem is that it was developed from the T-virus research data.
In the games, the origin of the name and logo of the Umbrella Corporation is from the Four Houses’ “umbrella” symbol. When Spencer was receiving lessons from Mother Miranda in a village in Eastern Europe, he saw the symbol for the first time.
Is the Umbrella Corporation Real?
No, the Umbrella Corporation is not real. The name of the Umbrella Corporation first appears in the inaugural ‘Resident Evil’ game, released in 1996. Although Umbrella isn’t a real company, some real-life facilities ended up with its distinctive logo. In June 2019, fans of the game reported on Chinese social media that the logo of a Chinese pharmaceutical company in Shanghai, RLSW Shanghai Ruilan Biological Technology, had the same shape and color split. After the COVID-19 outbreak, there were some speculations connecting the company to the pandemic, but this seems to have been disproven.
This wasn’t the first time that this had happened. In 2017, the Vietnamese Medcare Skin Centre drew international attention after it was discovered that they were using a similar logo to the fictional Umbrella Corporation. The clinic later changed the logo. In a Facebook post, they claimed that the logo in question was created by a third party.
“We are very sorry the situation has occurred and is working internally to find the best solution quickly,” the Post Read. “Our team is highly specialized in taking care of skin conditions for our clients and logo design is completely out of our specialty and was consulted and completed for us by a hired third-party. We understand the urgency of the situation; and is working to quickly to provide appropriate answer to our clients, partners, community and to the movie and game producers and copyright holders of the artwork. We hope for your understanding that the situation is not an intentional infringement of copyright by Medcare Skin Centre.”