Resident Evil (TV series)
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|Based on||Resident Evil|
|Developed by||Andrew Dabb|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Production location||South Africa|
|Running time||46–63 minutes|
|Original release||July 14, 2022|
Resident Evil[a] is an American action horror television series developed by Andrew Dabb for Netflix. Loosely based on the video game series of the same name by Capcom, it is the second television adaptation of the franchise after the animated miniseries Infinite Darkness (2021), and the third live-action adaptation after the film series of the same name and the reboot film Welcome to Raccoon City (2021). The series is set in its own universe but features the video game series' storyline as its backstory and basis.
The series features an ensemble cast led by Lance Reddick as the clones of Albert Wesker, Ella Balinska and Adeline Rudolph as Wesker's children, Tamara Smart and Siena Agudong as the daughters' younger selves, and Paola Núñez as James Marcus's daughter Evelyn. It alternates between two timelines, following Jade and Billie Wesker during their days in New Raccoon City where they discover their father's and Umbrella Corporation's dark secrets, and 14 years in the future, where Jade tries to survive the end of the world.
In 2019, Netflix began development with Constantin Film, the rightsholders who have previously produced the film series, as the production company involved. The series was formally announced in 2020, having been greenlit as an eight-episode series with each episode one hour in length. Dabb was hired as showrunner alongside a number of other Netflix projects. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, production was delayed eight months and took place from February to July 2021. Resident Evil premiered on July 14, 2022, to mixed reviews from critics and negative reviews from audiences. In August 2022, the series was canceled after one season.
The series' main plot is spread out over two points in time – 2022 and 2036, with a gap of some 14 years. The past plotline deals with the struggles of 14-year-old fraternal twins Billie and Jade, the children of Dr Albert Wesker, conceived through suspicious circumstances. Their lives take a dramatic turn when Albert is awarded an executive position at the struggling Umbrella Corporation that once employed him, and they move to Umbrella's planned community, New Raccoon City (Afrikaans: Nuwe Wasbeer Stad). While there the two girls stumble onto the dark secrets behind their origins and Umbrella's dark legacy, their father coordinates a response to the outbreak of a retroviral bioweapon called T-virus.
In the present of 2036, the T-virus has reduced human civilization to 300 million refugees living in walled city-states and other settlements, surrounded by the six billion man-eating humans known as Zeroes who contracted the disease. The most powerful organization left on Earth is the Umbrella Corporation, backed by its military arsenal, who are conducting a global manhunt for Jade.
Cast and characters
- Ella Balinska as Jade Wesker
- Tamara Smart as young Jade Wesker
- Adeline Rudolph as Billie Wesker
- Siena Agudong as young Billie Wesker
- Paola Núñez as Evelyn Marcus
- Lance Reddick as:
- Dr. Albert "Al" Wesker, Jade and Billie's father
- Bert Wesker, Jade and Billie's uncle and Al's brother
- Alby Wesker, Al and Bert's deceased brother
- Albert Wesker, a rogue Umbrella operative who created several clones of himself
- Turlough Convery as Richard Baxter
- Connor Gosatti as Simon Marcus
- Ahad Raza Mir as Arjun Batra
- Ella Zieglmeier as Bea
- Pedro de Tavira Egurrola as Angel Rubio
In addition, Anthony Oseyemi co-stars as Roth, Lea Vivier co-stars as Susana Franco, Casey B. Dolan co-stars as Lisa Trevor, and Marisa Drummond co-stars as a guard.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"Welcome to New Raccoon City"||Bronwen Hughes||Andrew Dabb||July 14, 2022|
2022: Jade Wesker, her "twin" sister Billie Wesker and their father, Albert Wesker, arrive in New Raccoon City, a planned community in South Africa, where Albert's work is vital to the Umbrella Corporation. Billie notices animals being transported in her father's automated building, even though Umbrella openly disavowes any link to animal testing. She and Jade gain entry to Umbrella to document the animals and inadvertently release Cerberus, an undead mutant Doberman that chases them. Cerberus bites Billie’s neck before Jade manages to kill the dog with a fire extinguisher.2036: In London, Jade researches Pack #2426, a group of mutant humans known as "zeroes". All is going well until a gigantic mutant caterpillar attacks and knocks her unconscious. Jade is saved by apparent Good Samaritans and is taken to a fortified refuge to receive medical treatment. Her saviours actually plan to hand her over to Umbrella as she is considered a high value target. As Umbrella arrives, the leader, Baxter, orders his soldiers to execute everyone but Jade, who must be captured alive. In the ensuing carnage, Jade escapes and jumps into the massed horde of zeroes encircling the refuge.
|2||"The Devil You Know"||Bronwen Hughes||Mary Leah Sutton||July 14, 2022|
2022: Jade and Billie are found by Albert who helps them flee before Umbrella's U.S.S. operators appear. At home, he tells the girls the dog was being treated for a "rare genetic disease". He makes them promise to never talk about it, as it is a classified "government" project. In the morning, Jade continues to investigate and finds a website claiming to have "The Truth". It discusses outbreaks at Umbrella's labs that cause infected employees to become cannibals. Angel Rubio, the website's admin, is an investigative reporter obsessed with Umbrella. Meanwhile, Billie vomits and starts to show signs of infection.2036: Having jumped out into the Dead Land to escape Umbrella, Jade is forced to fend for herself against the Zero horde. As a high priority asset, Baxter orders his men to focus on killing the Zeroes to protect her so she can be captured. Jade manages to escape and drives to Dover. Later while she is among some refugees, a ferry arrives, and the group are confronted by a U.S.S. convoy backed-up by an armed drone. The crowd is forced on the run with the drone killing them while Baxter looks on from his stationary vehicle.
|3||"The Light"||Rob Seidenglanz||Shane Frank & Garett Pereda||July 14, 2022|
2022: In the morning, Billie gets up disoriented but pretends to be fine. At school, she becomes distressed and hypersensitive to sound. She also begins suffering from hallucinations. Jade and fellow student Simon talk about getting more notes from Angel after class, but a surprise update to Umbrella's firewall means that can no longer happen until he knows the code.2036: Jade joins a refugee convoy. During the drive, the refugees are forced to hide in their cars after hearing Lickers nearby. Baxter soon arrives alerting the Lickers who break into the convoy and start killing people. Only a few escape, and, while travelling through flooded tunnels, they discover a boy, Liam, is infected. The kid was bitten three days prior and his parents did not tell anybody. Suddenly, a giant mutated spider starts attacking. During the ensuing fight, Liam’s father dies before Jade kills the spider. She returns to Liam's mother and tries to encourage her to leave the boy, to no avail. Forced to continue her journey alone, Jade gets out of the tunnel in Calais, France, and finds Baxter waiting for her. Brotherhood militants appear, start shooting on the operators and capture Jade, Baxter and other suvivors.
|4||"The Turn"||Rob Seidenglanz||Kerry Williamson||July 14, 2022|
2022: Billie convinces Jade to go to a party at Simon's house with her. Angel infiltrates New Raccoon City, tracks the pair down to the party, and warns they are in danger. They talk about the Raccoon City incident, believed to be the result of a gas leak or a fire. He insists it was a nuclear attack planned by the US government to cover it up. Apparently, according to records, the two girls do not exist, while Albert should have been dead in 2009. His comments scare them, and they flee. When trying to catch up to them, Angel is detained by Umbrella security.2036: The Brotherhood takes their new captives to a prison. Jade becomes intrigued by the chained-up Zeroes in there, who coordinate as a workforce to move a large mechanism and power the prison. One of them, "Mother Zero", seems to be their leader. Baxter persuades Jade to help him escape. The two succeed and rally other captured USS troopers, when the Zeroes are let lose. In the ensuing fight, Jade decapitates the queen and manages to escape the prison. Unfortunately, Baxter dies before making it.
|5||"Home Movies"||Rachel Goldberg||Lindsey Villarreal||July 14, 2022|
2022: Albert is picked-up and taken to Umbrella HQ to meet with Evelyn. He is introduced to a badly beaten Angel Rubio, and is ordered to interrogate him. Solving Wesker's riddles around the house, Jade finds a hidden bag containing $10,000 USD, fake passports to America and a gun. With Simon's help, the girls find a secret laboratory in the house and trigger an intruder alarm. The research data gets set on fire. Albert enters the room, angry and confused. He reveals the girls were born in the UCSF School of Medicine in San Francisco, using two women's eggs. The dog that bit Billie was infected with T-virus, which causes mutations; Billie appears to be resistant to the virus, as the girls were genetically modified to excel in mental and physical performances; Umbrella is aware of their origins, and will preserve Billie as a lab specimen if they find out she was infected.2036: Jade is captured by a USS unit. Their commander watches them restrain her, then takes her helmet off to reveal she is Billie.
|6||"Someone's Little Girl"||Batan Silva||Jeff Howard||July 14, 2022|
|7||"Parasite"||Batan Silva||Mary Leah Sutton||July 14, 2022|
2022: Al and Bert talk through the wall, having not seen one another in seventeen years. Evelyn interrogates Al, revealing the coroner's verdict Angel was poisoned with three times the lethal dose of Umbrella's new product Joy and confirming her suspicions he sabotaged the interrogation. In the cells, Bert kills 2 Umbrella guards and escapes. At school, Billie and Jade talk with Simon, but are interrupted by Bert who has come to pick them up in a stolen car, pounding on the horn to identify who they are. He bluffs his way through questioning about Angel and offers to take them out for food. They are put off by his unusual behavior and erratic driving. Bert Finally reveals he and Al are clones and part of an R&D team, but this only convinces the two girls to avoid him. At this point the Umbrella team tracks them down, and Bert uses his fighting prowess to kill three guards, with Roth succeeding in restraining him. The girls are ordered to come with them. Billie and Jade are brought up to the interrogation room, where Al is lying on the floor in pain. Blood samples are taken from the two girls, with Evelyn reveals the truth about their origins - the two girls were created as part of a treatment for Al's condition, with themselves effectively being a permanent source of viable blood for transfusions. When offered a blood sample, Al hesitantly injects himself to recover. Billie and Jade are allowed to leave.2036: Jade continues her study of the Mother Zero's head, and discovers an Umbrella tracking device embedded within her head, indicating she was a person of interest when captured by The Brotherhood and that Jade is responsible for Umbrella finding the ship. Arjun interrupts her warning that the crew has agreed to hear out a truce with Saquim to go ashore and meet with Evelyn Marcus. He is taken to a tent at a temporary base, where he is introduced to Evelyn. She tells him she wants Jade handed over. When Bea comes to visit, Jade warns her to get Arjun and a green duffel bag and leave the ship. Soon, her fellow University members return with the results of their dealings with Evelyn and prepare to surrender her. On the shore, Jade is directed by a senior USS commander, Molloy, to their base. There she finds Evelyn, who begins singing and dancing in what is revealed to be Billie using the modified Joy to manipulate her and, unofficially, Billie has been in control of Umbrella for years. She reveals her goals very clearly - she wants Jade kept with her and who will be a source of blood to stabilize her condition. Realizing she cannot stop the order, Jade releases a vial containing the attractor enzyme; hundreds of Zeroes begin flocking to the base, killing any USS operators in their way. The ship goes on alert at the sight of so many Zeroes and disembarks, revealing that the ship has had a massive infected crocodile in tow. The Zeroes manage to easily break through the base's perimeter wall and rush towards Billie and Jade, the two reach out and hold hands.
|8||"Revelations"||Rachel Goldberg||Tara Knight & Andrew Dabb||July 14, 2022|
In January 2019, it was announced that Netflix was in development of a series based upon the Resident Evil franchise. No major updates were given, until August 2020 when it was revealed that the series had been picked up for 8 one hour episodes. It was also revealed that Andrew Dabb would write the series, in addition to him serving as an executive producer and showrunner. Bronwen Hughes was also executive producer and directed the first two episodes.
Production was originally set to take place from June to October 2020, to be handled by Moonlighting Films, which previously worked on Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, these plans were shelved for the rest of the year. Over 2020 the series went through retooling, with the promotion of Jeffrey Howard as co-Executive Producer in place of Dabb who was busy overseeing Grendel. Production resumed on February 19, 2021, with principal photography split into four production blocks and concluding on July 9. On August 26, 2022, Netflix canceled the series after one season.
Casting took place in November 2020, with casting directors working in the United Kingdom, United States for the principal cast, and South Africa for the supporting cast and extras. American actor Lance Reddick was cast in the role of Albert Wesker. The role of Billie Wesker was given to American actresses Siena Agudong and Adeline Rudolph, with British actresses Tamara Smart and Ella Balinska cast as her sister Jade. Paola Núñez was cast in the role of Wesker's assistant, Carol. Pakistani actor Ahad Raza Mir joined the cast for the role of Arjun Batra.
Principal photography took place from February to July 2021. Internal scenes were filmed on a soundstage at Cape Town Film Studios, while dilapidated local buildings such as the Werdmuller Centre and the Maitland Abattoir were used for location filming. Production was divided into four production blocks, with directors Bronwen Hughes, Rob Seidenglanz, Batán Silva and Rachel Goldberg each responsible for two episodes each. As part of block 3, scenes were filmed aboard the Sarah Baartman and S.A. Agulhas, with the help of Frog Squad, a company specialising in underwater filming.
While Netflix maintained a press embargo on the series before and during principal photography, a synopsis for an early series pitch was accidentally published and then deleted. Similarly, an early copy of the first episode's script was published on the Internet Archive before being taken down in a copyright complaint. The series was officially announced in August 2020, with Andrew Dabb posting the front page of the completed "Welcome to New Raccoon City" script, with the principal cast being announced near the end of filming in June 2021.
Marketing for the series proper began on November 30, 2021, with the opening of an official Instagram page for the series, which posted an image of a mutant dog which was set to appear. Two trailers were released online on May 11, 2022, with the first two episodes aired at a private press screening. In attendance, Dabb described the original universe of the show as featuring the video games as their backstory and basis.
The series was released on July 14, 2022, on Netflix.
The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 54% approval rating with an average rating of 5.8/10, based on 50 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "While Resident Evil comes closer than previous adaptations to honoring the beloved video games' labyrinthine lore, this zombie serial could still use more brains." On Metacritic, the first season has a score of 53 out of 100, based on 16 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". The audience and fan reaction to the show was overwhelmingly negative.
According to Samba TV, 988,000 US households watched the premiere of the series during its first four days streaming on Netflix. The series premiere over-indexed most with Black and Hispanic viewers by +29% and +27% respectively. It debuted second, behind Stranger Things (season 4), then dethroned it days later. From July 11 to July 17, the show was the second most streamed on Netflix globally, and was within the top ten in over 92 countries.
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