Capcom's Resident Evil is no doubt one of the most successful horror franchises in video game history. Ever since its humble beginnings back in 1996, Resident Evil quickly became Capcom's crown jewel, producing numerous games that span four console generations, and has since been adapted in novels, comics, and films. Now, Netflix confirmed that a series based on Resident Evil is currently in the works.
While this notion will surely excite fans, it may also be a bit worrying for some, and with good reason. For the past several years, Resident Evil's video game series found itself in the middle of an identity crisis, struggling to find a balance between maintaining its survival-horror roots and appealing to a wider audience by introducing flashy action-movie elements. The film franchise, on the other hand, had a universe of its own, deviating completely from its source material.
The good news is that Netflix has the opportunity to start from a blank slate, allowing the streaming giant to rectify the shortcomings of the movies and some of the recent games. In a report by Deadline's Nellie Andreeva, it has been revealed that Netflix will "deepen the existing mythology" of the series and follow its "basic premise." While it is still unclear which specific storyline the series will follow, here are some things we want to see in the upcoming Netflix adaptation.
8 Embody survival horror at its core
Much of what made the first few Resident Evil games wildly successful is its focus on survival horror. Although Resident Evil did not invent the genre, the game was able to showcase how tension is created by putting people in life and death situations where every decision counts. Given the interactive nature of video games, Capcom was able to take horror to the next level by limiting ammo, saves, and health items, forcing players to strategize their next move. If the player squanders all their resources in the first part of the game, consequences will soon follow, making it more difficult and terrifying to finish.
Of course, it wouldn't be possible to translate the survival horror mechanic 100% from the games to the series because watching and playing are two different things. However, what Netflix can do is to ensure that the protagonists of the series are not over-powered, and make the enemies more menacing. This way, the series will be able to create tension and horror making every encounter a life or death situation for the protagonists of the show.
7 The Mansion Incident
The events of the first Resident Evil game took place in the infamous Spencer Mansion which is undoubtedly Resident Evil in its purest form. It is by far one of the most dramatic moments in the franchise's history as players found themselves trapped in its narrow hallways, unlocking its dark secrets and fending off the evil that resides within. The mansion served as the ideal location to introduce the survival horror in the video game franchise, which makes it the perfect starting point for the Netflix series.
Who could ever forget the mystery that shrouded the old creepy mansion? Not to mention the terrifying encounter with the first zombie, and how everything unraveled as players discovered the source of the infection. Since Netflix is aiming to expand more on Resident Evil's existing lore, and shining light on the atrocities of the Umbrella Corporation, the series can delve into the moments leading up to the accident causing the outbreak, telling the stories of the mansion's scientists and researches.
6 An expansion of the games' side stories
Resident Evil is one of the few video game franchises out there that has deep and expansive lore. While the games have provided players with an in-depth exploration of its major plot points, there are tons of backstories that are still shrouded in mystery, whether through characters encountered by protagonists or in documents and journals scattered all around Resident Evil's universe.
Wouldn't it be interesting to start the series off with an episode about the mansion's keeper who authored the famous lines, "Itchy. Tasty."? Or maybe the series can explore the struggles of the citizens and police officers of Raccoon City just like in Resident Evil Outbreak. The possibilities are endless given Resident Evil's rich history, and the only challenge for Netflix is to pick the best stories to focus and explore while remaining faithful to the core premise of the source material.
5 Easter eggs and references to memorable moments
Throughout Resident Evil's 23-year history, players have seen terrifying and traumatic moments that are forever ingrained in their minds and hearts. Who could forget Brad Vickers' fate in the hands of Nemesis in RE3? Or Piers' heroic sacrifice to save Chris Redfield in RE6? If Netflix is trying to target the fans of the video games, then this would be one way to do it if done correctly.
Of course, it is important to remember that introducing easter eggs and memorable moments in the series must be done in a natural way that has an impact on the overall plot of the show. It wouldn't make sense for Jill Valentine to utter her famous "You want STARS? I'll give you STARS!" line if Nemesis doesn't exist in the first place. Instead, these easter eggs and memorable moments should not be forced for the sake of attracting video game fans and should only be added if it makes sense to the overall context of the series
4 An accurate portrayal of game characters
Since casting details are still kept under wraps, no one knows whether characters from the video games will be at the forefront of the upcoming adaptation, or if they will be featured at all. However, if Netflix does decide to include them, it shouldn't make the same mistake the movies made, which portrayed the game characters lightly. The only thing that made them recognizable in the movies is through their outfits and other physical similarities. This is not to say that we want characters from the video games to take leading roles in the upcoming show (which would also be cool), but if they were to make an appearance, it should be for the purpose of expanding their already established backstories, making the viewers understand their principles and motivations.
3 A universe that is still fighting off the outbreak
Deadline reported that the series will revolve around a world that has already been ravaged by the T-Virus outbreak. However, we hope that Netflix would reconsider this, especially since post-apocalyptic worlds that succumbed to a zombie outbreak has already been explored in shows such as The Walking Dead, and not to mention the Resident Evil films.
The major struggle in the games is the fight to keep the infection at bay, which we think will work well in the upcoming show. Apart from exploring the mysteries behind the Umbrella Corporation, the Netflix adaptation can also delve into organizations such as the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance), whose main mission is to protect the public from bioterrorism.
2 Showcase underrated creatures
Resident Evil is known for its portrayal of classic monsters such as zombies, and the introduction of new creatures such as lickers, and of course, the tyrants. While the films have showcased monsters such as Nemesis and The Executioner, it would be interesting to see other creatures featured in the show that were not seen outside of the games. One of which is the Hunter, which are frog-like creatures would definitely be the stuff of nightmares if showcased in the upcoming show. It's a mystery why the Hunters were ignored in the films especially since it is the first fast-moving creature ever encountered in the video games, making it a perfect addition to the Netflix adaptation.
Other monsters that should be explored more are Crimson Heads, which are basically zombies 2.0. In Resident Evil Remake, whenever a player kills a zombie and doesn't burn it or decapitate its head, the monster would soon resurrect with long claws and the ability to run. These creatures would definitely be an exciting addition to the upcoming show, given that characters would now have to think twice whether killing a zombie is even worth it.
1 A deeper exploration of series villains
It is no secret that Resident Evil's villains are just as popular as the heroes of the franchise. While the games have highlighted the heroic efforts of its protagonists, it would be interesting to see the Netflix adaptation shine more light on these characters, exploring their upbringing and the events that led them to become who they are. An in-depth exploration of the stories of villains such as Albert Wesker, Ada Wong, Ozwell E. Spencer, and even the Albert Ashford would be interesting to see.
Maybe Netflix can approach it the same way Disney did with Maleficent. Of course, these people should still be evil in the end, but we want to see how they ended up that way. Are they really just bad people trying to take over the world? Or are there instances in their lives that made them succumb to their antagonistic tendencies?
The Resident Evil Netflix series is in active development.