How does Netflix’s Resident Evil connect to the movies, anyway?
A tangled web of continuity.
Resident Evil has seen a lot of adaptations over the years, from various comic books and novels to Paul W.S. Anderson’s film series. Following how all of these tie into the overall series is a real task, and that’s especially true with Netflix’s new Resident Evil show. Fans will likely notice quite a few references packed into the Netflix show, but seeing as this is a live-action adaption, many will likely be wondering if it ties into the Anderson film series. Here’s everything you need to know.
The Anderson Resident Evil films are entirely separate
The short answer is that Netflix’s Resident Evil doesn’t tie into the Anderson films at all, even if they do feature similar elements, ideas, and characters. Essentially, Anderson’s films take place in an alternate universe that features many of the characters and locations from the games. This is why the first three movies show places like Raccoon City, the Mansion, and the Hive.
The ideas of the game series are used as a springboard to tell an entirely new story, one that revolves around the new character Alice. As such, Alice doesn’t exist in the world of Netflix’s Resident Evil. That being said, the films and the new series do feature some very similar ideas, the biggest of which is that both stories revolve around the idea of clones. The Resident Evil games have featured clones in various ways, but the live-action adaptions use cloning much more heavily in their storytelling.
The answer is the same for the series' latest film, Welcome to Raccoon City, which is also separate from anything else Resident Evil-related.
The Prime Continuity, explained
The Resident Evil games take place in what’s commonly referred to as the “Prime Universe.” All of the main games in the series are canon to this universe, from the first Resident Evil up through Resident Evil Village. The showrunner of Netflix’s Resident Evil, Andrew Dabb, has confirmed that the Resident Evil games are indeed canon to the show, and recently even said he’d like to bring a live-action version of Lady Dimitrescu to the series. However, even though the show uses the events of the games as canon, it doesn’t necessarily mean the events of the show are going to be canon to the video games.
Capcom has yet to say if the show will factor into the video game series in any way, and it’s possible Netflix’s show will simply exist alongside the games, but never cross over. It could be a brand new continuity, albeit one that falls more in line with the source materials than Anderson’s films.
It’s also important to note there are other universes for Resident Evil that feature different stories. This includes the WildStorm comic book series, the seven-part novel series by S.D. Perry, and even the novelizations of Anderon’s films by Keith R.A. DeCandido, which heavily feature new story elements. Basically, Resident Evil lore is a mess and there’s no guarantee that anything connects to anything else.
Resident Evil is currently streaming exclusively on Netflix.