Is the Resident Evil Netflix series canon?

Resident Evil fans, hold fire. The new Netflix series, starring Lance Reddick as Albert Wesker, is sure to invite hordes of burning questions and puzzled looks from those looking for a faithful adaptation of the games. Is Resident Evil canon? If that’s the case, how did Wesker survive falling into a volcano? Here’s all you need to know about if (and how) the Resident Evil Netflix series fits into the game franchise.

Is the Resident Evil Netflix series canon?

Resident Evil Netflix series

(Image credit: Netflix)

In a way, yes. The Netflix series may be set in New Raccoon City in 2022 and post-apocalypse Europe in 2036, but the events of the games are all part of this universe. The Raccoon City Incident does happen decades prior in 1998, confirming that everything that took place in Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 is part of the Netflix series’ world. In essence, the TV show is a sequel to the games but it’s unlikely that the games will ever reference the TV show.

“The games are our backstory. Everything that happened in the games exists in this world,” showrunner Andrew Dabb told us earlier this year. “So the village is there. We might not get there until season 5, but it’s in our world… The movies are a different story, but everything in the games is a backstory for the show.”

The Netflix series also teases how the issue of Albert Wesker’s seeming ‘death’ in Resident Evil 5 will be resolved. One particularly annoying thorn in Umbrella’s side in Tijuana tells his daughters Billie and Jade that Wesker ‘died’ before 2022 and shouldn’t be alive by the events of the TV show. 

The series, then, will also build on existing lore as well as being part of established canon. Dabb also revealed to SFX that there is a “very good explanation of why [Wesker] is back and why he is the way that he is.”

There are, however, a few story-related issues that still need clearing up. We can safely assume Resident Evil 1-3 and Resident Evil 5 follow the exact same plot beats, but the fate of some of the other games’ plots are unclear. 

Umbrella, by any metric, should be dead and buried by 2022, so their latter-day revival is another mystery that needs to be explained in the Netflix series. And what of Chris, Claire, and Leon? The Resident Evil show is keen on telling its own story for now without too many legacy characters, but their appearances can’t be ruled out further down the line.

Resident Evil is now streaming on Netflix. For more from the streamer, be sure to check out the best Netflix shows and the best Netflix movies you should be watching right now.

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