Resident Evil Lore Keeps Expanding, Even Outside the Games

The new Netflix series, Infinite Darkness, continues to build on a surprisingly dense story.

Resident Evil is pairing up with Netflix to bring fans a new animated series. For its 25th anniversary, Resident Evil Infinite Darkness takes fans a bit back on the series’ timeline. The show is being produced and supervised by Hiroyuki Kobayashi. Kobayashi has been a part of developer Capcom since 1996, starting as a programmer for the first Resident Evil game, and I’m beyond excited by his pedigree for storytelling.

Teaming up with Kobayashi from TMS Entertainment is Eiichiro Hasumi, who will be in charge of directing the series. You may know TMS for work such as Lupin the Third and Detective Conan. Joining them from Quebico is Kei Miyamoto, leading the charge on the series’ CG. Miyamoto is best known for his oversight of CG on the Resident Evil: Vendetta movie from 2017.

As someone who has played both the original and remake version of RE2, I was over the moon to read that Capcom intentionally brought back the same voice actors cast for the redone game (we stan consistency). The team did cast some new voices for some very important (and, up until this point, unseen) characters who play a vital part in the Resident Evil story. But thanks to a breakdown by Netflix, we have the list of characters and their voice actors:

  • Leon S. Kennedy — Nick Apostolides
  • Claire Redfield — Stephanie Panisello
  • Jason — Ray Chase (a war hero and part of “Mad Dog”)
  • Shen May — Jona Xiao (federal agent skilled in computer science)
  • Patrick — Billy Kametz
  • Graham — Joe J. Thomas (the President of the United States in this series, whose daughter Ashely players saved in Resident Evil 4)
  • Wilson — Doug Stone (Secretary of Defense)
  • Ryan — Brad Venable (the president’s adviser)

The zombie franchise is no stranger to expanding its timeline. Now the question on fans’ minds, including a little fangirl like myself, with so many callbacks to previous games, is when exactly does this new series take place? The franchise has numerous, twisting titles across games and movies under its belt. Now Capcom is reportedly working on a Resident Evil 4 remake, which may muddy the waters even further.

WELL! We do know now that the series will be set directly after Resident Evil: Vendetta (so again, it only makes sense that Miyamoto is reuniting with Capcom). The info comes directly from Capcom’s description of the series.

“In 2006, there were traces of improper access to secret Presidential files found in the White House’s network. American federal agent Leon S. Kennedy is among the group invited to the White House to investigate this incident, but when the lights suddenly go out, Leon and the SWAT team are forced to take down a horde of mysterious zombies. Meanwhile, TerraSave staff member Claire Redfield encounters a mysterious image drawn by a youth in a country she visited, while providing support to refugees.”

These separate incidents clearly have a connection. Claire begins her own investigation after being haunted by the drawing, which takes her to the White House. There she’s reunited with Leon and shows him the boy’s drawing. Leon appears to recognize a link but deflects around Claire. These two zombie outbreaks in different countries, naturally, lead to big developments at the core of Infinite Darkness. Not to mention there’s some suspicious, interpersonal drama since Leon and Claire are not strangers — having tag-teamed to kick zombie butt since Resident Evil 2. The pair has always vowed to take down the virus in one way or another.

Now I’m gonna throw a bunch of numbers and names at your face, so…

*takes deep breathe*

Infinite Darkness is a unique project for Capcom to develop because, throughout the entire timeline of Resident Evil, nothing covers the events between the original Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5. According to my calculations, this takes place roughly two years after the events of Resident Evil 4. That game takes place in 2004, followed by Resident Evil Revelations, which takes place between 2004-2005. Then there’s a big time gap until Resident Evil 5 — which takes place in 2009. Even if Infinite Darkness takes place at about the same time as Revelations, it’ll still show us a different angle of the world, since the spinoff game didn’t follow the hero of Resident Evil 4 (Leon S. Kennedy).

*deep breath out*

I can see why Capcom decided to head back to the early 2000s and add some filler to the story. It’s an interesting choice because there’s room for much development in terms of storyline between major games. But it also has to be done in a way that won’t obviously change the events of Resident Evil 5, while potentially adding filler context to future games, movies, or even other series. Claire and Leon’s paths are always bound to cross for die-hard fans; we pretty much know their fates.

I cannot wait for this to come out, though. I’ve tried my best to keep up with all the movies that have been released, literally going all the way back to 2008 with Resident Evil: Degeneration (FYI that also takes place in 2005 sooooo it all makes sense AND stars Leon and Clarie). I’m excited to see what new scares the team has in store. The series is set to release on July 8.