The first trailer for Netflix’s new Resident Evil trailer released this morning. Although it did give us our first glimpse at the story, characters, and settings of this new take on the canon, it didn’t reveal much else. At least, not directly. Like the games that inspired it, Resident Evil hid quite a few details in the background of its teaser. Details that could lead to the mystery behind this new iteration’s virus outbreak. And wouldn’t ya know it, the Umbrella Corporation is most definitely involved.
Keep reading below for a full trailer breakdown of Resident Evil, but be warned. There will be spoilers.
The trailer begins with the Wesker sisters, Billie and Jade, getting picked up by their father Albert as “I’d Like To Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)” by The New Seekers starts playing. Fans of the original series of games and movies will instantly recognize Albert Wesker as one of the primary antagonists. Wesker first appeared in the first Resident Evil, where it’s revealed that he’s a double agent working for the Umbrella Corp.
This version of Wesker seems to also work for Umbrella, although it doesn’t look like he’s hiding that from anyone. That may be because Umbrella itself isn’t hiding. The next sequence shows Albert and the girls heading into New Raccoon City, in the year 2022. A quick glimpse of the grass outside the city shows the Umbrella Corp logo decorated into it, and a subsequent scene shows a yoga lady drinking from a hydro flask with a UC sticker plastered on the side.
In the original games, the Umbrella Corporation was the reason behind the deadly virus outbreak that started the whole zombie apocalypse thing. And they make sure to return in several entries to reveal how many more ways they’ve ushered the planet into total chaos. They actually started off as Umbrella Pharmaceuticals, an organization that promised to change the world through the power of modern medicine. That was of course a front for doing some really, really bad stuff.
The Umbrella Corp seen in the trailer seems to be employing the same “hidden in plain sight” tactic. They seem to have transformed New Raccoon City into a sprawling utopia, where everybody gets along and the air is fresh. Raccoon City is also a staple of the games, basically where it all started. The Arklay Mansion where the first RE took place exists just outside the city, and the town itself was home to central characters like Albert Wesker and Leon Kennedy. Raccoon City was also eventually under control of the Umbrella Corp, who ran it into the ground, so the future doesn’t look so bright for NRC.
Night falls on the city in the next shot of the trailer, as the UCHQ is shown with an overhead shot, before cutting to Albert Wesker in his lab. He reaches for a vial of what looks to be blood labeled “Billie” on his desk and injects a lab rat with it. One to the left actually says “Jade.” This vial of blood contains the only interactive easter egg we found in the trailer; a QR code that leads to a website containing another little surprise for eager fans. The vial may also be the reason why Wesker goes to work for Umbrella in the first place.
Later shots show Billie lying down with Jade hovering over her. Billie’s hair is beginning to turn a shade of white, a transformation that gets more and more noticeable each time we see her. It’s possible that whatever the cause of Billie’s hair change could also be affecting her physical health, and whatever Wesker is cooking up in his lab with her blood is an attempt to save his daughter’s life. Of course, it could also be that Billie’s Or Jade’s (or both) blood is what Wesker needs to complete his deadly virus.
Video game Wesker is obsessed with creating the key to the perfect, genetically-enhanced human race. He’s revealed to be working his own angle within Umbrella that directly causes the t-virus outbreak. So it’s possible that this Wesker shares his counterpart’s sinister intentions, and the secret behind his “success” is closer to home than we realize.
No matter the reason behind Albert’s experiments, they obviously go wrong, and the lab rat he injected begins to bash itself again the glass of its tiny container. The trailer quickly cuts from a shot of young Jade to her older self in London, 2036. She stands up to reveal she’s on top of a bridge facing Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster. While the series has traveled to several locations across the globe, the London location is a new one to the franchise. The added touch of it being 14 years into the future means we’re likely to see the show go tons of places we’ve never seen it go before.
The bridge fades away, along with the New Seekers track, replaced by some sort of base — a red flare becoming the only light source. The flare lights up the surrounding area as the to reveal Jade and her fellow survivors getting swarmed by an army of zombies. This is our first look at the zombies of this new Resident Evil, and admittedly they look pretty standard. However, it’s important to remember that these are just our base zombies, and we’re most likely getting several different variants of the mutated victims of Umbrella’s hubris.
As the music cuts back in — chopped and echoed to match the action-horror that follows — a series of quick moments flash on screen. The first is a bloodied Jade, one we see in a later scene donning a chainsaw and letting out a victorious roar as she hacks into a (hopefully infected) victim. The next scene shows somebody running away, but it’s unclear who or from what as the camera switches to some kind of infrared or radioactive filter. It’s possible this is the view of one of the zombie dogs — seen later in the trailer — as evident by how close the camera is to the ground.
Subsequent scenes show some very obvious bad guys, a scene with Billie screaming and Albert noticeably stressed as red lights flicker (maybe where she meets her end?), and a poor soul getting mauled by some kind of infected creatures. The most interesting moment of this sequence is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it look at a t-virus infected subject being kept alive in a human-sized tank. It’s not revealed who this is, though an exciting option is Nemesis, the iconic mutate that made his debut in Resident Evil: Nemesis.
Nemesis in the games is a hulking, intelligent bio-weapon. A serious threat that largely overshadows his simpler t-virus cousins. He was created intentionally after years of research and sent to kill anyone hoping to uncover the Umbrella Corp’s true intentions. But considering the show’s focus on the Wesker family, I’m willing to bet what we’re looking at is a mutated Wesker. If so, that’s be another nod to the games, specifically Wesker’s eventual self-injection of a t-virus variant. This all seems to be leading to an eventual showdown between Jade, her father and the Umbrella Corporation.
The rest of the trailer shows more zombie mayhem, including that awesome shot of the zombie dog! The zombie dogs, also called Cerberuses, are canines who have been subjected to the t-virus. Those who have played the original game will remember them as the reason your controller ended up broken and several feet away.
It seems that this trailer is showing us that the new Resident Evil may not be as unfamiliar as we thought. While characters and location may differ slightly, the Netflix series seems to be heavily inspired by the stories that have come before it. Of course, this is just the first trailer. We’ll have to wait until July 14 to watch the first eight episodes and get to the bottom of this new mystery.
Was there anything you noticed in the new Resident Evil trailer? Sound off in the comments, and stay tuned for more coverage on The Nerds of Color.