Resident Evil live-action series brings new representation to franchise with cast
Lance Reddick is the first person of color to play Albert Wesker, a character pulled straight from the games.
Welcome back to Raccoon City.
Netflix's Geeked Week festivities on Friday revealed the cast for the streaming platform's planned live-action Resident Evil TV series, which is inspired by the video games.
John Wick actor Lance Reddick, who was recently seen in Godzilla vs. Kong, will play Albert Wesker, a character pulled straight from the games who started off as a supporting character in the earlier installments before becoming more prominent as a main antagonist. Reddick will be the first person of color in the franchise's 25-year history to play Albert.
Based on what we know from the games, Albert is an accomplished virologist with ties to the T-virus project - the virus that decimated humanity and turned them into hideous zombie creatures. He also became captain of the special forces division S.T.A.R.S. (Special Tactics and Rescue Service).
The Geeked Week livestream was also interrupted by a message from their "sponsors" at the Umbrella Corporation that referred to Wesker as "the engineer of a better tomorrow, of a perfect tomorrow."
Cast in unspecified roles is Ella Balinska (Charlie's Angels), Tamara Smart (Artemis Fowl), Siena Agudong (No Good Nick), Adeline Rudolph (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), and Paola Núñez (The Purge TV series).
The Resident Evil games - and movies, to some extent - have been criticized in the past for its predominantly white narratives with few playable characters that are people of color. Resident Evil 5, in particular, sparked accusations of racism for its story set in Africa. The new TV series appears to be a course-correct in some ways to offer more representation in key roles.
Supernatural writer-producer Andrew Dabb showruns Resident Evil, consisting of eight hourlong episodes. Dabb previously teased "a lot of old friends and some things (bloodthirsty, insane things) people have never seen before" will be featured in the show.
According to a new logline for Resident Evil, "Nearly three decades after the discovery of the T-virus, an outbreak reveals the Umbrella Corporation's dark secrets."
The series will be split across two timelines, as earlier reported. The first centers around 14-year-old sisters Jade and Billie Wesker. They relocate with their dad, Albert, to New Raccoon City, which they slowly find out is more than what it seems on the surface. More so, their dad could be hiding dark secrets that threaten to destroy the world.
The second timeline takes place more than a decade in the future when there are less than 15 million people left on earth. The rest of humanity has been transformed into monsters by the T-virus. A 30-year-old Jade struggles to survive as she grapples with past secrets about her sister and father.
Constantin Films, which produces this series, is also working on a separate Resident Evil movie with director Johannes Roberts, who finished filming this year with a cast including Kaya Scodelario and Robbie Amell. Then there's the CG-animated Resident Evil series at Netflix. In short, Resident Evil is having a major resurgence.