While details are currently pretty scarce, a Resident Evil show is in development at Netflix. The streaming giant has confirmed as much, even though a final entry in the video game adaptation film franchise is also being planned. The series may have some connection with the movies, as it’s being headed by Constantin Films who had a hand in making the Milla Jovovich-starring horror flicks.
However, many reports have suggested that the Netflix series will be taking another approach to the story and it will be a different kind of animal than the films that preceded it. There is a lot of ways the streaming service could go with the franchise, especially since they’re reported to be starting from scratch. With that in mind, Headstuff will look at the few things Netflix could do with the project that will set it apart from previous cinematic entries.
What We Know So Far
Other than the fact that Constantin Films are set to be heavily involved in the series, little concrete information has been released about the show. This could be down to the fact that the project is still early in development. Having said that, it has been reported the Resident Evil Netflix show will focus a lot more on the inner-workings of the Umbrella Corporation.
It’s also been suggested that the new adaptation will focus on the initial T-Virus outbreak that was shown in the first few games in the franchise, most notably 1 and 2. The new series could tie in nicely to the recent remaster of Resident Evil 2. This may even provide some kind of hint as to what direction the production is planning on going in.
Keeping Things Small
The first installment in the film franchise was arguably the best to be released, with the remainder steadily declining in quality over the years. This is because the movie kept things relatively confined and it focused on an outbreak of the T-Virus in a production facility located under a mansion. It also dealt heavily with Umbrella’s involvement in the creation and containment of the virus.
Given that Netflix’s adaptation is set to focus on the involvement of Umbrella, it makes sense that they would keep the entire show relatively self-contained. This worked wonders with the first film and the first few installments of the game. As the franchise grew the overall quality and terror of the franchise began to decrease. This could be best seen in the likes of Resident Evil 5 and the most recent film.
However, the success of the Resident Evil 2 remaster has shown just how great keeping the world self-contained can be. Telling a small, cohesive story can lead to some major success for the series, especially considering the many zombie shows that are operating on a somewhat grander scale these days.
This leads us nicely to just how scary the television show could actually be. The first film and original games worked so well because they played out in a confined space. The games made this much more effective with its camera angles. The use of small spaces can lend a whole lot more tension and suspense to the overall feel of the show. The first game was set in a mansion, while the first film did the same thing. However, the larger the environment that Resident Evil as it continued took place in, the more it felt like just a typical action-adventure. A self-contained narrative set within a minimal number of environments could allow Netflix’s adaptation to be a lot more terrifying .
Given the fact the streaming service will have several hours to tell a story – possibly upwards of a dozen – they’ll be able to use this tension to their advantage and give viewers an overall more horrifying experience. The sense of scale can make or break the show as it has with the games and films in the past. Keeping it lean could mean the difference between being that series everyone will love to be terrified by or one that everyone will love taking shots at.
With the fact that the Resident Evil movies have been lambasted over the years, it makes sense to avoid repeating the same mistakes that they did. Netflix have an amazing opportunity to show other content producers how a zombie series can be scary. Let’s just hope they don’t screw it up.