A fleet of military copters makes a stylish entrance in a new promo clip for Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness. It’s the year 2000. The U.S. army converges on the fictional Republic of Penamstan when one of the helis is taken down by hostiles. The remaining units are instructed by a control station to hold their positions, but one squad, codenamed Mad Dogs, defies orders and tries to make an assist. The team, led by a man named Jason, leads the helicopter to the ground as unidentified militia close in on the fallen unit’s survivors.
They manage to shoot down a handful of snipers and rescue one of the victims, only for an RPG to blow up in their faces. The clip ends on a cliffhanger. Did the Mad Dogs survive the firefight? How exactly do they figure into Resident Evil? The opening sequence of Netflix’s Infinite Darkness doesn’t offer much in terms of overarching conflict; no zombies were present in the video and neither Leon S. Kennedy nor Claire Redfield are anywhere to be found. But it definitely does the job of hooking casual viewers in.
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is an upcoming 3D CGI miniseries helmed by Netflix. It’s another twist on traditional Resident Evil lore, featuring fan-favorite characters Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield working together once more to thwart an Umbrella-level threat. Set between the events of Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, Infinite Darkness takes place six years after the Penamstan incident.
The White House has been hacked and Kennedy is enlisted by his superiors to respond to the problem. The hard-nosed former police officer gets more than what he bargained for when he discovers the building infested in zombies. Kennedy presumably tries to shoot his way out in classic Resident Evil fashion. Meanwhile, Claire Redfield is busy with her own investigation. A member of human rights organization TerraSave, the younger Redfield is handling the construction of a new welfare facility for child refugees when one catches her attention. She confiscates a bizarre-looking artwork from them and looks into its provenance, suspecting foul play.
The Netflix series borrows extensively from past Resident Evil CGI movies, notably Resident Evil: Degeneration, where Claire and Leon also feature. Claire Redfield is the younger sister of Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA) operative and former S.T.A.R.S. alpha team point man Chris Redfield. Claire last appeared in Resident Evil spinoff Operation Raccoon City (for the games) and Resident Evil: Degeneration (for the films). She was last played in live-action by Final Destination’s Ali Larter. Her brother Chris has had more appearances lately, having topbilled the franchise’s newest entry, Resident Evil Village, aiding protagonist Ethan Winters in his quest to save his wife and daughter from four superpowered Eastern European lords mutated with the same kind of Mold that created the last installment’s villain, Eveline.
Chris made a cameo appearance at the end of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, arriving just in time to save the Winters from the Dulvey House. Leon Kennedy was last seen kicking major zombie butt in Resident Evil 6. Johann Urb (2012) played him in Paul W. S. Anderson’s Resident Evil: Retribution. Both Claire Redfield and Leon Kennedy are main characters in the upcoming reboot live-action film written and directed by horror movie mainstay Johannes Roberts. Now Apocalypse’s Avan Jogia and Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile’s Kaya Scodelario will be playing Kennedy and Redfield, respectively, in Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City.
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness was originally marketed as an anime, but ended up being made entirely in CGI, similar to the games’ computer-generated cutscenes. The plot itself is an interesting departure from Ethan Winters’s story, which involved entirely new characters and subplots. Infinite Darkness is basically a return to form for Resident Evil, featuring classic franchise heroes front and center. TMS Entertainment and Quebico are responsible for the show’s impressive new animation, with Eiichirō Hasumi directing and Yugo Kanno (Beautiful Bones) composing the score. The series was officially announced last year by executive producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi at the Tokyo Game Show, followed by a Biohazard Showcase panel in April. A manga will be released by Tokyopop the same time as the show. It hits Netflix on July 8.