The bestselling video game franchise Resident Evil already has a major film franchise, but the story is now being mined for TV in a Netflix series. Also headed to the small screen: a charity special that reunites the cast of The West Wing for a reading of the famous “Hartsfield’s Landing” episode. HBO has added a slew of famous faces to new projects Between the World and Me and Equal. Learn about these and more casting, development and trailer news that happened in TV this week.
Step aside Walking Dead. One of the most popular, best-selling survival horror video games of all time, Resident Evil, is getting a scripted animated series adaptation at Netflix (and no, it won’t be related to Paul W. S. Anderson’s Milla Jovovich movies). The streaming service has teamed up with Capcom to bring the story, set in two different timelines, to your screen.
“In the first timeline, 14-year-old sisters Jade and Billie Wesker are moved to New Raccoon City. A manufactured, corporate town, forced on them right as adolescence is in full swing. But the more time they spend there, the more they come to realize that the town is more than it seems and their father may be concealing dark secrets. Secrets that could destroy the world,” reads the official description. “Cut to the second timeline, well over a decade into the future: there are less than 15 million people left on Earth. And more than six billion monsters — people and animals infected with the T-virus. Jade, now 30, struggles to survive in this New World, while the secrets from her past — about her sister, her father and herself — continue to haunt her.”
Former Supernatural showrunner Andrew Dabb will be at the helm of the new series, and fans need not worry because Resident Evil is his favorite game of all time.
“For every type of Resident Evil fan, including those joining us for the first time, the series will be complete with a lot of old friends, and some things (bloodthirsty, insane things) people have never seen before,” Dabb said in a statement.
Aaron Sorkin and his West Wing cast are reuniting for a very good cause: The creative team from the long-running political drama, which ended in 2006 after seven seasons, have teamed up with Michelle Obama for a fundraiser in support of When We All Vote. The non-profit, non-partisan organization, co-chaired by the former First Lady, was founded to increase participation in every election in America.
A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote, directed by Thomas Schlamme, will see Rob Lowe, Dulé Hill, Allison Janney, Janel Moloney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford and Martin Sheen perform a staged reading of the episode “Hartsfield’s Landing” as well as a special message from Obama, plus additional cast members and special guests from the worlds of public service and the arts. It’ll film over multiple days in October at the Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles. WarnerMedia will also make a donation to the organization.
The second season of The Witcher is currently filming in Europe, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until 2021 for new Witcher content. Netflix has released a trailer for its new behind-the-scenes documentary Making The Witcher, which provides 32 minutes of star Henry Cavill and the other people responsible for the visual effects, fight choreography, and more. It’s available to watch on Netflix now.
More trailers and teasers released this week:
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Comedian Ayo Edebiri will be the new voice of Missy on Netflix’s animated coming-of-age comedy Big Mouth. The biracial character has been voiced by Jenny Slate since season one, but Edebiri will take over in the penultimate episode of the upcoming fourth season as Missy “continues to evolve.” Edebiri has also joined the writer’s room for season five. Big Mouth‘s fourth season will premiere this fall, and the series has already been renewed by Netflix through season six.
HBO has added more than a half dozen new performers to the cast of its adaptation of Between the World and Me: Emmy winner Jharrel Jerome, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Janet Mock, Jason Moran, Wendell Pierce, Mj Rodriguez, Kendrick Sampson, Yara Shahidi, and Michelle Wilson are joining the previously announced cast of Angela Bassett, Alicia Garza, Joe Morton, Phylicia Rashad, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Courtney B. Vance, Pauletta Washington, Susan Kelechi Watson and Oprah Winfrey. The production is based on the critically acclaimed stage show that adapts Ta-Nehisi Coates’ No. 1 New York Times-bestseller of the same name.
Luke Cage has a new gig: Mike Colter, formerly known as the Marvel superhero and more recently seen starring in CBS’s Evil, appears in Jenji Kohan’s remotely produced pandemic anthology series Social Distance alongside Danielle Brooks (Orange Is the New Black), Asante Blackk (When They See Us), Daphne Rubin-Vega (In the Heights), Okieriete Onaodowan (Hamilton), Peter Scanavino (Law & Order: SVU), Guillermo Diaz (Scandal), Becky Ann Baker (Girls) and Dylan Baker (The Good Wife), and Oscar Nunez (The Office). The cast members filmed themselves from home, and some of their real-life family members will star alongside them.
Mary McCormack is joining former Arrow star Stephen Amell in the Starz wrestling drama Heels. She’ll play Willie, the business partner of Jack Spade (Amell) and the brains behind the local wrestling organization that she helps run.
This Is Us star Justin Hartley will play both star and executive producer in The Noel Diary, a film adaptation of Richard Paul Evans’ 2017 novel. He’ll be joined in the Netflix drama by Bonnie Bedelia and Treat Williams.
A scripted series based on the unbelievable-but-true story documented in Tiger King is officially headed to NBC: Kate McKinnon will play wildlife enthusiast Carole Baskin in Joe Exotic, based not on the wildly popular Netflix docuseries (pictured), but the Wondery podcast of the same name.
Keira Knightley is trying her hand at TV, starring in and executive producing the Apple TV+ series The Essex Serpent. The period drama is based on Sarah Perry’s bestselling novel of the same name. The series follows newly widowed Cora (Knightley) who, having being released from an abusive marriage, relocates from Victorian London to the small village of Aldwinter in Essex, intrigued by a local superstition that a mythical creature known as the Essex Serpent has returned to the area.
Iconic animated series The Powerpuff Girls is getting a live-action adaptation: Mega-producer Greg Berlanti has teamed up with Diablo Cody to develop a continuation of the story featuring the titular superheroes as jaded, disillusioned twentysomethings who resent that they essentially lost their child hood to fighting crime. But when the world needs them more than ever, will they push past their ill feelings and reunite?
Fox is doubling down on its musical reality series this fall: The network is pairing its hit The Masked Singer with a brand new series called I Can See Your Voice. Hosted by Ken Jeong, who will sit on a panel alongside actresses Cheryl Hines and Adrienne Bailon-Houghton, the judges will be joined by a rotating panel of celebrity detectives to help each contestant try to figure out whether someone is a good or a bad singer without ever hearing them sing a note. Using clues, interrogation, and lip sync challenges, the contestant will ultimately choose one person who will then duet with a musician to reveal their true skills. It will premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 23 after the fourth season premiere of The Masked Singer.
Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Netflix’s Resident Evil series would be live action; however, it is animated.