During yesterday’s Capcom Showcase stream we got another look at the newest Resident Evil CG film, Resident Evil: Death Island. The trailer featured classic RE characters like boulder-punching enthusiast Chris Redfield; the Karen hair-bob heartthrob Leon S. Kennedy; and the railgun-wielding badass, Jill Valentine. While Chris and Leon have noticeably aged since their last major video game appearance, Jill appears not to have aged a day since Resident Evil 2. Of course, Capcom has a silly storyline explanation for why that is.
Resident Evil: Death Island, which takes place between Resident Evil 6 and Resident Evil 7, follows two separate storylines in which Leon attempts to rescue a kidnapped doctor while Chris investigates a zombie outbreak in California. Jill later joins Leon and Chris in zombie shenanigans after a T-virus rehabilitation session. This nugget of information will be an important piece of the Jill de-aging puzzle.
Instead of simply saying that they prefer Jill’s character model in Resident Evil 3 Remake, the official Death Island Twitter, in a new character bio post, said the side effects of Jill’s T-Virus infection “slowed her aging.”
Lore nerds like myself will recall that Jill was infected with the T-Virus in Resident Evil 3 when she was 23 years old. According to Capcom’s official RE timeline, RE3 took place in 1998 and Death Island takes place in 2015, which would make Jill about 40 years old. Leon and Chris would be 38 and 42, respectively. But why Jill’s apparent ability to halt the passage of time also means she also has to wear the same clothes from the late ‘90s is beyond me.
More likely, the real reason Capcom decided to be a coward and not age Jill alongside her male costars is that in pop culture there’s nothing scarier than women aging like normal human beings. Look no further than the fact that Chun-Li’s character model in Street Fighter 6 looks almost as young as she did in Street Fighter II. While we could chalk Chun-Li and Jill’s lack of aging to them being born with good genes (altered genes in Jill’s case) it’s pretty obvious that Capcom is hesitant to create more obviously aged renditions of its various female characters. Though Capcom could chalk up Chunner, Cammy, et al’s ageless appearance to Street Fighter’s admittedly messy timeline, it, much like Jill’s lack of aging, smacks of how a woman’s value in our society is closely tied to beauty and a youthful appearance. As much as it fails to surprise, it still sucks to see.
Death Island will mark the fifth in the series for those who haven’t been keeping up with the canonical, so-bad-they’re-good Resident Evil CG films. RE’s CG movies (in chronological order) include Resident Evil Degeneration (2006), Damnation (2012), Vendetta (2017), and Infinite Darkness (2021). They’re all terrible, and I love them.
Resident Evil: Death Island is slated to release later this summer.