New Resident Evil movie explains why Jill Valentine hasn’t aged

What’s her secret? Image: Capcom/TMS Entertainment/PNGWing/Kotaku

During yesterday’s Capcom Showcase stream, we got another look at the latest Resident Evil CG movie, Resident Evil: Death Island. The trailer featured classic RE characters like boulder-punching enthusiast Chris Redfield; Karen heartthrob Leon S. Kennedy; and railgun-wielding badass Jill Valentine. While Chris and Leon have aged noticeably since their last major video game appearance, Jill doesn’t seem to have aged a day since Resident Evil 2. Of course, Capcom has a silly explanation for why that is.

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Set between Resident Evil 6 and Resident Evil 7, Resident Evil: Death Island 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 puzzle on aging.

Apparently, aging is scary

Rather than simply saying they prefer Jill’s character model in Resident Evil 3 Remake, the official Death Island Twitter account said in a new character bio post that the side effects of Jill’s T-Virus infection “slowed down her aging.”

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Lore nerds like me will remember that in Resident Evil 3, Jill was infected with the T-Virus when she was 23 years old. According to Capcom’s official RE timeline, RE3 took place in 1998 and Death Island in 2015, which would make Jill around 40 years old. Leon and Chris would be 38 and 42 years old respectively. But why Jill’s apparent ability to stop the passage of time also means she has to wear the same late ’90s clothes is beyond me.

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The real reason Capcom chose to be a coward and not let Jill age alongside her male counterparts is more likely because there’s nothing more terrifying in pop culture than women aging like normal people. Look no further than the fact that Chun-Li’s character model in Street Fighter 6 looks almost as young as he did in Street Fighter II. While we could attribute Chun-Li and Jill’s lack of aging to being born with good genes (altered genes in Jill’s case), it’s pretty obvious that Capcom is reluctant to create significantly aged versions of its various female characters. While Capcom could attribute the timeless appearance of Chunner, Cammy, and others to Street Fighter’s admittedly chaotic timeline, much like Jill’s lack of aging, it smacks that a woman’s worth in our society is closely tied to beauty and a youthful appearance . As much as it’s not surprising, it still sucks to watch.

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Death Island will be the fifth in the series for those who haven’t kept up with the canon, so bad it’s good Resident Evil CG movies. RE’s CG films (in chronological order) include Resident Evil Degeneration (2006), Damnation (2012), Vendetta (2017) and Infinite Darkness (2021). They are all terrible and I love them.

Resident Evil: Death Island is due out this summer.