As much as they don’t seem to resonate with critics, video game movies have found some success with viewers. The biggest success naturally being Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil franchise, which is set to debut its sixth and final installment next month, with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Unless that film proves an utter disaster (which isn’t likely), it will push the series over a billion dollars in total worldwide gross at the box office. This is a massive achievement for a video game movie series.
With Resident Evil now coming to an end, however, it was only a matter of time before Anderson found his next project. It now looks like the director, whose first major success was a video game adaptation in 1995’s Mortal Kombat, will stick to what he knows best and look toward launching yet another hopeful game franchise with Monster Hunter.
According to Deadline, Anderson and Jeremy Bolt, his production partner at Impact Pictures, have begun negotiations to bring Monster Hunter to the big screen. Anderson has already written a script for what will presumably be the first film in a potential series and is slated to direct as well. Should the adaptation come to life, Anderson will once again team with VFX studio Mr. X, who he collaborated with on the Resident Evil films. This will help Monster Hunter stay at a mid-range budget of around $50 million, much like his previous franchise. When asked how he approached the vast mythology and scope of bringing such a game to life, Anderson revealed:
What I love about Monster Hunter is the incredibly beautiful, immersive world they’ve created. It’s on the level of like a Star Wars movie, in terms of world creation. There are no real central characters so it’s a bit like when we first approached Resident Evil and imposed our own characters and story on that world. I think this is a perfect IP for us to do exactly that same thing again. The Monster Hunter world includes these huge deserts that make the Gobi Desert look like a sandbox, and they have ships that sail through the sand. These full-on galleons, but rather than sailing on the ocean waves, they sail through waves of sand.
You’re fighting these giant creatures, some as big as a city block. They live underneath the Earth and when they burst out, it’s like the best of Dune. You also have these flying dragons, giant spiders, the most wonderful creatures. That’s what really attracted me. I felt there was a fresh, exciting world that we could expose and build a whole world around, like a Marvel or Star Wars universe. Everything is about world creation, nowadays, and how can you build a world where you can have multiple stories going on? I thought this was our opportunity to have a cinematic universe.
Monster Hunter the game comes from Capcom, the same company that publishes the Resident Evil video games, so Anderson getting the rights for the former should be a sure thing. Judging from the above comments, Anderson seems genuinely excited to bring the world of Monster Hunter to life. In fact, this isn’t the first time he’s expressed interest in making the film. The biggest challenge will be in making the film accessible to American audiences, who haven’t been quite as rabid as Japanese fans in their love of the 5-game series. Those who are already fans of Anderson’s Resident Evil films will more than likely flock to theaters, however.
Naturally, there will be some who aren’t exactly thrilled at this news, as the Resident Evil films haven’t exactly adapted the games faithfully or been met with the most positive of critical reception. And, by his own words, Anderson seems poised to change just as much with Monster Hunter as he did with that film franchise. Still, given the film’s smaller budget and Anderson’s proven track record in the video game genre, a move like this just makes sense.
Screen Rant will keep you updated as more Monster Hunter news develops.