For the past 15 years, director Paul W.S. Anderson and actor Milla Jovovich have somehow done the impossible: they've made a profitable video game movie franchise. All told, the Resident Evil series has grossed over $900 million at the box office, making it the most successful film franchise based on a video game of all time.
Later this month, the sixth and final Resident Evil movie, fittingly titled The Final Chapter, will enter theaters and likely push the franchise past the $1 billion mark. Anderson isn't looking to move very far from it though, as his next project will see him adapting another Capcom game for the big screen. He and partner Jeremy Bolt are set to turn the popular Monster Hunter game into a whole new film series (no word yet on whether Jovovich will be the star). With Anderson's track record for adapting video games into successful movies (including the first Mortal Kombat film which he directed), though, Monster Hunter may be another hit for the director.
During the recent press junket for Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Screen Rant asked Anderson about adapting video game franchises and what he plans to do next. He was open about tackling Monster Hunter and admitted he's excited to get to work:
"There's another game that Capcom, who make Resident Evil, have created called Monster Hunter which is these amazing, amazing creatures in these fantastical realms, I'm very excited about that."
Though Resident Evil has been far more succesful outside of the U.S., perhaps Monster Hunter will be a different story. Mortal Kombat made good on its modest budget back in the '90s thanks to domestic fans, and the first Resident Evil was reasonablly well-received here. Perhaps a fresh start on a new franchise, one the director previously compared to Star Wars, will energize audiences and break the video game movie curse that seems to exist in North America.
Assassin's Creed, the latest attempt at translating a popular game into a hit film, recently came up surprisingly short in terms of ticket sales. Part of that may have been the challenge of competing against Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Anderson may not necessarily be a household name, but he certainly knows how to set realistic expectations and make sure his budget matches them. Regardless of the final product, it's hard to argue with Anderson's rate of success. Monster Hunter certainly offers some interesting visual and narrative elements for a movie, and Deadpool proved that a low-budget action film can turn a high profit and win over audiences.
Screen Rant will bring you more news on Monster Hunter and Resident Evil it arrives.
- Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017) release date: Jan 27, 2017