As the January 2017 release of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter quickly approaches, director Paul W.S. Anderson and his producing partner, Jeremy Bolt, have been hard at work on his next big move—film adaptations of the #MonsterHunter games.
Anderson has revealed that he has already written the script for the first movie, and his team at Impact Pictures have prepared visual renderings to aid them in the search for a home for the franchise.
Paul W.S. Anderson: From Resident Evil To Monster Hunter
In an interview with Deadline, Anderson gives us the logline for his take on the Monster Hunter series:
For every Monster, there is a Hero. An ordinary man in a dead end job discovers that he is actually the descendant of an ancient hero. He must travel to a mystical world to train to become a Monster Hunter, before the mythical creatures from that world destroy ours.
Sounds like a tall order—both for the hero and for the master of gaming adaptations, right? Here's what we're working with:
Monster Hunter: The Series
In the Monster Hunter games, you as the player take on the role of a hunter exploring a fantasy world, completing quests and encountering monsters that you can kill or capture. Traveling from town to town, you manage your resources and prepare for your quests in an effort to support or protect the townspeople that you meet along the way.
The most recent English language release of Monster Hunter was Monster Hunter: Generations for 3DS, released in July of this year. Here's the trailer from the E3 2016 announcement:
The games themselves are, without a doubt, pretty amazing. They are visually stunning and there is no shortage of extraordinary and intimidating beasts poised for battle throughout your adventures. Seeing these worlds in all of their splendor on the silver screen would be pretty cool...but the question on our minds then becomes: Should there be a Monster Hunter movie?
An awesome Monster Hunter movie? Maybe not...
While the #ResidentEvil film franchise has seen commercial success, its take on the game has consistently been met with criticism from diehard fans and critics alike. Few among us are fans of the abundance of slow-motion, CGI filled battle scenes that have become his trademark.
And about his non-gaming related films? Not even #GameOfThrones' Kit Harrington could save Anderson's Pompeii from box office failure. So, if you're as skeptical as I am based on his track record, that'd be understandable.
There is also the rather pervasive opinion that video game adaptations tend to be low-quality films on the whole. At first glance, there is really no reason why we should expect anything different from yet another adaptation from Anderson...
Could Monster Hunter break the mold?
Upon closer analysis, a Monster Hunter movie franchise makes a lot of sense. The series' bestseller status with Capcom has garnered a great deal of popularity in Japan and China. There is even a Monster Hunter themed ride at the Universal Studios Theme Park in Japan! As the English translations of the games become more frequent, this fanfare spreads further into the West.
Though there is much to be said about film adaptations of #VideoGames as a whole in the critical sense, Paul W.S. Anderson is a veteran in his own right. In additional to the Resident Evil movie series, Anderson directed a Mortal Kombat film which has carried a cult following ever since its release in 1995. While every Resident Evil movie may not have been the best, Anderson, an avid gamer himself, is known for staying true to the spirit of his source material.
Besides, despite the shortcomings of his work, Anderson continues to earn the trust of Capcom with two of their most beloved IPs and maybe that counts for something.
Nevertheless, Wesker's got words of encouragement for Paul W.S. Anderson and team:
How're you feeling about bringing the great hunt to the big screen?