Director #PaulWSAnderson may not be the greatest filmmaker alive, but he can still be proud of making the most profitable movie series based on video games so far. Thanks to him, #MortalKombat got one decent movie (the first one in 1997) and the Resident Evil movies have become a film franchise that keeps rising from the dead.
With the upcoming sixth #ResidentEvil movie #ResidentEvilTheFinalChapter, serving as the franchise's finale, it appears Anderson will be soon out of work. But if the director has it his way, Resident Evil won't be the last video game property he brings to theaters because he has is eye on another.
The Hunt Is On
During a recent press junket for Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, the Event Horizon director gave Screenrant a quick update on his next movie, an adaptation of the popular #Capcom franchise #MonsterHunter. Anderson said:
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.
Anderson and Jeremy Bolt (Anderson's producing partner at Impact Pictures) talked about their upcoming project with Deadline last year. They talked in-depth about their next collaboration with Capcom, though at the time, all they did was confirm that a Monster Hunter movie was in the works. It's only now that a progress report has been given.
Bolt: ...We treated them [Capcom] with tremendous respect and earning their trust is one of the reasons for Monster Hunter, being the movie we’ll do next. They control the rights, and the game is now bigger for them than 'Resident Evil.'
Anderson: It’s very much their crown jewel.
Bolt: They’ve said what they love about Paul is he understood the spirit of the game and expanded and made more of it. Commercially and creatively, they really respect that. They are trusting us again, on Monster Hunter.
Anderson and Bolt envision Monster Hunter to be a potential cinematic universe, where the magical worlds filled with mythical creatures and human warriors would be on a level of fantasy equivalent to Star Wars. As Anderson told Deadline:
Everything is about world creation, nowadays, and how can you build a world where you can have multiple stories going on? I thought this [Monster Hunter] was our opportunity to have a cinematic universe.
Despite the mostly-negative critical reception that the Resident Evil movies have had, Capcom seems to have a lot of faith in Anderson. It speaks to his ability as a filmmaker that he's also managed to breach cultural boundaries and build a strong working relationship with the popular Japanese video game publisher.
Anderson Hunts Monsters
While Capcom may love working with Anderson, fans of the Monster Hunter games voiced concern when the director revealed his vision for the cinematic universe he has planned for the films based on the games.
To see why, check out the official logline of Anderson's proposed Monster Hunter, which he revealed to Deadline. Though not yet final, this logline seems to be Anderson's favorite since he's been promoting it and he even showed a visual effects test for it (see the image below).
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.
If not for the Monster Hunter job description, Anderson's story is very similar to many other ill-advised live-action fantasy adaptations. The fundamental mistake of films like Masters Of The Universe (1987) and In The Name Of The King 2: Two Worlds (2011) was that they ignored the unique fantasy settings of their source materials and wasted so much time in the "real world." .
Anderson's take on Monster Hunter has caused a stir in the fanbase, especially with his plans for the focal character. Due to the lack of a central character in each of the games, Anderson is looking to create a new, distinct protagonist similar to Alice (Milla Jovovich) in his Resident Evil films.
Anderson became infamous among die-hard Resident Evil fans after he centered the entire franchise on Alice, a movie-exclusive character who got more screen time than established characters from the video games.
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The Monster Hunter games (check out the trailer for Monster Hunter: Generations above) are primarily set in a fantasy world where the player's own customized character can do anything, like getting paid for slaughtering the indigenous species and hoarding innumerable amounts of natural resources. Not once is a "real world" or a "modern world" mentioned in the games, which is why Anderson's story raised so many eyebrows among the fanbase.
But given how many liberties Anderson took in his Resident Evil movies, his ideas for Monster Hunter shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
No matter which creative direction Anderson decides to take Monster Hunter in, the upcoming video game adaption will surely be something interesting for casual moviegoers, and the game's most dedicated fans, to talk about.
Are you looking forward to Monster Hunter?