Video Game adaptations are still a tricky business in Hollywood, but that isn't going to stop filmmakers from trying to make them work. We can now add Monster Hunter to the growing list of movies based on video games in active development. The man behind it? Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil director Paul W.S. Anderson.
The director recently spoke with Deadline and revealed that he intends to make Monster Hunter his next movie. He is currently in post-production on Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, another video game adaptation, at least in name, which is due out in January. Here is what he had to say about what he is planning for his Monster Hunter adaptation.
""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."
Paul W.S. Anderson is very right. Monster Hunter, though very popular, has very little to offer players in terms of plot. The game essentially revolves around the very simple concept of players leveling up their characters and slaying giant, though awesome, monsters. Visually and conceptually, there is a lot going on there. The difference being that Resident Evil had a lot to mine in terms of story and they just decided to do their own thing with it. Monster Hunter is a canvas that has some cool stuff on it that he could fill in with story. He did reveal that there would be one pretty major change from the game to the movie, saying that the final act would bring these monsters to the real world.
"The final act comes back to our world and it's basically this epic battle in and around LAX. Then at the end we're suddenly confronted with the fact that the mythological creatures of our world have come back to wreak vengeance. So we definitely have the second film where that would be planned out."
It could be argued that there has never been a truly great movie adaptation of a video game. Assassin's Creed may be able to change that next month, but that remains to be seen. That said, Paul W.S. Anderson has maybe come the closest on a semi-consistent basis. Mortal Kombat was one of the earliest attempts at a video game adaptation in Hollywood. By today's standards, it is very cheesy and the effects don't hold up, but the bones of it actually are pretty close to the mark. Outside of that, he has directed four of the Resident Evil movies and that is the most successful video game movie franchise of all time. So he has had success in this arena. During his interview with Deadline, he even went so far as to reveal the logline for his Monster Hunter movie. Here is how he put it.
"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."
There is no release date or projected start date for Monster Hunter yet, but Anderson has already completed the script for the first movie. He is working with his Resident Evil producing partner Jeremy Bolt and developing the project for Paul W.S. Anderson's Impact Studios. Monster Hunter, like Resident Evil, is a video game franchise made by Capcom, so maybe he can strike lightning twice with the same developer. Hopefully, this time around the project can strike a better chord with critics, which would help in the long run in terms of franchise potential for Monster Hunter. We will be sure to keep you posted as more details on the project become available.