Nowadays, most of the special effects work for Hollywood blockbusters is filmed on a soundstage in front of a green screen. But for director Paul W.S. Anderson, who is directing a live-action adaptation of the best-selling gaming series Monster Hunter, such an approach leads to the world of the movie looking fake. Instead, Anderson told SYFY WIRE how he filmed the movie in real, remote locations for authentic world-building.
"I felt it was really important to get out on location and shoot if we wanted to do justice to the amazing landscapes from the game, and that's exactly what we did. We shot the movie in Africa and we've got lush jungles, we've got deserts that reflect the Wildspire Waste from the game, and beautiful, stunning locations, some of which have never been shot before. And there's a reason for that because they were just in the middle of nowhere."
Such an approach to shooting a big-budget action movie does not make things easy for the large cast and crew, and Paul W.S. Anderson went on to explain the difficulties his team had to face for the sake of authenticity.
"For most of the movie the crew were living in tents, in these tent villages that we put up hundreds of miles from the closest town or village. We were shooting in the middle of nowhere capturing these insane landscapes we then put these giant monsters into. And it's really given the movie a fantastic look because the only thing that's CG in the film are the monsters. It's given the animators reality to key into."
"So rather than being in Pinewood Studios and shooting it against a green screen, we're on these epic, real locations with real lens flare, real dust, real foliage, real water. Real environments that the animators can lock the creatures into. It's given the movie a really epic, lush feel that I'm very, very excited about."
The gaming series that Anderson is mining the story for his movie from tells the story of a group of monster hunters who are tasked by the citizens of a distant land to dispatch a series of increasingly larger and more fearsome monsters. Players have to use their tools in imaginative ways to craft new weapons to take on the monsters, either one-on-one or as teams.
A big part of the appeal of the game series lies in the beautifully rendered monsters and lush landscape that forms the backdrop for all the battles between man and beast, so fans will be happy to learn about the lengths that the movie is going to in making the world of Monster Hunter come alive on the big screen.
The live-action adaptation made with Anderson at the helm stars Milla Jovovich, Ron Perlman, TI, Tony Jaa, and Diego Boneta in the lead roles. Anderson has established himself as a leading voice when it comes to gaming adaptations, with his past movies Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil still considered some of the few bright spots in an otherwise beleaguered genre. Monster Hunter is expected to arrive in theaters April 23, 2021. This story comes to us from Syfy.