Hollywood adaptations of video game franchises have a…less than ideal track record, let’s say.
The past five years alone have seen half a dozen attempts to bring some of gaming’s biggest IPs to the silver screen, with the likes of Rampage, Assassin’s Creed and Tomb Raider all releasing to mixed critical reception and middling box office returns. Which seems to be the status quo for adaptations, a glut of middle of the road movies which few people see and even fewer people remember years later, except for one franchise, helmed by one man. Despite massive fan uproar and an onslaught of negative critical reactions, Paul W. S. Anderson’s Resident Evil films struck a chord with general audiences, and now Anderson is turning his attention to another Capcom IP. Even more, its leading lady has taken to Instagram to share some behind the scenes shots.
Anderson’s work on video game adaptations began with Mortal Kombat (1995), a campy, first shot across the bow for the auteur.
A cheesy, action-packed affair that favored spectacle over cohesion (an Anderson mainstay), the movie, along with his infamous Event Horizon, gave Anderson some very specific clout in the industry. Constantin Films, who owned the rights to Resident Evil were already on the lookout for someone to helm the big screen adaptation of the zombie game and the financial success of Mortal Kombat off a relatively low budget, paired with Anderson’s enthusiasm for the games, sealed the deal and history was made. The Resident Evil film franchise would go on to span 14 years, 6 films and give birth to the highest grossing video game movies of all time. Love em or hate em, nobody can deny the impact Anderson’s adaptations had on the industry.
2017 saw the conclusion of Anderson’s Resident Evil films with the fittingly titled The Final Chapter, and since the director has been relatively quiet, enjoying life with his wife and star of most of his biggest films, Milla Jovovich. Together the two of them have made several films and two daughters, but now the power-couple are returning to the big screen with the upcoming adaptation of Monster Hunter. Details on the film are still minimal but a basic plot summary sees Jovovich and her military troops transported through a wormhole into the monster-infested world. Once in the new land, the soldiers team up with humans from the alternate reality to fight off hordes of monsters and prevent them from escaping into our world.
The premise and photos shared below by Jovovich certainly paint a picture and the modern military angle is bound to ruffle some purists feathers, but for fans of Anderson, this all seems very much on brand.
I’ve been a huge fan of Anderon’s work since Event Horizon and while the Resident Evil films were undoubtedly divisive, I found their particular combination of silly and serious to be utterly delightful. I’ll be keeping a close eye on Jovovich’s Instagram and keep you guys updated with the latest about Monster Hunter.
The film looks set to release sometime next year and will also star Ron Perlman, T.I. Harris and Tony Jaa.