Monster Hunter World has done the business for Capcom, selling over 10m copies to date. Now's as good a time as any to capitalise on the series then - and what better way to reach the masses than with an authentic Monster Hunter movie experience that really sells the world of Capcom's long-running franchise? Alternatively, how about a movie where some soldiers fall into a portal and shoot some stuff? BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE PROBABLY GETTING.
A Monster Hunter movie was first rumoured in 2012, with Resident Evil and Event Horizon director Paul W. S. Anderson's name attached. Anderson's name stuck, and, after months of pre-production talk earlier this year (including the casting of Milla Jovovich and Diego Boneta), Capcom finally confirmed that a Monster Hunter movie was go.
With production on the Monster Hunter movie now underway - principal photography is occurring in South Africa and Namibia - we're starting to get a clearer idea of what Anderson's final vision for the film might entail. Here, for instance, is an on-set shot of Boneta's character, recently posted to the actor's Instagram page.
According to Capcom's official movie synopsis, the film "tells the story of two heroes who come from different worlds to defeat a shared danger, the powerful, deadly and magnificent monsters that inhabit the land. Along the way viewers will make new discoveries and encounter familiar faces and beloved characters from the games like the Admiral". So perhaps this shot is from before Boneta starts farming his G-rank Diablos armour.
As for the backdrop, Anderson's words in 2016 seemed to suggest that his vision for Monster Hunter involves quite a lot of sand. Explaining how much he loved Capcom's "incredibly beautiful, immersive world", Anderson immediately fixated on the series' more arid climes: "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," he told Deadline, "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," he continued, "We've found a way of connecting the Dune-like sand covered world of Monster Hunter with our world. So we're bringing this massive Japanese game into the world of America." Sand!
Later, he revealed that, through the wonders of a magic portal, "the movie starts in our world and then it goes to the Monster Hunter world and then the final act comes back to our world and it's basically this epic battle in and around [Los Angeles International Airport]." So, assuming plans haven't changed, that's certainly something.
Admittedly, Anderson's Resident Evil movies did manage to serve up a decent amount of brainless fun at their best, so there's some hope for Monster Hunter yet - provided expectations are kept firmly in check, of course. Capcom hasn't yet offered an anticipated release window for its Monster Hunter movie outing, though, so it might be a while before we know if it's more Resident Evil: Extinction than Final Chapter.