It’s not often that video game movie adaptations live up to the expectations of the source material that many have entrenched themselves closely with, let alone building on the extensive canon and lore of those series. For Paul W.S. Anderson’s Monster Hunter, the latter is definitely the case.
In a recent interview with Geek Culture, the British director went on record to confirm that the film will take place directly after the events of 2018’s Monster Hunter World. Specifically, it will be right after the main narrative of the 2019 expansion Iceborne.
Anderson stated that, even though the movie will be seen primarily through the eyes of Milla Jovovich’s Lt. Natalie Artemis, a newcomer to the world of Monster Hunter, fans will be able to “recognise” various characters “taken directly” from the game.
Already in the trailer, we’ve seen Tony Jaa as The Hunter, who bears a striking resemblance to Field Team Leader, as well as The Handler, played by Hirona Yamazaki. He mentions that other familiar faces such as The Admiral, the Meowscular Chef, Aiden and Lea will all be present in the movie as well.
How exactly the film will tie in to the events of the game remains to be seen, but Anderson, being a fan of the Monster Hunter franchise for over a decade now, is hell-bent on doing the series justice on the big screen. After all, he had worked with games’ director Kaname Fujioka and producer Ryozo Tsujimoto in developing the story of this movie, as well as the models of the monsters that have graced the covers of the games.
“The idea of a real world character traveling to the Monster Hunter world was inspired by a crossover that Monster Hunter actually did with Metal Gear Solid several years ago, where you had Solid Snake [as a playable skin]. So you had ‘real-world’ military characters crossing over into the Monster Hunter world and being confronted by the creatures. And I thought that was a very organic approach for me to kind of take something that was already part of the games and use that as part of my adaptation,” explained Anderson.
“And the advantage of it for me was that it really allowed me — and the audience — to see the Monster Hunter world through fresh eyes, which recreates the experience you have as a gamer when you play it for the first time.”
Monster Hunter premieres in cinemas on 30 December 2020.
Marion has a serious RPG addiction. Sometimes it bleeds into real life; he forgets to sleep because he thinks he has a Witcher’s body clock. Forgive him in advance if he suddenly blurts out terms such as “Mind Flayer” and “Magic Missile”, because never once does he stop thinking about his next Dungeons & Dragons game.