With January's Resident Evil: The Final Chapter signaling a hiatus for the game-based movies, the filmmaker most closely associated with it is hoping to duplicate that success with another Capcom franchise. As reported by Deadline, Paul W.S. Anderson has finished a script for a Monster Hunter movie, and will be shopping it around to studios with long-time producing partner Jeremy Bolt.
"What I love about Monster Hunter is the incredibly beautiful, immersive world they've created," Anderson told the site. "It's on the level of like a Star Wars movie, in terms of world creation. 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... I felt there was a fresh, exciting world that we could expose and build a whole world around, like a Marvel or Star Wars universe. Everything is about world creation, nowadays, and how can you build a world where you can have multiple stories going on? I thought this was our opportunity to have a cinematic universe."
Anderson is virtually unique as a filmmaker in that he has multiple successful game-to-film adaptations to his credit. Beyond the Resident Evil series (which has done more than $900 million in box office receipts worldwide to date), he also directed the original Mortal Kombat movie in 1995. His track record is not unblemished, however, as he and Bolt also produced the 2007 Dead or Alive adaptation which was both a critical and commercial flop.
The Monster Hunter film is expected to come in with a budget around $50 million, about the same as the last Resident Evil movie, and a PG-13 rating. Anderson and Bolt are particularly optimistic about the project's potential with audiences in China and Japan, where the series is better known than in the West. The Chinese market in particular is capable of salvaging a flop elsewhere in the world, as this year's Warcraft adaptation showed.
Monster Hunter games have sold 38 million copies since the franchise's debut in 2004, putting it on par with Street Fighter, which first appeared in arcades in 1987. Among Capcom's franchises, only Resident Evil has sold more (71 million).