After six successful films adapted from the Resident Evil video game series, the actor/director team of Milla Jovovich and Paul W.S. Anderson (who also happen to be a husband and wife team) are bringing another Capcom franchise to the big screen: Monster Hunter.
Anderson told SYFY WIRE last year that he was developing the project, based on the popular series of video games in which players in a high fantasy setting go on quests to hunt down various monsters, and that he hoped to get it off the ground this year, but that there were "no guarantees" at the time.
Now the project is off and running with Resident Evil production company Constantin Film. Constantin head Martin Moszkowicz told Variety over the weekend that the film is set to start shooting in South Africa in September, with a $60 million budget (similar to what Resident Evil: Afterlife received).
“The crews are great there and, at least for a European company, it’s easy to get there: Same time zone, overnight flights. We are very much in a comfort zone of production,” Moszkowicz said of South Africa, where the final Resident Evil film was also shot.
Moszkowicz said Constantin aims to finance the film largely on its own, with additional help from deals made with "a big company" in Japan (Monster Hunter's home) and another in China. The project is also set to reunite Anderson — who will once again serve as both writer and director — and Jovovich with Resident Evil producer Jeremy Bolt and Candian visual effects studio Mr. X, which also worked on the Resident franchise.
Launched by Capcom in 2004, the Monster Hunter series has so far spawned five main series games and several spinoffs, including mobile and online versions. The franchise has also since expanded to include an anime series, a manga, and a card game, and the most recent installment of the game series — Monster Hunter: World — was its most acclaimed and bestselling yet, moving 7.9 million copies since January.
Rumblings of a film adaptation have been happening for several years, and now the time seems right for Anderson to strike. As with Resident Evil, Constantin sees the launch of Monster Hunter on the big screen as the start of a potential franchise.
“We are in the business of brand creation,” Moszkowicz said.
At this point, there is no announced plot synopsis for the Monster Hunter movie, and no casting information apart from Jovovich's involvement. We'll keep you updated as we learn more.