The history of video games being adapted into live-action films has set the bar for accuracy incredibly low, even when taking recent successes like Detective Pikachu or Sonic the Hedgehog into account. That probably explains why the revelation that the upcoming Monster Hunter movie will bring the story out of its fantasy setting and into one reminiscent of Mad Max seems to have been met with less of a collective groan and more of an eye roll by fans of the long running game series.
But these players have nothing to fear, according to director Paul W.S. Anderson, who not only promised to stay faithful to the source material, but claims to have worked very closely with the original creators in a recent interview with Polygon.
“We worked very closely with Capcom on this one, much closer than on any other movie I’ve made. They were very, very involved with it. Everything was run by them and so they got input into absolutely everything. And then in the process of making the movie also, I would fly to Japan with rough cuts of the fight sequences with the creatures, and the actual game animators would comment on the movement of the creatures. ‘The movement of the creature isn’t exactly right here.’ ‘The creature would be a little lower.’ ‘The stance would be slightly different.’ ‘The toenails of the creature are too pointy.’ That was a great note. I’m like, ‘Oh my god, you’re looking at the toenails of the creature?’ We took all the notes because we wanted it to be for fans of the game, for us to put these creatures on screen as accurately as possible.”
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As impressive as Anderson’s openness for collaboration may be, his previous track record with video game movies still raises many an eyebrow among fans. His first breakout hit came in the form of 1995’s Mortal Kombat, based on the series of fighting titles created by Ed Boon and John Tobias. Folks generally consider this film to be a mostly accurate adaptation aside from being jarringly sanitized compared to the arcade experience. He then went on to direct several movies based on Resident Evil – another Capcom property – which fans generally tend to see less favorably.
With that said, both Resident Evil and Monster Hunter star Anderson’s wife Milla Jovovich, which might mean that Capcom has been impressed by their previous work with her. But whether or not she or the film can impress audiences will have to wait to be seen when Monster Hunter releases on December 30th.