A teaser trailer for Paul W.S. Anderson’s upcoming Monster Hunter film has leaked. The trailer was recorded on a cell phone by an audience member at the Shanghai International Film Festival.

Film adaptations of video games have a long and troubled history. The first wave of Hollywood game adaptations in the ‘90s leaned heavily on cheap sleaze, sometimes just painting over generic scripts with iconography from the hit game du jour, as in the 1994 camp classic Street Fighter. As the years have gone on and games have become a more mainstream phenomenon, adaptations have slowly become more respectful of their source material, though not necessarily better films overall. Christophe Gans’ Silent Hill was a passion project that was both aesthetically and narratively recognizable, and it was, you know, alright.

Anderson is already an old hand when it comes to film adaptations of games, and his trick so far has been to keep a foot in both of these camps. His Resident Evil films are visually reminiscent of the Capcom games, often importing creature and character designs unaltered, and their off-the-wall scripts are faithful to the spirit of the games as well. Other than that, though, they’re largely original stories set in the Resident Evil world, overlapping with the games’ canon only here and there. It’s been a successful approach for him, for certain definitions of the word “successful.” The Resident Evil films have always gotten death sentences from critics, but they make money hand over fist.

It’s early days, but Anderson’s Monster Hunter looks like it’s going to stick with this half-faithful, half-original formula. In fact, an early plot synopsis, in combination with this leaked teaser, suggest he’s pushing both of these approaches to their extremes. Anderson’s film will star Resident Evil’s Milla Jovovich as the improbably named Lt. Artemis, a modern day American soldier who gets transported somehow to the Monster Hunter universe. There’s she’ll meet Tony Jaa’s Hunter, a stand-in for Monster Hunter World’s player-created main character. Jaa’s character, the world he inhabits, and the monsters he fights all appear to be game-accurate representations of their equivalents from the Capcom series, of which Anderson is reportedly a fan.

《魔物獵人》真人電影於上海電影節曝光

在今日(17日)舉辦的上海國際電影節上首先公開了《魔物獵人》真人電影的 30 秒前導預告,本片預計於 2020 年上映。電影劇情將敘述聯合國部隊進入了通往另一個世界的傳送門,並在那協同其住民與巨型怪物戰鬥。該世界的人類必須與聯合國部隊們共同努力守護其傳送門以免怪物來到地球。短片中出現了蜜拉喬娃維琪所飾演的娜塔莉·阿蒂米斯上尉,以及東尼嘉飾演的調查團隊長、山崎紘菜飾演的接待員(受付娘)、以及神似《魔物獵人 世界》的大團長令玩家熟悉的角色。除了人類方登場以外,作為真正的電影主角,角龍、火龍的身影也在預告中現身。《魔物獵人》真人電影基於 Capcom 人氣狩獵遊戲同名改編,由拍攝《惡靈古堡》電影系列的保羅安德森執導與劇本,蜜拉喬娃維琪主演,另外還有《X戰警》朗帕爾曼、《沙贊》梅根·古德、《玩命關頭 7》東尼嘉、T.I. 哈里斯、Diego Boneta 、日劇《監獄學園》山崎紘菜,電影將由索尼影業與騰訊影業聯合發行。

Posted by Monster Hunter Asia 魔物獵人 遊戲資訊 on Monday, June 17, 2019

In other words, Anderson’s Monster Hunter is gearing up to marry the hyper-faithfulness of notorious bomb Warcraft to the hyper-bizarre “normal person travels to a video game world” conceit of notorious bomb Super Mario Bros. I won’t attempt to make any predictions about the quality or box office viability of such a project, but I will predict this: Some time after this film’s Blu-Ray release, some guy on Reddit is almost certainly going to make a fan edit of this movie that gets rid of all the modern day army stuff, leaving behind an actual game-accurate Monster Hunter film, starring the Ong-Bak guy. And Ron Perlman! He’s in this too.

Monster Hunter hits theaters September 4, 2020.

Patrick Lee
Patrick Lee is a writer, illustrator, photographer, designer, and serial arsonist from Toronto. He has written for The AV Club, and for his personal website, About Face.

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