We're getting a Monster Hunter live-action movie soon - and if you have any experience of movies based on popular video games, that sentence should fill you with a sense of trepidation.
The process of transforming games into films hasn't been a smooth one for many projects - Street Fighter, Super Mario and Alone in the Dark being three examples from a long list of cinematic duds - but that hasn't stopped British director Paul W. S. Anderson from practically making a career out of taking game IPs and turning them into movies.
Anderson - whose credits include Event Horizon (good), Alien vs. Predator (not so good) and Death Race (truly awful) - was behind 1995's Mortal Kombat film, which, despite being a bit naff, did reasonable business at the box office. He's since helmed the Resident Evil movie series, which has reviewed terribly but put plenty of bums on seats (it's the highest-grossing film series based on a video game by miles, having taken in over $1.235 billion worldwide).
Despite the rather questionable nature of his work, Anderson - who also wanted to do a Castlevania flick not so long ago - is arguably the perfect choice when you're a publisher looking for a director to bring your video game to the big screen. And that's presumably why Capcom has signed off on the Brit heading up a movie based on Monster Hunter, which has become the company's premier series in recent years.
The upcoming movie started shooting recently, and we've now been gifted our first look at one of the central characters, the burly Sergeant Marshall, played by the hunky Mexican-American singer and actor Diego Boneta. Milla Jovovich - Anderson's real-life wife and the star of the aforementioned Resident Evil films - also has a major role, as does all-round Hollywood legend Ron Perlman.
As you can see from the image, Boneta is sporting a modern-day military uniform and automatic weapon, but before you go reaching for the pitchforks, it's worth noting that the storyline involves a United Nations military team falling into a portal which takes them to an alternate dimension (those pesky portals!) which sounds an awful lot like the world in which the Monster Hunter games take place. The team joins forces with a group of hunters and together they attempt to fight off the beasts and prevent them from entering the portal and attacking our world.
Demo reel footage from CGI studio Mr. X surfaced last year, and it has since been confirmed that the company is working on the film. It gives you a good idea of what the monsters in the flick will look like, although it's not known if the sequence will end up in the final movie:
We're willing to reserve judgement until we see the trailer, at which point we imagine we'll shrug our shoulders and forget the film even exists. Still, why was there the need to shoehorn in 'earth' characters when the world of Monster Hunter is already so vibrant and interesting?
Sigh. Don't go changing, Hollywood.