The Monster Hunter cinematic universe is on its way.
“We treated [Capcom] with tremendous respect and earning their trust is one of the reasons for Monster Hunter, being the movie we’ll do next,” producer Jeremy Bolt told Deadline in a recent interview. “They control the rights, and the game is now bigger for them than Resident Evil.”
Bolt and director Paul W.S. Anderson are releasing their final Resident Evil film, called The Final Chapter, in January 2017, and Anderson has already written a first draft of the Monster Hunter script. Deadline reports that the film will be produced for around $50 million and, based on the team’s Resident Evil series, should prove profitable for everyone involved.
“What I love about Monster Hunter is the incredibly beautiful, immersive world they’ve created,” Anderson explained. “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.”
The Final Chapter will be the sixth Resident Evil film this production team has put together, and the revenue for each one has only grown larger while the budgets have remained modest. The first film, simply called Resident Evil, was made for $33 million and was given a theatrical release due to the early positive reaction from test screenings. It went on to bring in over $102 million internationally.
Resident Evil: Retribution, the fifth film, was made for $65 million in 2012 and brought in over $240 million internationally.
The Monster Hunter film series has even more potential for success, at least in terms of pure profit. The budget is planned to be around $50 million and the series is, excuse the pun, monstrously successful in China, a key box office market. The team is also aiming for a PG-13 rating, versus the R rating given to the Resident Evil films, which should help broaden its appeal.
“[Monster Hunter] is huge, a cultural phenomenon in Japan and it’s giant in China, where it’s an online game that has 15 million paying users,” Anderson said. “If you do the math, the movie could potentially be the biggest of the year in China and Japan, where people line up around the block when new games are released. It has sold 38 million copies so far, which is bigger than Resident Evil was when we started the adaptation of that franchise.”
You can read our review of the latest Monster Hunter game in the U.S., Monster Hunter Generations, which we scored an 8.5.