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First Monster Hunter trailer offers a gritty take on the fantasy franchise

Milla Jovovich stars in the blockbuster, set for December

Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

In a new interview with Polygon, conducted at the 2020 New York Comic Con, director Paul W.S. Anderson professed that Monster Hunter , the new movie based on Capcom’s hit fantasy game series, was a passion project. “I’m approaching it not just as a filmmaker but also as a kind of long-term player and fan of it.”

Now we have a greater taste of the approach that the Resident Evil director is taking on bringing the the action-RPG to life. The first full trailer for Monster Hunter arrived on Wednesday, teasing a story about a band of soldiers accidentally transported to a parallel universe full of Diablos, Rathalos, and the warriors who hunt them. Think Stargate, but with more dragons.

Here’s the official synopsis for the film:

Behind our world, there is another: a world of dangerous and powerful monsters that rule their domain with deadly ferocity. When an unexpected sandstorm transports Captain Artemis (Milla Jovovich) and her unit (TI Harris, Meagan Good, Diego Boneta) to a new world, the soldiers are shocked to discover that this hostile and unknown environment is home to enormous and terrifying monsters immune to their firepower. In their desperate battle for survival, the unit encounters the mysterious Hunter (Tony Jaa), whose unique skills allow him to stay one step ahead of the powerful creatures. As Artemis and Hunter slowly build trust, she discovers that he is part of a team led by the Admiral (Ron Perlman). Facing a danger so great it could threaten to destroy their world, the brave warriors combine their unique abilities to band together for the ultimate showdown.

Alongside the human characters are a handful of the franchise’s most popular critters. Black Diablos are both prominently featured in the trailer, but Polygon can confirm that Apceros, Cephalos, Nerscylla, and Meowscular Chef the Palico all appear in the film.

In Polygon’s interview, Anderson said that he worked closer with Capcom than any previous creative partner.

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?” I’m looking at Milla because she’s going to get eaten. She’s going to have her head bitten off by the creature, but they cared enough to kind of look at the toenails and what they exactly looked like. So, 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.

Monster Hunter is currently slated for release in theaters on Dec. 30. To hear more from Anderson on his vision for the film, check out our full interview.

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