The production team behind the Resident Evil movies might be done with the film franchise, but they're already eyeing another Capcom property. The upcoming release of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter will be the final film in writer-director Paul W.S Anderson's take on the survival horror games. It's been a good take for Hollywood and Capcom. Resident Evil is the most successful game-to-move adaptation and is set to cross the $1 billion mark soon for all six films ($915 million so far).
Anderson, Impact Pictures producing partner Jeremy Bolt, and manager Ken Kamins are already talking with Capcom to tackle another franchise: Monster Hunter. They're all ready to work with Resident Evil visual effects studio Mr. X to bring Monster Hunter in at a reasonable budget.
And here's their pitch: "For every Monster, there is a Hero. An ordinary man in a dead end job discovers that he is actually the descendant of an ancient hero. He must travel to a mystical world to train to become a Monster Hunter, before the mythical creatures from that world destroy ours."
In an interview with Deadline, Anderson outlines his aim for the series and the genesis of the Resident Evil franchise. The director is an avid gamer and his passion for games is why he believes his film adaptations have worked where others have failed.
"I think it's a combination of passion and experience. I had already done one video game adaptation that worked, Mortal Kombat. That was my first American movie and the reason I didn't get shipped back to England," said Anderson.
"I was playing the Resident Evil video games and I disappeared for two weeks, to the point where [producing partner Jeremy Bolt] was a little worried about me," he explained. "I was in my apartment, just down from the Chateau Marmont, playing the first three Resident Evil games back to back. I emerged with stubble and red rimmed eyes from not having slept, see Jeremy and say, we have to turn this into a movie."
On Monster Hunter, Anderson wants to populate the larger Monster Hunter world with his characters. Following five years of negotiation with Capcom, his team is ready to deliver on his vision of the games. Impact Pictures has the rights to the film already and is ready to build a cinematic universe out of it.
"What I love about Monster Hunter is the incredibly beautiful, immersive world they've created. It's on the level of like a Star Wars movie, in terms of world creation," said Anderson. "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."
"You're fighting these giant creatures, some as big as a city block. They live underneath the Earth and when they burst out, it's like the best of Dune. You also have these flying dragons, giant spiders, the most wonderful creatures. That's what really attracted me. I felt there was a fresh, exciting world that we could expose and build a whole world around, like a Marvel or Star Wars universe. Everything is about world creation, nowadays, and how can you build a world where you can have multiple stories going on? I thought this was our opportunity to have a cinematic universe."
Anderson explained that the cast will be "very relatable American characters". They have two films planned already, shooting in China or South Africa and targeting the same $50 million budget of the Resident Evil films.
This is happening, folks. Be prepared.