Monster Hunter Film Director Inspired By A Metal Gear Solid Side Quest

Paul W. S. Anderson is a true Monster Hunter fan, and he's taking inspiration from some truly obscure sources for the film.

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Whenever I find out that a game I like has been picked up for a film adaptation, I cringe a bit. We're more likely to get something like Street Fighter: The Movie than we are Detective Pikachu. The people who make these movies so often seem to completely misunderstand what makes these games special. While we won't know if Monster Hunter is another dud until it actually comes out later this month, we at least know that if it fails, it's not because director Paul W.S. Anderson doesn't understand the source material. Talking on a recent Twitch stream with Capcom USA, Anderson revealed that he took some inspiration from the most obscure of obscure places: a side quest in a Metal Gear Solid handheld game.

Anderson is in deep. He's already said that he first played Monster Hunter 12 years ago, well before it hit American shores in any significant way, and has been trying to adapt it for nearly as long. One of the things that worried fans of the games in initial trailers is that our main character, portrayed by Milla Jovovich, isn't a native inhabitant of the Monster Hunter world. Rather, she's from our world; she and her team get pulled into Monster Hunter through a storm, and she has to adapt, working with Tony Jaa's character, "The Hunter," to survive and thrive.

There are two reasons why Anderson made Jovovich's character, Lieutenant Artemis, military.

"I was very influenced by a crossover Monster Hunter had done with Metal Gear Solid," Anderson explained. "This is great imagery to juxtapose a man with a machine gun against the creatures."

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A promotional image from Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Anderson is referring to the Hunting Quests in the originally PSP-exclusive game Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, which had Solid Snake fighting a Rathalos and Tigrex from Monster Hunter Portable 3rd.

Further, Anderson explained that he wanted to highlight our overreliance on our technology, shown when it utterly fails Lt. Artemis and her soldiers.

Anderson also reiterated his reasoning for making the protagonist a new character rather than an existing Monster Hunter character for the film. "Milla is the avatar for the audience," Anderson explained in October. "She's the newbie going into this world." He wants to both give non-players a way to experience the world of Monster Hunter without knowing a thing about it, and to recreate for himself and other players the feeling of entering the world as a new character for the first time.

The 50-minute interview covers a ton of topics. Anderson described the slavish detail that his team went into, starting with the actual monster models from the games, tweaking things as subtle as the Diablos' claws at the request of the game's creators. He also talked about the commitment of the actors, from star (and Anderson's wife of 11 years) Milla Jovovich's personal preference for the game's dual blades based on her playstyle and physicality to martial artist Tony Jaa's ability to help bring the weapons to life. Jaa, Anderson explained, made the oversized weapons of the game possible.

Monster Hunter is set to release to theaters on December 25, 2020. There's no news yet about where the movie might be able to stream following release. We're hoping the film is a bit more Castlevania and a bit less Super Mario Bros., and that it doesn't end up on our list of awful video game adapations. As it turns out, the Metal Gear Solid movie is also moving full-steam ahead. Oscar Isaac was just confirmed to be starring in the film, and he had previously expressed a desire to play Snake.

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