In an interview with Deadline, director Paul W.S. Anderson revealed that he and his producing partner Jeremy Bolt will be behind the camera for Capcom's Monster Hunter movie.
Anderson uses the interview to discuss how he broke down language barriers between himself and executives at Capcom. "We were very respectful, down to me getting on a plane to Japan. But contractually, we could have just done whatever we wanted," he said.
Bolt chimed in, explaining that Anderson's 21 years spent making Resident Evil films earned him Capcom's trust and respect. "Well, they had consultation, but Paul’s right. We treated them with tremendous respect and earning their trust is one of the reasons for Monster Hunter, being the movie we’ll do next. They control the rights, and the game is now bigger for them than Resident Evil."
The interviewer went on to learn what attracted Anderson to another game-to-film adaptation. Specifically, he said, he appreciates Monster Hunter's sprawling fantasy world.
"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."
Best of all, said Anderson, there are no established characters. That gives him free reign (more or less) to develop his own protagonists.
Anderson's first Resident Evil film, released in 1995 and starring his wife Milla Jovovich in the lead role, kicked off a franchise spanning six films that have collectively grossed over $900 million worldwide.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter will release in January 2017. Although Anderson and Jovovich are moving on to other projects, Capcom's leaving the door open for other directors to take over.
Also in January, Capcom will release Resident Evil 7. Like 2005's Resident Evil 4, RE7 marks a radical departure for the series: its mythology, characters, and setting have been uprooted, and has attracted numerous fan theories since its reveal during E3 2016.