Behold this brand new exclusive photo from Monster Hunter, Screen Gems’ upcoming live-action movie adaptation of the Capcom video game franchise.
The image below reveals Milla Jovovich as the movie’s heroine Natalie Artemis, an original character not from the games, and Tony Jaa as the Hunter. Screen Gems has also released the official plot 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 Lt. Artemis (Milla Jovovich) and her loyal soldiers are transported from our world to the new world, the unflappable lieutenant receives the shock of her life. In her desperate battle for survival against enormous enemies with incredible powers and unstoppable, revolting attacks, Artemis will team up with a mysterious man who has found a way to fight back.”
Jaa’s Hunter wields a Giant Jawblade, a type of Great Sword, as well as a Great Hunter’s Bow. As you can tell from his costume, Hunter’s look is obviously patterned after the Field Team Leader from Monster Hunter World. Jovovich’s Artemis has a pair of unidentified Dual Blades on her back, a carving knife on her thigh, and a Slinger on her left arm, a piece of equipment Jovovich showed off in a recent Instagram post.
In a phone interview from the set in South Africa, Monster Hunter director Paul W.S. Anderson told IGN that while Artemis is an original character, her armor, and in turn, all equipment in the movie, is taken directly from the games. “The beauty of the costumes and the landscapes from the Monster Hunter game really kind of came out in that image,” Anderson said of our exclusive photo.
Artemis’ chest piece, for example, is directly inspired by the Odogaron chest piece in Monster Hunter World. (Notice the similarity in the embossing design.) Anderson said that Artemis’ outfit is mismatched as a nod to a character that a player might customize from different sets.
“She is the game player, in a way, she is the audience’s avatar, their way into the world,” Anderson said of Artemis.
The location seen in the photo is South Africa’s Atlantis Dunes, which Anderson says he chose for its resemblance to the Wildspire Waste from the games. Anderson, a “long-term fan of the game,” advised us the movie will feature multiple topographical locations.
“We’re going into a much more rocky landscape as well, we’re getting out of the desert and going much more rocky. There’s a chunk of the movie that’s actually set underground as well, in terrifying caves,” Anderson said. “There’s a more lush part of the movie, which kind of reflects the kind of lush, more jungle-y look of the Monster Hunter world. And then the climax of the movie takes place around a piece of the Ancient Civilization that’s, it’s kind of referenced many times in the Monster Hunter games.”
Anderson continued, “The idea that there was this Ancient Civilization that existed in the deep parts, and which, when you’re playing the games, you sometimes kind of stumble upon the ruins of this civilization, an advanced civilization that brought about its own destruction. And one of those sets of ruins provides a big backdrop for the final act of the film. So it’s a pretty varied landscape. I mean, you’re not gonna get as many landscapes as you would if you spent fifty hours playing Monster Hunter World, but I think for a two-hour movie, you’re going to really go on an amazing journey with amazing visuals.”
Anderson and Jovovich, of course, are no strangers to Capcom video game adaptations having previously brought the Resident Evil franchise to the screen. In addition to Jovovich and Jaa, Monster Hunter also stars Meagan Good, T.I., Diego Boneta, and Ron Perlman.