After battling zombies for over a decade in six Resident Evil movies, Milla Jovovich (along with director Paul W.S. Anderson) is officially moving onto other beasts, like dragons and other massive creatures who burst out of the desert in Sony’s Monster Hunter trailer. The visuals might remind people of Dune sandworms, but that’s where the similarities end. And that’s alright, considering that Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s heady sci-fi epic masterpiece will come to theaters next year, and Monster Hunter (which is based upon Capcom’s video game franchise) is geared toward sheer escapism. Jovovich portrays Captain Artemis — interestingly enough, a character who doesn’t hail from the video games — and the focus here is on action, one-liners (including a Guardian of the Galaxy joke), and those enormous CGI beasts.
Will the movie actually land in U.S. theaters soon, though? As of now, Sony is holding onto its December 30 release date, and given that this was always planned as a tentpole film (with some Mad Max: Fury Road vibes), it’s doubtful that this project will go straight to VOD. Also, the sound design is clearly meant to make theaters vibrate, with all those monsters flying everywhere and Milla Jovovich shooting them down like it ain’t no thing. More than likely, we’ll see the U.S. date push back with this movie continuing as planned in recovered overseas markets, where it should fare well.
Monster Hunter feels like a welcome popcorn movie (with no viruses!) in a time when it’s sorely needed. Of course, the audience will trade out our world for the place where Artemis and her army suddenly find themselves after slipping into some sort of portal. Anderson recently stated during New York Comic Con that Artemis’ unfamiliarity with this new world (and newness to the franchise) might help simulate the video game for moviegoers who aren’t yet familiar with the franchise’s stories. People will have to acclimate quite quickly to this world, given that the monster invasion appears to be unrelenting. The cast includes T.I. Harris (yes, that T.I. Harris), Ron Perlman, Meagan Good, Diego Boneta, Josh Helman, and Jin Au-Yeung.
Monster Hunter will arrive on December 30, maybe!