Paul W.S. Anderson Wants The 'Monster Hunter' Movie To Create A New Cinematic Universe

The sixth and final installment in the Resident Evil franchise, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, is (probably) the end of director Paul W.S. Anderson's series. He hasn't directed all six Resident Evil movies, but he spent a lot of time in that universe, having made four of those extremely loose video game adaptations. Monster Hunter, based on Capcon's highly successful 12-year-old fantasy series, is the next franchise Anderson hopes to start.

Below, director Paul W.S. Anderson discusses the Monster Hunter movie universe.

Deadline recently ran an interview with Anderson and his producing partner, Jeremy Bolt, discussing their history with the Resident Evil franchise, their previous work, and their plans for Monster Hunter. Years ago, Anderson and Bolt acquired the rights to the title themselves, and they want to make Monster Hunter with a price tag of around $50 million, which is typically what the Resident Evil movies cost.

After Anderson and Bolt secured the rights, they then partnered with co-founder and president of the VFX house Mr. X, Dennis Berardi, formed a new company, and are now getting ready to shop around the Monster Hunter package — Anderson's script, concept art, and VFX renderings of the monsters — to studios.

Here's Deadline's logline for Monster Hunter:

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.

Anderson explained his interest in the video game adaptation to the outlet:

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. 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. The Monster Hunter world includes these huge deserts that make the Gobi Desert look like a sandbox, and they have ships that sail through the sand. These full-on galleons, but rather than sailing on the ocean waves, they sail through waves of sand.

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.

Wanting to create a universe in the vein of Star Wars or Marvel means Anderson and Bolt already have ideas for a sequel:

Bolt: We've got about two movies. We will likely shoot in China or South Africa for a budget comparable to the final Resident Evil, about $50 million net.

Anderson: It's definitely intended to be a franchise because the movie starts in our world and then it goes to the Monster Hunter world and then the final act comes back to our world and it's basically this epic battle in and around LAX. Then at the end we're suddenly confronted with the fact that the mythological creatures of our world have come back to wreak vengeance. So we definitely have the second film where that would be planned out.

Unlike the Resident Evil movies, Anderson sees this as a PG-13 franchise. The Three Musketeers was his last attempt at a family-friendly movie, and it was a box-office bomb in the states. Whether the director ever gets to make a Monster Hunter franchise, let alone one Monster Hunter movie, we'll see, but it's worth noting, as Anderson and Bolton do more than once or twice during Deadline's interview, the Monster Hunter games are very popular in China.

Here's an early VFX rendering of one of the monsters wreaking havoc at LAX: