We’ve seen film adaptations spawn from an incredibly broad range of source material, from Battleships to emojis. The latest in the long list of perhaps ill-advised adaptations comes in the form of Monster Hunter, Capcom’s popular action-RPG franchise. In an on-stage announcement at TGS, Series Producer Ryozo Tsujimoto confirmed the production of a film based on the mainline series but shed no more light on the matter. The project is tied to Hollywood in some way, but its plot, setting, and style remain to be seen.
Monster Hunter is a series that is notoriously light on plot, so it does seem to be an odd choice for a film adaptation. However, this leaves a lot of open room to write an engaging story, particularly given the conspicuous absence of notable characters and significant story beats throughout the franchise. It’s essentially free reign to create a fantasy story in a very loosely defined world inhabited by exaggerated creatures, which could stand to go either way.
Game-to-film adaptations bear a heavy stigma and are often widely panned for a number of reasons. The most commonly cited criticism is a lack of respect and adherence to the source material. The narrative structure and pacing differ wildly between film and video game, and the transition often goes awry. With Monster Hunter in particular, the core appeal of the franchise is in the loot-based gameplay loop. That’s a difficult concept to replicate in a film so the focus may indeed turn to the sheer spectacle of the game’s action.
It may be difficult to imagine now, but with appropriate attention to detail and a decent team at the helm, Monster Hunter is open enough to have a good deal of creative potential.
Unfortunately, given the general stigma against video game adaptations, it’s unlikely that a proficient team will attach themselves to the project, but it’s all speculation at this point. This does seem to be a bold move in bringing a relatively niche franchise into the mainstream, but it’s simply too early to say how it will pan out.