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Milla Jovovich wanted Monster Hunter viewers to feel ‘like they were playing the game for the first time’

In Monster Hunter, Milla Jovovich performs an outsider. Her character, a US Military ranger named Artemis, is mysteriously transported from our world to a fantastical realm crammed with large and harmful monsters. American troopers aren’t one thing you’ll discover in any of Capcom’s Monster Hunter video games. However Jovovich believes Artemis helped present an essential perspective — nearly serving as a stand-in for a participant leaping into their first expertise with a Monster Hunter game.

“When my character will get transported into the Monster Hunter world I used to be in a position to see it with the identical eyes as once I first noticed the game,” she tells The Verge. “I used to be identical to ‘Whoa, it’s so lovely.’ We actually wanted folks to feel like that when they watch the film, like they were playing the game for the first time.”

Jovovich says she was launched to the franchise by her husband, Monster Hunter director Paul W.S. Anderson, who “had been actually obsessive about this property for over 10 years.” Finally he obtained the rights to the franchise, and went by just a few iterations of a script. However it wasn’t till rewriting the story to have Jovovich as the lead that issues actually clicked.

“I actually favored the twin blades.”

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There was additionally one thing about the fictional universe that spoke to her. Monster Hunter isn’t a typical kaiju story with large creatures destroying the world. You wouldn’t mistake it for Godzilla. As a substitute, it’s about a spot the place humanity is deeply invested in the pure world round them. In the video games, you don’t simply hunt monsters to kill them; you employ them to craft meals, weapons, and different gadgets. It’s all about survival, and it provides Monster Hunter its personal distinct vibe in contrast to different motion video games, with gradual, methodical gameplay based mostly on cautious planning and preparation.

“I actually like that feeling of getting to use each a part of the animal, and there’s no waste,” Jovovich says. There are even scenes in the movie the place downed monsters are put to good use, identical to in the game.

She says she was in a position to higher perceive this facet of the universe by playing Monster Hunter. This expertise additionally helped inform her character’s preventing type. In the film, Artemis joins forces with an area hunter, performed by Tony Jaa, and the two have very totally different methods. Jaa wields a large glaive, whereas Artemis ultimately adopts a pair of dual blades (which at one level are lit on fireplace). “I actually favored the twin blades, and there are particular strikes that go along with the twin blades that we wanted to movie,” she explains. However these two distinct preventing types weren’t the authentic plan.

“You’re at all times going to have to make sure sacrifices.”

“I felt at the starting like our preventing types were too comparable, in the sense that the choreographer was giving me some actually cool-looking strikes, however they simply felt too movie martial artsy,” Jovovich says. “I used to be like, I simply feel like my character wouldn’t have the opportunity to do a butterfly kick. That’s not her coaching. Her coaching as a soldier can be way more close-combat … Whereas the martial arts that Tony does is a lot extra cinematic and delightful. I felt prefer it was good to let him do this stuff, after which for us to have very totally different preventing types. As a result of it’s extra practical, but in addition I assumed it was extra attention-grabbing for our characters as properly.”

Picture: Sony Footage Leisure

Adapting an present property is at all times a difficult proposition. Followers include preconceived expectations, and it may be powerful to meet these whereas additionally making issues accessible for new audiences. It’s one thing that Jovovich and Anderson are skilled with, having labored collectively on the long-running Resident Evil collection, which additionally occurs to be based mostly on a Capcom game. The brand new film offered a barely totally different problem. Since the launch of Monster Hunter World, the franchise is as in style because it’s ever been, but it surely’s nonetheless not precisely a family identify.

“While you’re coping with a 90 minute model of one thing, you’re at all times going to have to make sure sacrifices,” she explains. “If this was Monster Hunter the TV present, it will be very totally different. You’d have much more time to spend on little particulars. Crucial factor for us when making a film was to have the spirit of the game.”

Monster Hunter is on the market to buy digitally now and will probably be out on Blu-Ray and DVD beginning March 2nd.

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