Monster Hunter Gets an Earlier U.S. Release Following China Backlash
After receiving backlash due to a controversial Chinese joke from Monster Hunter, Sony Pictures has decided to make a last-minute change towards the U.S. release date of Paul W.S. Anderson’s upcoming live-action film adaptation. Originally expected for a Christmas Day release, the Milla Jovovich-led film will now hit U.S. theaters a week earlier on Friday, December 18.
In addition, Anderson and Milla Jovovich along with Jin Au-Yeung, the Asian-American actor who said the controversial line, have all released their statements regarding the issue, apologizing for the “unintentional offense,” they may have caused to Chinese viewers.
“I am absolutely devastated that a line from our movie, Monster Hunter, has offended some audience members in China,” Anderson said in a statement. (via Deadline) “I apologize for any anxiety or upset that this line and its interpretation caused. Monster Hunter was made as fun entertainment and I am mortified that anything within it has caused unintentional offense. We have respectfully removed the line from the movie. It was never our intention to send a message of discrimination or disrespect to anyone. To the contrary — at its heart our movie is about unity.”
Jovovich commented on Jin’s post, “I’m so sad that you feel the need to apologize. You are amazing and have always been so outspoken about your pride in your Chinese heritage. The line you improvised in the film was done to remind people of that pride, not to insult people. We should have researched the historical origin of it and that’s 100% on us, but you didn’t do ANYTHING wrong. None of us had ever heard the ‘dirty knees’ reference. You included. It was an unfortunate mistake and the Chinese translation didn’t help. We adore you Jin and are so proud to have worked with you on this fun and exciting project and I hope you don’t let this get you down man. It was our fault for not doing our due diligence and finding the WW2 era rhyme that’s caused this uproar. We love you Jin.”
Monster Hunter centers on the leader of a UN military team named Artemis, played by Jovovich, who is transported to another realm populated by monsters. There she meets the Hunter (Jaa), with the two teaming up to close a portal to prevent monsters from attacking earth. The movie will be a highly stylish big-screen adaptation of the video game.
The film adaptation will be led by Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil franchise) and Tony Jaa. It will also star Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Drive), T.I. Harris (Ant-Man and The Wasp), Diego Boneta (Luis Miguel, Rock of Ages), Meagan Good (Code Black), and Josh Helman (X-Men: Days of Future Past).
Monster Hunter is written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. The film is a production by Sony Pictures, Constantin Film, and Impact Pictures with Anderson, Jeremy Bolt, Robert Kulzer, Martin Moszkowicz, and Dennis Berardi serving as producers.
The Capcom video game series consists of action role-playing games where players and their friends work together to take down larger-than-life beasts in a living, breathing ecosystem. Since the first Monster Hunter title made its debut 14 years ago in 2004, the series has attracted a dedicated fan base, and grown into a global mega-hit with Monster Hunter: World, the latest title in the series, shipping 10 million units worldwide, with cumulative sales of the series exceeding 49 million units as of August 20, 2018.