The latest snaps of Tony Jaa and Milla Jovovich in their Monster Hunter guises have drawn a mixed set of reactions from the Japanese net.

Video game franchise Monster Hunter is a smash hit both in its native Japan and beyond, though Japan itself celebrates the game like no other. There’s augmented reality exhibits in Universal Studios where you can pose like a real beast slayer, and for a limited time you could even order a cake in the image of one of the beasts from the game. There’s just something about the immersive world, creative weaponry and hulking monsters that gets gamers’ imaginations fired up and ready to join the hunt.

You might think this would be fertile grounds to build a movie franchise out, and you would share that thought with long-time video game-to-movie director Paul W.S. Anderson, most famous for the series of Resident Evil movies. After wrapping up the action-packed, gore-spattered series and wedding Milla Jovovich, the actress of its main character Alice, he’s back to take on a new property from game developer Capcom: Monster Hunter.

November 21 saw Tony Jaa, one of the film’s lead actors and a renowned martial artist, post his first photograph from the film set.

▼ Here we see Jovovich and Jaa kitted out in their Monster Hunter outfits, primed to attack

The movie takes place in a world like our own, with Jovovich playing a member of the United Nations military. Jaa plays a native of an alternate dimension that’s encroaching on our own; this dimension seems to be where the Monster Hunter inspiration lies, with the film summaries promising encounters with titanic monsters and plenty of opportunities to use the souped-up weapons and armor from the game itself.

While even Anderson himself concedes that a movie won’t be able to cram in all the sights and sounds that make Monster Hunter such a beloved experience to its fans, he’s promised to bring in cameos from characters from the game and all of the monsters that feature are assumed to be game fare as well. The attention to detail in recreating the equipment for Jaa’s character, the Hunter, hasn’t gone unnoticed by Japanese fans either:

“Awesome! I give the new Monster Hunter shots 100 points for visuals!”

The poster added, “Giving Tony Jaa of all people a bow AND a huge sword feels a bit like overkill, doesn’t it?”

▼ Here’s Jaa battling enemies in one of his martial arts movies

The above video was tweeted with the message “I like to think this is how Tony Jaa will look as a Hunter, taking on foes with his Palico (played by an elephant here rather than a cat) so that he can eat them later…”

▼ Palicos are cat assistants in the game, with the most famous being series mascot Airou.

Meanwhile many reactions were drawn towards the other person in the shot:

“That woman on the left… Isn’t that Alice from Resident Evil?”
“I can’t believe we’re gonna see Milla Jovovich without a gun at the ready.”
“Now, now. Even if she has no gun that doesn’t mean she won’t whip out something that releases an electric shock wave, or something else like in Resident Evil…”

And despite the spirited beginnings of the thread, it gave way to disillusionment:

“Aw, I thought this was a new Mad Max movie.”
“This just smells like more Resident Evil to me.”

No matter your personal opinion on Anderson’s film-making, the director himself is very invested in the movie and the games it draws from, even going so far as to call it a “passion project”. Here’s hoping more photographs emerge soon so we can see even more fancy weapons and maybe even some realistic monster meat dishes.

Source: Twitter/@TABECHAUYO via Hachima Kikou
Featured image: Twitter/@TABECHAUYO