Live-Action Monster Hunter Film's Director, Actor Apologize for Controversial Dialogue Line

posted on by Adriana Hazra
Deadline: Line being removed from all versions of film globally

Entertainment industry news source Deadline reported on Tuesday that the director of the live-action film of CAPCOM's Monster Hunter game franchise Paul W.S. Anderson, and an actor from the film Jin Au-Yeung, issued apologies for a controversial line of dialogue in the film.

Anderson's statement to Deadline reads:

I am absolutely devastated that a line from our movie, Monster Hunter, has offended some audience members in China. 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.

Jin Au-Yeung released an apology video on his Instagram account. He explained that the controversial line in the film, said by him, was, "Look at my knees. What kind of knees are these? Chi-knees." He added that the line had "nothing to do" with an old playground chant. Milla Jovovich replied to the video stating that "It was an unfortunate mistake," but that the actors should have done their "due diligence and finding the WW2 era rhyme that's caused this uproar."

Deadline reported it confirmed the line is being removed from all versions of the film globally.

Constantin Film issued an apology for the same line of dialogue on December 7. The company also stated that there "was absolutely no intent to discriminate, insult or otherwise offend anyone of Chinese heritage" and that it has removed the line from the film.

Entertainment trade magazine Variety reported on December 5 that Chinese theaters had been pulling the film after the first day of screenings on December 4. According to Variety, a quarter of all theater film slots were allotted to the film on December 4 but dropped to 0.7% on December 5.

The film was tentatively slated to open in the United States on December 30, but is now being moved up to December 25.

Sony Pictures Entertainment and TOHO had planned to open the film in North America and Japan, respectively, on September 4. The companies then delayed the film until tentatively next year due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Sony Pictures Entertainment had been targeting April 23, 2021 for the North American opening date, but a teaser video in October revealed a December debut. The film is slated to open in Japan on March 26, 2021.

The film started production in October 2018, and ended principal photography in December 2018. The film is budgeted at around US$60 million. Sony Pictures is distributing the film in North America, and TOHO is distributing the film in Japan.

Screen Gems describes the film's story:

Behind our world, there is another: a world of dangerous and powerful monsters that rule their domain with deadly ferocity. When Lt. Artemis (Milla Jovovich) and her loyal soldiers are transported from our world to the new world, the unflappable lieutenant receives the shock of her life. In her desperate battle for survival against enormous enemies with incredible powers and unstoppable, revolting attacks, Artemis will team up with a mysterious man who has found a way to fight back.

The film stars Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil movie franchise) as film-original character Captain Natalie Artemis and martial arts actor Tony Jaa (Ong-Bak film series) as "The Hunter." Additionally, Ron Perlman (Hellboy film series, Pacific Rim, Sons of Anarchy) plays the Admiral, who is the leader of The Hunter's crew. T.I. Harris (Ant-Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp) plays a sniper named Link, Diego Boneta (Luis Miguel: La Serie, Pretty Little Liars) plays Sergeant Marshall, and Hirona Yamazaki plays the Handler. Meagan Good and Josh Helman also have roles in the film.

Thanks to Primus for the news tip.

Source: Deadline (Nancy Tartaglione)

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