Sony Pictures has announced that Paul W.S. Anderson’s MONSTER HUNTER will debut in theaters one week earlier than expected on December 18.
Previously re-scheduled for a Christmas Day theatrical release, Monster Hunter recently came under fire when it was removed from Chinese theaters one day after stomping into cinemas. According to reports, the film contains a scene involving two soldiers who, while speaking with one another, exchange a racist joke. In the scene, one soldier asks the other, “What are my knees?” to which the other replies “Chi-knees.”
Not only is the “joke” offensive but it also evokes a racist playground chant “Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees, look at these.” For obvious reasons, the chant is considered to be anti-Asian and anti-Asian American. The film has since been pulled from Chinese theaters, but word spreads fast, and the damage done has already labeled Monster Hunter as a questionable action showcase.
Despite the offensive material still being a part of the film at this time, Monster Hunter will arrive in theaters one week early, likely to distance itself from the Christmas Day release of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984, which is bound to dominate the box office regardless of also launching day-and-date on HBO Max in the United States.
Here’s the official synopsis for MONSTER HUNTER:
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 elite unit are transported through a portal from our world to a new world, they are in for the shock of their lives. In her desperate attempt to get home, the brave lieutenant encounters a mysterious hunter (Tony Jaa), whose unique skills have allowed him to survive in this hostile land. Faced with relentless and terrifying attacks from the monsters, the warriors team up to fight back and find a way home.
Joining Jovovich and Tony Jaa for the upcoming besting of behemoths are Meagan Good (Brick, D.E.B.S.), Tip ‘T.I.’ Harris (Ant-Man and the Wasp, American Gangster), Diego Boneta (Terminator: Dark Fate, Rock of Ages), Josh Helman (Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men: Apocalypse), Jin Au-Yeung (2 Fast 2 Furious, The Man with the Iron Fists), and Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy).
Monster Hunter will now charge into theaters on December 18.