In a movie like Monster Hunter, I think most movie-goers will understand that CG is being used to bring them to life. Trying to make a real-life animatronic to insert into the film would have been a logistical nightmare. Director Paul W.S. Anderson knew he had to make this concession, but he balanced that with a desire to keep everything else in the film real. He spoke about this decision and challenge to Comicbook.com, and you can see his comments below.
One of the things I decided very early on was if the creatures had to be computer-generated, which of course they are, because no one's going to allow me to breed and shoot giant monsters for real. If they were going to be computer-generated, I wanted absolutely everything else in the movie to be one hundred percent real. I didn't want to be in a situation where you're on the backlot of the studio against a green screen or in a green screen box, creating an environment to put CG monsters into. I wanted to bring to life the world of Monster Hunter, and that involved going to pretty much the ends of the earth. We went to some incredibly remote locations in South Africa and Namibia to go shoot the landscapes for the movie.
And that involved being hundreds of miles away from the nearest town or village, living in tent villages in either super hot or sub-zero temperatures. It was a real adventure to shoot the movie, but I think what we got out of it was we brought a world to life. It was immensely helpful for the actors because they were completely immersed in that world. And it helped the creatures as well, because the creatures are not rampaging around in a computer-generated environment. They're rampaging around in the closest we could get to the real Wildspire Wastes or the real jungle that you see in the video game.
It was very difficult to shoot and my hats off to the crew and, especially, the actors for putting up with everything I put them through, but they really delivered. I think the world we created is something really, really special. And I think if you've played the games, to see it all come to life for real, I think would be a real thrill.