Video game adaptations continue to be something of a dark spot in Hollywood. For years now, we’ve seen countless directors attempt to bring their favorite digital properties to life only to fail miserably. Last year, that trend continued with both Warcraft and Asssassin’s Creed, and despite the genre’s horrid track record, it doesn’t look like filmmakers will quit trying to nail the tricky beast that is a video game movie anytime soon.
One project that’s currently got a lot of people curious is Metal Gear Solid. Given that some of the entries in the series are basically like films themselves, as they feature excessively long cutscenes and plots so complicated that very few people can claim to fully understand and follow everything, it was really only a matter of time before someone tried to bring the iconic franchise onto the big screen, and that someone just so happens to be Jordan Vogt-Roberts.
Currently gearing up to release his new film Kong: Skull Island, the director sat down with us in Los Angeles this week to talk about the upcoming effort. While we’ll have the full interview for you shortly, we did want to share one particular part of it where he mentions his plans for Metal Gear Solid.
When we asked him if he was still attached to bring Kojima’s celebrated and beloved video game to life, Vogt-Roberts told us the following.
Metal Gear is something I’ve been attached to for a long time. It’s a movie I fought tooth and nail to try and attach myself to because it is potentially the most precious property on this Earth to me. And it is one of the most tricky and idiosyncratic properties on the planet, where the creator’s voice, Hideo Kojima, is a genius.
It would also be one of the easiest properties for Hollywood to mess up. Luckily, there are very smart producers on it. It’s the type of thing where it would be very easy for Hollywood to be like, “Oh, it’s like Mission: Impossible!” No, it’s not Mission: Impossible. “It’s like G.I. Joe!” No, it’s not G.I. Joe. Metal Gear Solid IS Metal Gear Solid and can only be Metal Gear Solid.
It is an incredibly tricky thing to adapt because of how specific the tone is. Kojima’s tone is so brilliant in what it does. The tone of this movie at times could take itself very seriously, be very intense, and then next moment, it can be very goofy and very sort of out there. There is no other property on the planet that I would want to protect and shepherd more than the Metal Gear Solid property.
We are working on a script and have great producers. The goal is to get the script right and do justice to a movie that is unlike anything else that exists in movies or video games or anything. It’s one of the most influential properties in my life. And I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know the creator over the last couple of years. Just to be able to spend time with him is great.
If nothing else, the director’s passion for the game shines through loud and clear here, which is nice to see. Will that be enough to break the video game adaptation curse though? At this stage, we’ll remain skeptical. Too many times we’ve been promised that a filmmaker was finally going to get it right only to be disappointed and as such, we don’t want to get our hopes up for the Metal Gear Solid movie just yet.
As well suited to the big screen as it may be, those very elements which make it a great candidate for adaptation could also be the cause of its undoing. If Vogt-Roberts can’t find a satisfying way to introduce a new audience to the incredibly complex world and characters of the franchise, he risks alienating people and for the film to be a hit, it needs to be accessible. Accessible isn’t a word often associated with the Metal Gear Solid games, as those who’ve played them will know, and to say that the director definitely has his work cut out for him here would be a massive understatement.
What do you think, though? Is Jordan Vogt-Roberts going to be the one to finally give us a great film based on a video game? Sound off below with your thoughts!