Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts is best known for helming the big budget feature Kong Skull Island released on February 28, 2017. I enjoyed Kong Skull Island as a solid summer action movie. It did leave a little more to be expected, but overall, I enjoyed tuning out of reality and into the world of Kong. So, when I found out that Vogt-Roberts had received the blessing of the legendary video game director Hideo Kojima for the film adaptation of Metal Gear Solid, I had a mixed reaction. Video game adaptions have proven to be tricky works to adapt, and the majority have not risen above status as movies that are camp.
The project hasn’t been officially greenlit by Sony, but apparently, there is a script. But before we go into that, let’s talk about the source material.
Metal Gear Solid is the name of the franchise created by Hideo Kojima. The series works great as a video game. The primary character is Solid Snake who is a clone of the bad guy but he must battle other evil clones of the same bad guy while there is usually a dramatic cyborg Ninja cyborg out to murder him, a group of AI doomsday politicians, ghost soldiers, psychics, hulking Shamans, and some serious plot twists. Twists as serious as when Kojima unexpectedly and randomly replaced the main character from Solid Snake to Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2: The Sons of Liberty. The series handles its mix of serious and weird well.
Thankfully, the current filmmakers share the same concerns as most fans probably do. In fact, here’s some of what Vogt-Roberts had to say when he sat down with Collider. Here’s what the filmmaker had to say about his approach.
“Our understanding of genre evolves. Now we have talking raccoons and talking trees in genre movies, and ten years ago, even three years ago that would’ve seemed like a crazy idea…I think there’s a way to lean into all of the oddities and the quirks and the idiosyncrasies of Metal Gear—and people forget Metal Gear is goofy. It’s filled with like military surrealism, it’s filled with these walking, talking philosophical ideologies of characters, it’s filled with almost horror tones at times—and that’s all in this container of this sort of super serious military game. I think finding the right access point and leaning into all of those things that appeal to the hardcore, I think that’s a way to translate that stuff and those end up being the things that a general audience falls in love with. Instead of being afraid of them, instead of running away from all those oddities and those quirks, those are Metal Gear.”
In addition to leaning into the franchise quirks, Vogt-Roberts also thinks it’s important for them to lean on the thematic elements of the franchise and weave them in and out. However, with the franchise being as long-running as it is, the difficulty lies in penetrating its dense mythology…but Vogt-Roberts has a plan.
“The thing about Metal Gear is it’s intentionally sprawling and it’s intentionally dense. It’d be super easy to do one sliver of it or do too much at once. And we’ve spent the last little bit really trying to figure out, to me, the most Kojima-san inspired way to tackle as much of that story through a device that I think allows you to tap in…how to put this without spoiling it?…regardless, we have a device that I think allows us to respect the breadth of the franchise, respect the sprawling nature of the franchise, respect the somewhat convoluted nature of the franchise at times. But to still show you the mirrors. What I mean by that is all those timelines fundamentally exist because they show the repetition of war throughout time. They show the repetition and the cycle of pain throughout time. So it ’s almost impossible to tell just one story now. You need the full throughline of what this game is about.”
Sounds pretty darn ambitious. From the sound of it, it’s almost like he wants to accomplish weaving everything together in a single film…but is that even possible? Let us know what you think down below!
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