There are some video games that lend themselves to an easy adaptation. The Metal Gear franchise is not one of those games. On the surface, it’s “Stealth Espionage Action” where you play operative Solid Snake, who is tasked with taking down a paramilitary operation. But the story and weirdness that permeates the games make it a unique experience, and one that makes a translation to the big screen difficult.
Nevertheless, an adaptation of the most popular title in the long-running franchise, Metal Gear Solid, has been in the works for some time with Kong: Skull Island helmer Jordan Vogt-Roberts coming on to direct back in 2014. He’s still attached, and he seems more bullish than ever on the film’s prospects and being unafraid to dive into what makes Metal Gear so unique.
I recently spoke with Vogt-Roberts for his new Destiny 2 trailer, and while we were on the topic of translating video games to film, I wanted to get his thoughts on Metal Gear Solid and going all-in on the source material:
With Metal Gear, absolutely, my thing is we need to not just make a Metal Gear movie, but we need to double-down so hard on the oddities that make Metal Gear idiosyncratic and what it is—Kojima’s voice, the fourth wall, the goofiness, the anime, the manga, the hyper-violence, the talking philosophies, the characters who just represent ideologies. These things are Metal Gear, and I think, when you look at Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s like, “What genre is that before that movie came out?”
James [Gunn] doubled-down on that world and said, “No. This is what’s going to make people love it,” as opposed to saying, “Uh, it’s kind of like this” or “It’s kind of like that.” “It’s sort of a little bit of that.” No. That was able to be what it needs to be, and so for me, in the success of Kong, in the success of Logan, in the success of Deadpool, I’m able to go to the studio and say, “Let’s double-down on this and make this the absolute best version of Metal Gear that it needs to be.”
I don’t know if name-dropping Logan and Deadpool means he wants to get an R-rating for Metal Gear Solid, and when we spoke to him back in February, he said that his adaptation could go PG-13 or R, but they’re trying to figure out the best story to tell.