Indie director Jordan Vogt-Roberts plans to direct a Metal Gear Solid film. Currently in the writing phase, Vogt-Roberts hopes to avoid common adaptation pitfalls. In a Collider interview, Vogt-Roberts explains his expectations and his desire to treat the series appropriately:
“Metal Gear Solid is probably the most important franchise to me on the planet. It is such a genius, idiosyncratic work and being able to spend time with [Hideo] Kojima recently has been like a dream. He’s the best and his whole team is the best. We are working on the script. That is a property that I will fight tooth and nail to make sure is done properly because it’s so easy to screw it up and so easy for a studio to try and make it into G.I. Joe or try and make it into Mission: Impossible or try and make it into something that it’s not. Metal Gear Solid needs to be exactly what it needs to be, which is Metal Gear Solid.”
Given the way that Hollywood treats original works, it’s likely that fans would not be receiving a pure and deeply sentimental film but rather a cash-grab that mimics an already existing action film. In other words, Jordan Vogt-Roberts is a western director who would like to make a lot of money from the direction of a western movie for a western audience. There are many things that can prevent the success of a game-to-film adaptation and one of those things is not respecting the source material. Vogt-Roberts addresses this, but also mentions that he would potentially be going down a path already traveled:
“I think that for me, I want to make the version of the movie that is most true to what it needs to be, so if that is a Deadpool or Logan route where you go with a smaller budget and you’re able to make it R, great. If you need to blow it out more and really get that bigger budget and go PG-13, I think it could exist in both avenues.”
To be blunt, no one wants to see a PG-13 rating on a Metal Gear Solid movie. Even the consideration is an insult. Nothing about Metal Gear Solid, a series about a soldier and his context in war, is family-friendly. Further, attempting to pull from other blockbuster movies to receive an R rating and get the correct budget is also a choice that suffers from poorly placed attention. The original Metal Gear Solid for the PlayStation is a masterpiece. It’s a masterpiece because budging wasn’t the main concern for the project. Using what was available and pushing the limits of the tools used is what made it amazing. Artistically and masterfully directing expressionless polygonal models in a way that brought them vividly to life is what made the original game so great. Half-heartedly trying to whip up a blockbuster with some weak fan-service is sure to not only hurt the series as a whole but ruin the reputation any director who would be interested in such a thing.
“There are hyper-violent parts to Metal Gear but I would not necessarily call the hyper-violent part the core element of it versus like the tone and the voice and the philosophies that the characters exhibit… ”
That the interview was not crazed mutterings explaining how much the movie will be like a fever dream the director once had, says enough. A Metal Gear movie should be as crazy and out-there as the games are. It would have to take risks just as the games did. The interview was pandering to fans of the series but ultimately ended up sounding like an elevator pitch for a Hollywood producer. Attempting to adapt a Japanese work of art that was painstakingly created to be as excellently campy and loaded with as much detail as it could be, into a film for a fragile, unadventurous western audience can never work. Can this man’s greed not be satisfied with something easy? Just reboot the Tomb Raider films or something.