Jordan Vogt-Roberts knows how he will translate the experience of playing Metal Gear Solid to movie audiences. Metal Gear Solid is one of the most iconic video game franchises of all time and typically involves series protagonist Solid Snake breaking into a heavily guarded fortress to stop a walking battle tank dubbed Metal Gear. Of course, fans of the games will know the storyline is much, much more complex than that, and involves clones, rogue A.I.’s, vampires, cyborg ninjas, and all sorts of craziness.
A Metal Gear Solid movie has been rumored for a long time, but it was only once director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island) signed on that the project appeared to gain any steam. That said, video game movie adaptations are typically torn to shreds by both critics and fans, and the genre is home to such stinkers as Super Mario Bros and DOOM. To date, the first season of Netflix’s Castlevania is the only video game related project with a fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating, so Metal Gear Solid fans are somewhat nervous about how the eventual movie will turn out.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts is a lifelong gamer himself, and he’s more than aware of the pitfalls that could hamper a Metal Gear Solid adaption. The director recently spoke to Screen Rant at San Diego Comic Con about how he plans to adapt the experience of playing the game to movie audiences.
“I aim to try and recreate what a game made you feel when you played it. What feelings elicited from you and then how do you take those feelings of gameplay and translate them from the active experience of playing into the passive experience of watching and in a way that feels accurate and honorable for what that was and what it made you feel. But I also feel like we’d now like it took a long time to break the comic book code and I think that now… I’m part of a generation of filmmakers coming up now that it wasn’t a, ‘Oh, do you play video games?
“It just was a part of us, you know, like so much of my DNA was rewired at a young age by video games and by anime and Manga and, and so it naturally bleeds itself into the films that I make and I just think there’ve been a lot of adaptations of games that I think if missed what it made you feel and what it, what it tapped into when you’re like in your basement alone, just playing for six hours at a time, playing for playing for like a, you don’t want to put it down. And for me, I just want to find that honesty and that truth and, and Metal Gear has so many elements and so many like hard things that it’s just one of my favorite properties on the planet. So I’m very protective over it.”
A big failing of many video game movies is that they can’t recapture what made the game work, while also failing to work as a good standalone movie. The 2006 Silent Hill movie is still considered one of the best of the genre by capturing a lot of the game’s atmosphere and tone – alongside some great scares – but it was let down by a clunky script and a tacked-on subplot involving Sean Bean. Vogt-Roberts has spoken before of how some movies like Edge Of Tomorrow have already translated game logic to the big screen successfully, and he feels Metal Gear Solid can help bridge that divide further.
The script for the Metal Gear Solid movie is now complete and, in honor of the franchise’s recent 31st anniversary, Vogt-Roberts has been posting specially commissioned artwork from the series on his Twitter profile. Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima has also called Vogt-Roberts the only director capable of translating the game, so hopefully, the project will move into production sometime in the near future.