Hollywood has struggled to figure out how to make a good video game movie, especially in the past few years with efforts like Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed coming up short in spite of the dedication to the source material. Kong: Skull Island director John Vogt-Roberts is looking to buck the trend with Metal Gear Solid, a long-gestating film project which just got a major update.
Vogt-Roberts explained to Collider that he’s incredibly passionate about the series and that he’s been in touch with series creator Hideo Kojima – even though Kojima had split from Konami, the company that owns the franchise, back in 2015.
“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.”
When asked about the MPAA rating for the film, Vogt-Roberts explained that he feels that the film could work either as a PG-13 or an R – but what’s more important to him, above all else, is that the movie is true to the franchise.
“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. 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… Right now we’re just trying to get the best version of it. I think right now the more important thing is let’s nail the voice, let’s nail a story that makes sense.”
The director also noted that his goal for the movie is to create something that’s unconventional, yet still accessible to a wider audience. He re-iterated that capturing the spirit of the franchise takes precedent above all else, but he hopes that his movie will create new fans from viewers who aren’t familiar with the franchise.
“…Metal Gear is an important story, an important set of characters. So it just needs to be approached right now from how we nail that, and once we nail that then budget questions will happen, then those things will happen down the road, but right now I’m just working with incredible producers and trying to make a version that you or a Metal Gear megafan would be proud of and where people would be comfortable with that version to say, ‘I know this is different, I know this is not exactly the way a normal movie might go, but this is very Metal Gear’ and that is what will make random Joe Schmoe in Nebraska who has no idea what Metal Gear is, that is what will make them fall in love with this franchise and with Solid Snake and these people, and that is what will make them say—beyond the nerdverse and things like that who already accept this thing as super important—it’s such a potentially massive thing that we’re focused on getting that right first.”
Metal Gear Solid does not currently have a release date.