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Jordan Vogt-Roberts gives a big update on his Metal Gear Solid film plans

02.20.2017

Films based on video games have, well, always been rather disappointing to say the least. The world, characters, and plot material is there, but for one reason or another, the content rarely ever transfers over in ways that fans can get excited about. As a hardcore gamer since childhood, I'm still waiting for the day when games like THE LAST OF US, UNCHARTED, and MASS EFFECT get the silver screen representation they so deserve. With that said, something truly spectacular could be on the horizon, that is if KONG: SKULL ISLAND director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has his way with Hideo Kojima's uber-dense METAL GEAR SOLID mlitary saga. 

As the story goes, Vogt-Roberts has been toying with plans for a METAL GEAR SOLID adaptation since February of 2014. Obviously, he's been real busy making KONG: SKULL ISLAND happen, but now that the project is all wrapped up, he might have more time to dedicate toward bringing Solid Snake's bizarre missions to the big screen.

Recently, Vogt-Roberts sat down with Collider's own Steve Weintraub, who asked for an update on the status of making METAL GEAR SOLID a reality. During the interview, Jordan offered a ton of information, which I will now post for your drool-worthy enjoyment:

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.

Well alrighty then, it looks as if Vogt-Roberts is a huge fan of the franchise! This is bodes well, I think. Let's hear what else he had to say:

It’s so interesting because unlike a comic book that’s had 40 writers or 100 writers over the course of a decade or two decades or whatever, for decades now Metal Gear Solid has essentially had one voice. So you’re dealing with a highly, highly specific property that’s idiosyncratic to one persona and one person’s point of view and the way in which they interpret sort of culture and Western culture and twist that back around into this super pure amazing property that has a tone that I think is unlike anything else that is out there. I actually think that when people see [Kong] they’ll realize like, ‘Oh tonally there are things that sort of line up with this’ where this can be incredibly serious and dark and intense or it can also be incredibly goofy and kind of take the piss out of itself and be slapstick at times, much like Metal Gear.
Luckily there are amazing producers on it, but that’s a property that is so pure and important to my soul, because it’s something that I grew up on, that I would love to shepherd into the film that it needs to be. I think it’d be a massive film, I think it’d be an incredible film, but it needs to be done in a way that completely honors what Metal Gear is because it’s a classic and it’s a seminal work not just in video games, but in media.

As Vogt-Roberts continues, he begins talking about the potential rating for the film, and how METAL GEAR SOLID could be conceived as either a PG-13 or R-rated affair:

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. Those characters sort of are these walking philosophies, so I think nailing that part is far more important necessarily than thinking about the rating at this point, because 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.
You look at the scope of the Metal Gear world and you go all the way back to the ‘60s and before that in the lore, and then you go to the more contemporary games in the near-future and stuff like that, you’re dealing with decades and decades and decades of characters. You’re dealing with like okay how do Snake and Boston interact, how does Zero and all these other people interact with each other? How do you pick and choose the cyborg ninjas and the sniper wolves and all these people and have them fit into a narrative that makes sense?

Lastly, Vogt-Roberts expressed that his concern is to make the movie that fans (like himself) would want to see, and not to rush the film out the door simply because the project has been in high-demand for some time:

So first and foremost beyond thinking about budget, I wanna find the version that someone like you who’s like a superfan of this property would say, ‘They did it. That’s my Metal Gear. That’s my shit.’ Beyond it being a video game movie, beyond the difference between active experience and passive experience and why people haven’t been able to translate an active experience into a good passive experience in the shape of a film, beyond that question to me it’s not even about being a video game movie, 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.

I'd like to state for the record that this interview has me really excited for the potential of this massive project. I personally don't envy anyone looking to bring something as lauded as Hideo Kojima's METAL GEAR SOLID franchise to cinemas. Who do you cast? How do you begin to select and edit down the five-plus game spanning narrative of Kojima's sci-fi military saga? How do you fend off the fan base that will eat your heart for breakfast if you screw it up? I'm sure that these are all questions that Jordan Vogt-Roberts is asking himself as he prepares to bring the legendary adventures of Solid Snake, Big Boss, Revolver Ocelot, EVA, Sniper Wolf, and Quiet to the big screen.

With no release date or cast set in place, we'll have to keep our ears to the ground for anymore news regarding Vogt-Roberts plans for METAL GEAR SOLID. Meanwhile, you can check out KONG: SKULL ISLAND when it beats its chest in theaters on March 10, 2017.

Extra Tidbit: I highly recommend that you play Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, even if you haven't played any of the other installments of Hideo Kojima's strange and over-complicated military epic. The game play is so good that you won't even care if you get lost in the plot.
Source: Collider

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