The Metal Gear Solid movie might just be the first video game movie made by people who really understand the medium, at least if the director has anything to do with it.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts has been connected to the long-suffering #MetalGearSolid movie project since 2014, and has stood out for saying all the right things when it comes to showing off his love of the #VideoGame franchise.
For those of us hoping for an video game movie adaptation that isn't a total stinker, the 32-year old Kong: Skull Island director has a lot to live up to. The movie industry has a history of screwing up, making movies that are just plain bad, or just decent flicks that miss the point about the games they're based on.
In a recent interview with Glixel, Vogt-Roberts has opened up about just how determined and passionate he is about making a film that stays true to the franchise, and the lengths he went to in order to secure his role and find the right writers.
'Metal Gear' Director Is Committed To Making A Movie True To The Franchise
The Metal Gear Solid Movie has basically been stuck in development hell for over a decade, and Vogt-Roberts wasn't picked by the studio to get involved. After finding out about the project, Vogt-Roberts asked to work on it but was flatly rejected. But he didn't let that stop him.
“I went to my agents and I was like, ‘You guys don’t understand how important this is for me, how much I love it, how much I love the tone, the characters, the idiosyncratic nature of what these games were and what they mean to me, and there’s no greater project that I would rather embark upon.’"
Fresh off Kings of Summer, Vogt-Roberts then made the Metal Gear Movie his personal mission. The director spent three whole months writing a book on how much he cared about the Metal Gear series, how he would do the adaptation, and his theories on why Hollywood keeps failing to get video game movies right.
After throwing his hefty tome down in meeting after meeting, Vogt-Roberts' passion and determination finally got him the job.
He Makes Sure The Writers Really Know Their Stuff
To make sure that the scriptwriters really understood the spirit of Metal Gear, Vogt-Roberts invited them to his house and put them through a structured educational course of stealth gaming, starting with the original 1987 Metal Gear, then moving on Metal Gear Solid V to show where the franchise got to, and finally tackling Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2, which he considers to have just the right level of complexity to separate gamers from non-gamers.
Clearly Vogt-Roberts is only interested in working with writers who have first-hand experience of how the franchise feels to the people who love it most — us gamers.
Hideo Kojima's Vision Will Be Respected
Vogt-Roberts, the hardcore-gamer movie director, and Kojima, the movie-obsessed video game auteur, certainly seem like they're getting along, and so far their relationship is overflowing with mutual admiration and respect.
The director is full of gushing praise for Kojima, whom whom he identifies with 'as a hero and an icon'. Kojima, on his part, has has written very positively about Kong: Skull Island. Kojima's never been shy of channeling his love for cinema through his games and he stands out as one of the great video game narrative designers.
Check out this clip of Metal Gear Solid 2 and see why Kojima's games can have more to say about society than 70% of movies:
The Vogt-Roberts and Kojima team-up might just be the perfect storm of project leads that actually complement and respect each other instead of fighting and getting in each other's way. If this results in a film that can express Kojima's engrossing vision in a similar way to say, a masterpiece game like Metal Gear Solid 2, then I'm totally on board.
Vogt-Roberts' Gamer Cred Is True AF
The Glixel interview is a long one, but Vogt-Roberts displays hardcore gaming chops throughout. He explains how Atari and arcades awakened his passion for gaming and motivated him to read interviews with developers in gaming magazines.
Vogt-Roberts' personal taste in games ranges from acclaimed narrative-heavy titles like Firewatch and Journey, to reflex-intensive 'bullet hell' games like Radiant Silver and Ikaruga. He appreciates video game history and culture (he's even got a power glove in his house) and his profanity-laden response to the whole 'are video games art?' debate just warms my geeky heart so much.
I'm one of the biggest cynics in the world when it comes to video game movie adaptations. But even my bitter heart is getting a teeny bit excited at the prospect of a Metal Gear Solid movie that actually 'gets' both video games and gamer culture. Could this be the movie to really make it happen?
What do you think? Does Vogt-Roberts have what it takes?