Gamers rejoice – Solid Snake is ready to sneak into a theater near you!
Sony has (again) officially announced plans to bring Hideo Kojima’s much-loved video game series Metal Gear Solid to the big screen – this time with producer Avi Arad shepherding the project through the perilous waters of Hollywood production. This marks the second attempt to bring Kojima’s franchise to the big screen – a previous effort back in 2007, headed up by Michael de Luca, never made it out of development hell. The details were revealed during a special 25th anniversary event held in Japan.
Based on the mega-popular stealth action franchise, Metal Gear Solid has often turned up on lists of games people wanted to see made into films. Given the various titles’ cinematic qualities (the latest installment, Guns of the Patriots, boasted of having a 90-minute long scene between action…), and the sales figures for the series as a whole (over 20 million copies to date), a big-screen version is sort of a no-brainer. The original Playstation game focused on retired soldier Solid Snake being called back into action to get inside a nuclear weapons facility to neutralize a renegade terrorist group named FOXHOUND.
Some of the above should give you an idea of the challenges facing Arad and company in bringing Kojima’s story to the screen. While Metal Gear Solid was amazing from a gameplay standpoint, Kojima’s whacked-out narrative only gets more convoluted and bizarre as the series progresses. There are fans who love that, but it’s hard to imagine some of that vision appealing to mainstream filmgoers who expect a serious and logical narrative. Compromises will have to be made – and how those affect the finished product remains to be seen. Worst-case scenario is a production that winds up pleasing no one – neither the hardcore fans nor the casual viewer.
Arad believes he’s up to the challenge. The Marvel Studios founder has earned production credits on some of the best comic films of recent years – including this summer’s The Amazing Spider-Man. He sees game films in the same light as comic titles. “Video games are the comic books of today,” he told the assembled masses. That’s funny – we thought comic books were the comic books of today.
Snark aside, he’s on to something. Video games should be poised to make the jump to the big screen in a more effective way than they have in the past. While we’re years away from seeing a Metal Gear Solid movie at the local multiplex (if we ever see it at all), this could be one of the titles that gives movies based on games a sense of legitimacy that they’ve never had previously.
What do you think? Can Hollywood give audiences a Metal Gear Solid film that appeals to both fans and the non-gamers or is this project destined to be the next Super Mario Bros.?