The Metal Gear Solid film adaptation starring Oscar Isaac has been sitting in developmental limbo ever since Hideo Kojima, the franchise’s creator, announced the adaptation in 2006. It was even canceled at one point in 2010, over Konami Productions and Sony Pictures’ dispute over the film’s influence on the game, which led to the production stall. Now, almost a decade later, Metal Gear Solid gets an update from the film’s director.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts, the upcoming adaptation’s director, shared his thoughts on the development progress of the Metal Gear Solid movie during his E3 interview with Entertainment Weekly. The Kong: Skull Island director disclosed that he’s currently involved with several gaming-based IPs, including Netflix’s live-action Gundam film, along with the Metal Gear Solid movie adaptation with Oscar Isaac as lead, which is still in development, fifteen years later.
In fact, Vogt-Roberts has been involved with the Metal Gear Solid adaptation, which proved to be a Sisyphean task, for the last seven-plus years. He was directly involved in the scriptwriting process alongside Hideo Kojima himself, bringing Oscar Isaac, the star of Star Wars and Dune, as the adaptation’s Solid Snake. For those unfamiliar with the names and the franchise, Metal Gear Solid is a video game from the Metal Gear franchise, which launched its first installment in 1987, and centers on the stealth and combat adventures of its protagonist – Solid Snake.
And while Snake’s adventures are well-known among the fans, the movie’s plot remains a highly guarded secret, as Vogt-Roberts strives to create a proper cinematic version of the game. According to him, the most significant challenges lie in translating the active experience of playing a video game into a passive experience of watching a movie – especially when it comes to interpretations of risk during stealth missions and the feelings of danger that stealth invokes in the audience. And we’ll admit, game-to-movie adaptations aren’t always as simple as one-on-one translation. Failing to transfer the gaming experience to a movie is precisely the reason why so many video game movie adaptations flopped at the box office.
The director acknowledges that casting Oscar Isaac as Solid Snake was a significant step in the right direction, especially for a film that spent 15 years in development. Hideo Kojima originally announced the movie in 2006, with forecasted release in 2011, stating that he would like to see Hugh Jackman as Snake. However, the film’s development was halted in 2010 due to Konami’s concerns that the movie could affect the gaming franchise if it performed poorly. And they were right to express concerns, given that Uwe Boll’s name was mentioned at one point.
In 2012, at Metal Gear‘s 25th anniversary, Kojima announced that Arad Productions, who is currently working on the Borderlands movie, has agreed to produce a movie version of the game with Columbia Pictures. Vogt-Roberts joined the project in 2014 and continues to shape the movie adaptation to provide the experience closely resembling that offered by the original game. Unfortunately, no other details regarding the production date are known at the time of writing, and who knows how long we’ll have to wait until we see Oscar Isaac as Snake.