After years of development, it seems like a movie based on the “Metal Gear Solid” series is finally moving forward. Deadline reported yesterday that “The Kings of Summer” director Jordan Vogt-Roberts is in early talks to bring Solid Snake to the big screen.
Like any video game adaptation, a movie based on this series is a difficult proposition for a number of reasons. The games from creator Hideo Kojima play increasingly like movies with extended cut scenes involving clones, conspiracies and alternate histories, but there are few game series that feel as tailor-made for adaptation as “Metal Gear Solid.”
If Sony does move ahead with “Metal Gear Solid,” there are a few things fans need to see the make a bona fide Solid Snake adventure that was worth the wait.
The hero of the story is its most crucial element and likely the one that’s easiest to screw up. Snake isn’t just a generic black ops spy guy. Yes, he’s the ultimate badass, but he’s got a brain. It’s easy to mock “Metal Gear Solid” for its lengthy (and often cheesy) monologues about war, humanity and the meaning of life, but those are essential to the spirit of the game. Snake needs to be the same thoughtful stealth expert with a really messed up family situation.
Snake’s go-to method of communication is a series staple and a must-have for any movie.
The Shadow Moses Incident
Pretty much everyone who has played the original PlayStation game agrees that the 1998 classic is the game to adapt. The story of Snake’s one-man infiltration of an Alaskan nuclear disposal facility established the formula for the rest of the series and struck the perfect balance of military action, conspiracy and science fiction elements and an ultimately human story. It also remains one of the most straight-forward stories Kojima ever told.
The original “Metal Gear Solid” was actually the third game created by Kojima that followed the exploits of Solid Snake, and it does not ignore the previous stories from the NES and MSX2 platforms. In fact, every game in the series has incorporated themes or story beats from previous entries, making it one of the most complex serialized narratives in video game history. While tackling every storyline in the history of “Metal Gear” wouldn’t make sense for a potential film series, it’s important to translate the deeply textured feel to the screen. In short, we need Big Boss. We need the Patriots. We need Revolver Ocelot.
This Sound Effect
A Team of Specialized Villains
Even if Sony doesn’t do a direct adaptation of the first “Metal Gear Solid,” the concept they should definitely lift is including a deadly line-up of adversaries for Snake to battle. The trope of each boss having a particular skill is very video game-y, but in terms of movie possibilities, it will keep fights fresh. The FOXHOUND roster of Sniper Wolf, Vulcan Raven, Decoy Octopus, Psycho Mantis, Revolver Ocelot and Liquid Snake was particularly well-rounded.
Starting with “Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty,” composer Harry Gregson-Williams has given the game film-quality, orchestral scores, the themes for which are based on the original PlayStation game. It would be a nice play to get hardcore fans on-board to hire Gregson-Williams to continue his stellar work with the series.
What do you want to see in a “Metal Gear Solid” movie? Let me know in the comments below.