We’ve put together a rundown of the history of Sony Pictures’ Metal Gear Solid movie and where it currently stands in the development process.
A Metal Gear Solid movie was first announced back in 2007 when it was revealed that the game’s creator and designer Hideo Kojima was looking to make a feature film adaptation of the popular tactical espionage series. Kojima would also executive produce the film.
The Japanese game’s setting taking place from 1964 to 2018 which would give a studio plenty of material for an action film franchise. Those titles (not all of them) include Metal Gear Solid (1998), Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2001), Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004), Metal Gear Solid: Guns of The Patriots (2008), Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (2010), Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (2014), and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (2015).
METAL GEAR SOLID (1998) – The nuclear waste disposal facility on Shadow Moses Island, in Alaska’s Fox Archipelago, has been taken over in a raid by Next-Generation Special Forces, being led my members of FOX-HOUND. Solid Snake, a former member of FOX-HOUND, has two missions objectives. First, he must rescue the DARPA Chief Donald Anderson and ArmsTech President Kenneth Baker. Both are being held as hostages. Secondly, he must investigate whether or not the terrorists have the ability to launch a nuclear weapon. There are six FOX-HOUND members involved in this exercise: Psycho Mantis, with his psychic powers; Sniper Wolf, the beautiful and deadly sharpshooter; Decoy Octopus, master of disguise; Vulcan Raven, giant and shaman, Revolver Ocelot, a master of interrogation, and a formidable gunfighter. And lastly, the leader of the FOX-HOUND squadron: Liquid Snake.
Giving Metal Gear Solid a feature film adaptation felt like a given as the games are very much influenced by films themselves with multiple scenes and designs homaging various films throughout the series. Back in 2009, Hideo Kojima listed 15 films that inspired the games.
- The Guns of Navarone
- The Great Escape
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Planet of the Apes (1968)
- The Deer Hunter
- Dawn of the Dead
- Full Metal Jacket
- Die Hard
- Black Hawk Down
- Children of Men
- Bourne Series
- Casino Royale
Other films that he most certainly took inspiration, took design cues or added references from Escape From New York, First Blood, Apocalypse Now, Mad Max 2, Akira, The Terminator, Die Hard 2, Dark Star, Dr. Strange Love, The Fly, The Fugitive, Hellraiser, Running Man, RoboCop, Lethal Weapon, Leon The Professional, Platoon, Under Siege, and possibly the Jack Ryan films.
The Metal Gear Solid film landed at Sony/Columbia Pictures with Avi Arad producing. Avi is best known for spearheading the Spider-Man film franchise (live-action and animated) alongside other adaptations such as Venom 1-2, Morbius, the visually stunning Ghost In The Shell starring Scarlett Johansson (a box office bomb and critical mess) and Tom Holland’s long-delayed Uncharted movie (another video game adaptation) that could be coming out on October 8th, 2021 (if they’re able to film it later this year).
Jordan Vogt-Roberts was first rumored and then eventually confirmed as Metal Gear Solid’s director in 2014, who had recently shot Kong: Skull Island for Legendary Pictures. Their big Monsterverse reboot of the King Kong character leading up to Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs Kong (may or may not be released this November). Kong: Skull Island certainly has the visual flair you’d want for a Metal Gear movie, thanks to cinematographer Larry Fong.
In 2015, it was reported that script would be penned by The Girl In The Spider’s Web screenwriter Jay Basu and then in 2017 was handed off to Derek Connolly. Derek’s impressive credits include Kong: Skull Island, Detective Pikachu, Jurassic World, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and had worked with Colin Trevorrow on the Star Wars: Duel of The Fates script before it became Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
In December, Jordan gave an update on the status of the script via Twitter.
VOGT-ROBERTS: “We just turned in a new draft. It’s full Kojima-quirk and full military surrealism. I won’t say more.”
During the development of the film, Kojima would notoriously sever ties with Konami leaving the company to start his own game development studio Kojima Productions which released their original game Death Stranding starring actor Norman Reedus (Blade II, The Walking Dead, Boondock Saints).
Jordan would assemble a massive amount of concept artwork from various professional concept artists to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the game. It remains to be seen if any of the commissioned artwork Jordan posted on his Twitter account was meant for the film’s production.You can check out some of the highlights of that artwork below.
Star Wars actor Oscar Isaac mentioned to IGN during the press tour for his Netflix thriller Triple Frontier that the role he’s most interested in playing would be Metal Gear Solid’s Snake. Oscar’s other film credits include Drive, Ex Machina, Annihilation, Body of Lies, The Bourne Legacy, Robin Hood, X-Men: Apocalypse, and Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming Dune movie.
ISAAC: “Metal Gear Solid, I’m throwing my hat in the ring for that one.”
IGN: Who would you play?
ISAAC: “Snake, man.”
This also sparked interest from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts to see Oscar take the role.
To everyone asking how I feel about Oscar Isaac saying he wants to be Solid Snake.
The full process required to cast an icon hasn’t even started, but..
Ask @Bosslogic where the idea for his brilliant mock up came from.
The ball’s in Oscar’s court. pic.twitter.com/DKM1gw0Oc2
— Jordan Vogt-Roberts (@VogtRoberts) March 4, 2019
Dark Knight actor Christian Bale had been once been rumored for the part of Solid Snake. While speaking with MTVNews during the promotional tour for Michael Mann’s Public Enemies, Bale dismissed the rumor but admitted he was a fan of the video games.
Hideo had once suggested that Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman was someone he’d like to see in the role of Snake but would differ to the producers/studio to find the right actor.
I’m going to be hopeful that Sony, Jordan, and Avi are smart enough to get Weta Workshop and Weta Digital involved to help with the production design of the film considering they worked with Arad on Ghost In The Shell and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
As it stands, there is a shot the film eventually gets made but during the coronavirus pandemic, the studios are a little on-edge about greenlighting things when they have a backlog of productions already on their hands. With Sony Pictures, they’re just hoping that their Uncharted film and Spider-Man 3 can move forward alongside other projects.
Are you excited to finally get a Metal Gear Solid movie? Who would you cast in the various franchise roles?