In 2008 Konami, began development on a film adaptation of its popular video game franchise, Metal Gear.
The video game publisher had a script mostly written, and had brought on Michael De Luca to produce. De Luca told fans at the time that he wanted to make a Metal Gear film which did not “mess with the DNA of the game but provide a movie that is an adaptation but that has its own cinematic identity so even if you don’t play the game you know, you’ll come out of that movie feeling like you did at the end of The Matrix or the end of Robocop.”
Despite those lofty comparisons, Konami and De Luca we unable to find a Hollywood studio willing to put up the financing they felt the film deserved, and so it’s been sitting in development hell for four years.
Now, however, Kanomi announced, at the Metal Gear 25th anniversary event in Tokyo, a partnership with Colombia Pictures to finally get the film produced, with a slight name change.
Up on the stage, they unfurled large banners which bore the words “Metal Gear Solid Hollywood Movie.”
For the uninitiated, Metal Gear Solid is the most popular part of the Metal Gear collection, consisting of all of the 3D titles in the franchise, while the 2D adventure games, puzzlers, and card games in the franchise still retain the Metal Gear moniker alone.
De Luca is not involved with the development anymore, having moved on to other projects, but Konami has brought on veteran of comic book film adaptations, Avi Arad as the new producer.
Arad is currently listed as producer on two other video game adaptations as well, Uncharted and Mass Effect, both of which seem to be in development hell themselves.
“For many years I fought to bring comics to theaters,” Arad said to the audience at the event. “Comic books are now biggest genre in cinema, Video games are the comic books of today. We will take our time and tell the story with all the nuances, ideology, cautionary tales needed.” He then joked with Hideo Kojima, Vice President of Konami Digital Entertainment, about possibly getting Kojima’s favorite filmmaker, Christopher Nolan involved on the film.
While the Metal Gear franchise games are mostly only thematically connected, the Metal Gear Solid series covers the career of Solid Snake, a covert agent who is an expert at non-detection. In the games, the players move Snake through a 3D environment toward a specific mission goal, while attempting to stay out of the line of sight of various enemy guards, usually guided by a visual representation of the areas which are safe to travel at any given time, and klaxons which warn of impending detection.
There is no word on which part of Snake’s story might be told by the film, nor how much of the original development will be salvaged.
No other cast or crew have been announced as being attached to the project, though Kojima voiced a preference for either Matt Damon or Hugh Jackman to star in the film.
Metal Gear Solid is in pre-production, and no production or release dates have yet been announced.