Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has recently stated that his adaptation of Hideo Kojima's landmark Metal Gear video game series (Metal Gear Solid) will be it's own thing— it will honor the spirit and stories of the games, but will not adapt any of those stories specifically. The director of Kong: Skull Island has since described one way in which he plans to do this: He will embrace the weirdness of the series.
Talking with Screenrant, Vogt-Roberts made it clear that the odd, supernatural, and "anime" elements of the series are what can serve to make it unique, and also make it stand apart from the dreaded video game film adaptation curse.
He gives his producers a lot of credit, saying that he approached them and said, "Let’s embrace the fact that this is weird." He went on to say that he planned to "embrace the fact that there are supernatural elements to this game that are horror elements... let’s embrace the fact that there are weird Japanese quirkiness and idiosyncrasies and oddities that are all framed around this very self-serious world and let’s lean into those things and let’s have it be unique and unlike anything else." And that by being true to the source material, he hopes that "the rest of the world [will] fall in love with it because of that as opposed to trying to make it something else.”
Sure, the Metal Gear games are military-based in nature, but they also include vampires, huge mechas, evil shamans, and the occasional topless brawl. In other words, it doesn't sound like something a studio would immediately sign on to -- and if they did, it sounds like something that would have its edges smoothed over. If what Vogt-Roberts is saying actually comes to be, then there should be little worry of that.
“I aim to try and recreate what a game made you feel when you played it" he said, making it clear he wants his movie to feel as much like a video game as possible. “It just was a part of us, you know, like so much of my DNA was rewired at a young age by video games and by anime and manga and, and so it naturally bleeds itself into the films that I make and I just think there’ve been a lot of adaptations of games that I think missed what it made you feel and what it, what it tapped into when you’re like in your basement alone, just playing for six hours at a time, playing for like a... you don’t want to put it down."
For anyone who is protective of the Metal Gear brand, Vogt-Roberts is right there with you. "Metal Gear has so many elements and so many like hard things that it’s just one of my favorite properties on the planet. So I’m very protective over it.”
Can all of this weirdness, devotion, and protection keep Metal Gear Solid from going the way that so many video game movies have gone before it? If it works, Vogt-Roberts will be branded a hero. If it doesn't... he'll likely need to hide under a box.