Metal Gear movie worth smaller budget if it preserves R rating, says director Jordan Vogt-Roberts

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Aug 6, 2018, 8:58 PM EDT (Updated)

We’re a long way from official word that a film adaptation of Hideo Kojima’s iconic Metal Gear Solid video game creation is even in development, let alone that there’s a finished product. But it’s one of those dream projects that at least has a crucial piece of momentum where it matters: director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island), a lifelong fan of the series and perhaps the biggest advocate to see it done right on the big screen.

Vogt-Roberts, who’s been plugging along on the passion project for years, recently told Collider that realizing a vision as specific as Kojima’s, while finding a way to translate the often intentionally labyrinthine narratives and outrageous set pieces of the games, requires a purity of artistic vision that may limit the reach of the finished film. But, he said, it’s a trade-off he wouldn’t want any other way. 

“I think finding the right access point and leaning into all of those things that appeal to the hardcore, I think that’s a way to translate that stuff and those end up being the things that a general audience falls in love with,” he said. “Instead of being afraid of them, instead of running away from all those oddities and those quirks, those are Metal Gear.”

Any effort to embrace the games’ most outlandish quirks necessarily involves embracing all their gore, sexual themes, scatological references, and heightened sense of violence — in other words, all the things that typically assure a feature film an R-rating. 

Even though studios tend to limit R-rated film budgets in anticipation that the rating itself will limit the size of the audience those films reach, according to Vogt-Roberts, that’s exactly what should happen to preserve the integrity of Kojima’s vision as it carries over to the big screen. 

“It’s about doing it for a price so you can make the riskier, balls-to-the-wall, Kojima-san version of it,” he explained. “…[B]y leaning into all the crazy things that people may say, ‘Whoa, you can’t adapt a Metal Gear movie because of this, this, and this.’ I actually believe that… is how you make the rest of the world fall in love with it.”

Currently, Sony reportedly appears to be perusing the film’s script — a treatment that, “Even if I wasn’t involved in this movie I would read that script and say, ‘Holy s***,’” Vogt-Roberts enthused of the story written by Derek Connolly (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom). But for the time being, we’re still waiting, along with Vogt-Roberts, for the studio to fully greenlight the project, which Vogt-Roberts said he hopes will become "the first great video game movie."

What do you think, does he sound like he's on the right path?