Jordan Vogt-Roberts reveals why he fought so hard to bring the Metal Gear Solid video game series to the big screen and his unorthodox ways of testing potential writers for the project. 32-year old director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island, Kings of Summer) does not shy away from professing his love of video games and their major influence on his work. After the success of Kings of Summer, Vogt-Roberts decided that he wanted to try his hand at a "big movie" and happened to see a book for Metal Gear Solid on a Sony executive's desk. Vogt-Roberts was ecstatic, but Sony didn't think that the director would be a good match for the project.
While talking to Glixel, Vogt-Roberts told the story of his "chase" to get the movie and why he's the best possible director for the project. Read what he had to say below.
"I said, 'You know what? This thing is so important to me I at least need to feel like I tried, that I did everything I could to try and make my version of the movie. I was even at a place where I was like, "I don't care if they steal all of my ideas." If I can at least have impacted this process in a positive way, I'm going to go for it."
Vogt-Roberts even went so far as to write a book and give it to executives. The book detailed what the Metal Gear Solid series meant to him personally, the current state of videogame movies, and how the movie would need to feel to get over the videogame movie slump.
The Metal Gear Solid movie has been in development for years, but it wasn't until recently that the wheels started moving with the addition of Vogt-Roberts working with series creator and personal hero of Vogt-Roberts, Hideo Kojima aiming for a gritty PG-13 or rated R release. The property is so important to Vogt-Roberts that he constructed an interesting course for prospective writers. He says this.
"As I brought in writers, I basically took them on this weird journey where I brought them over to my house and I designed this weird course where I would load up the original Metal Gear and I would have the writer play that for a while, and just teach them this idea of stealth gameplay."
The original Metal Gear videogame came out on the Nintendo Entertainment Center in 1987 and the Metal Gear Solid series started in 1998 on the Sony PlayStation. The passionate director didn't stop there. He goes on to say this.
"They'd play that (original NES) for an hour or so, and then I would jump forward and then I'd load up Metal Gear Solid 5 and say, 'This is where it jumps to. You just saw the beginnings of this, and over the course of 30-odd years, this is where it took us,' so you see both ends of the spectrum."
Vogt-Roberts began his love of video games as I child on his dad's old Atari and then later a Nintendo Gameboy since his mother would not allow him to have an NES or SNES console. He sees his generation as the first generation to really embrace the world of videogames. It is evident that those game experiences Vogt-Roberts had growing up have had a great influence on all of his cinematic work. Vogt-Roberts is also a bit of a purist, mentioning that he likes to play the old games on the original systems rather than use the virtual console or ROMs.
There is no release date set for the Metal Gear Solid movie, but one thing is for sure: Vogt-Roberts will be putting out the movie, no matter what the cost. His passion for the game series and adoration for series creator Kojima are too great to let this project fall by the wayside. Will Metal Gear Solid be the first truly great video game movie?