Rumor: Paul Thomas Anderson Directing Metal Gear Solid Movie?! Updated!
No way did I just write that headline. A feature film adaptation of Konami's Metal Gear Solid has "been in the works" for a while. We first mentioned it back in February of 2007 when Sony announced that they would be producing it, and we mentioned it again in March of this year when producer Michael De Luca confirmed that they're trying to get it back on track with a script written by Equilibrium's Kurt Wimmer. Now Kotaku reports that Konami's Aki Saito said that Paul Thomas Anderson, of There Will Be Blood and Magnolia, is one of the potential directors. He didn't name anyone else either, just PTA, and SlashFilm confirmed separately that he didn't mistake him for Paul W.S. Anderson. This is real folks!
Kotaku spoke with Saito at a press conference for Metal Gear Solid 4, due out this summer, and received an update on the production. Saito is the guy who is handling the film negotiations for Konami, which would make him the right guy to know exactly what's going on. Apparently Saito actually fully said "Paul Thomas Anderson" and not just "Paul Anderson," which is enough confirmation for us to believe that PTA is legitimately being pursued as the director of the film. Saito also spoke briefly about the current state of the project and their concern for preventing this from becoming another video game flop.
"Hollywood has great respect for Mr. Kojima. They want to meet with him. Kojima will be acting as a producer, but we don't know how involved he'll be as a producer. Often Hollywood adaptations have the original game creator involved at the beginning, but somewhere along the line they fall out of view. This is why it's very important for us to carefully pick the studio for this project."
It appears that Hideo Kojima, the game's original creator and designer, won't be directing but instead will be producing. Everyone knows that Kojima's involvement is integral with this adaptation and it sounds like Konami actually understands the film's potential. They're really turning this into a truly high profile project, and now with the mention of Paul Thomas Anderson, they've solidified my speculation that it is definitely going to be something extraordinary. While nothing is confirmed, and Sony especially isn't talking, it sounds realistically like PTA is actually one of the directors they're pursuing.
Wow. I don't know what to say to this. It's like a dream come true. After watching There Will Be Blood multiple times, I've come to realize that anything Paul Thomas Anderson touches will instantly become solid gold. If he actually takes on this gig, I believe we'll see one of the greatest video adaptations of all-time. Everyone who is already a fan of the Metal Gear Solid video game series knows how cinematic and incredible that game naturally is, but in the hands of PTA, it could only grow even further. Even if you weren't the biggest fan of There Will Be Blood, I don't think anyone can deny that PTA is a brilliant filmmaker. It's just a question of how he exactly would tackle the futuristic world of Metal Gear Solid.
Update! Apparently Collider called up one of their friends involved in the production and asked them how true this rumor was. The answer: "completely false and ridiculous." We're still going to hold out and hope to god Saito and Kotaku were right, but for now it seems all hope is lost. At least it was an awesome rumor while it lasted!
Is this not some of the best movie news you've heard all month?!