David Hayter on What Happened to a Metal Gear Solid Movie
Although video game movies still haven't found their footing (e.g. Prince of Persia), there are still plenty of games that we're anxious to see on the big screen. One of those games is Metal Gear Solid, the legendary franchise created by Hideo Kojima, that has been rumored to head to the big screen for years. In January, producer Michael De Luca said that the movie wasn't going to happen, saying it was nearly "impossible" to work anything out. Last week, MTV brought on screenwriter David Hayter, better known as the voice of Solid Snake, as a guest editor. One of his final pieces this week looks at what happened to the MGS movie.
Hayter starts at the beginning in terms of how it all originally came together. "They've been trying to work out a deal between [creator Hideo Kojima] and [Sony]," he said. "A couple of years ago, a producer friend of mine asked me if I would be interested in doing the adaptation. And I said 'Of course. I know it pretty well.' I think I can say without contradiction that I know it better than any screenwriter on the planet. I've said every word that Snake has said. So I felt well-qualified." That is most certainly the case, but as he hints at in the beginning, it's the relationship with Hideo Kojima that is causing all the problems. Hayter continues:
"I did come up with a pitch for the movie which I thought was pretty cool and I would still love to do. But there are far larger issues in terms of who's going to get the rights to do it and what sort of involvement Mr. Kojima is going to have. All that needs to be worked out before I would ever come up."
As for how exactly this latest iteration fell apart, Hayter mentions some stuff "he heard," but MTV wouldn't run what he said, so instead they ran this new quote: "On top of that, I don't believe they were ever able to successfully close a deal between Mr. Kojima and Sony. This is all just stuff I've heard." So there you go. I've heard that stated before, mainly that Konami (who publishes the game) and Kojima want to be intimately involved, which I guess is not want any studios/producers want. I'm not sure if Kojima wants to direct it, but I have a feeling he wants to make sure that it's perfect, which is understandable as the creator of the game.
As for one day seeing a Metal Gear Solid movie actually come together, Hayter still has some hope. He talks about his pitch: "Having been intimately involved with Metal Gear, I would like to give people a story that will grab the fans. The fans will know the context that we're talking about once they see the trailers. They'll say 'Oh my god, they're going there.' But they won't quite know how the story is going to unfold or what some of the big surprises are going to be. And that's really the only way to keep a movie interesting." I just hope we won't have to wait another 20 years to find out what those surprises are. Will it ever happen?