Historically speaking, video game-to-movie adaptations don't have the strongest track record. Sure, there have been a few acceptable installments through the years - but no one can forget some of the attempts at bridging that gap between film and gaming. Bloodrayne, need we say more?
As the work continues on the new Metal Gear Solid movie, the director behind the upcoming film gave a little insight as to why these type of movies seem to crash and burn so hard. Essentially, he gets right into the meat of the reasoning behind why these movies "suck".
In a recent interview, Jordan Vogt-Roberts stated that a big reason behind so many of these flops is that the filmmakers that pick up these daunting projects show very little commitment to the source material, even so much so that the desire to become familiar with it just doesn't seem to be there. The passion to make a video game movie great derives from knowledge of the material and knowledge of the fan base. Vogt-Roberts even credits this same reason for why he attached himself to the Metal Gear Solid project abnormally early - he wanted to make sure that the script and the surrounding material was perfect.
“I think that [filmmakers] have looked at a video game movie and said, ‘Oh, that’s flashy! That’s cool!’… and there’s very little desire to really understand the tone and the atmosphere. A big part of it is not fully committing to the source material, being able to say ‘No, this is what makes this great, so let’s figure out how we translate it.”
The transition of mediums isn't the problem, according to Vogt-Roberts. The wild success of Marvel and DC films from its comic source material proves that - so what's the core issue? According to the director, that passion needs to be wired into the very DNA of the filmmaker that picks the project of choice, especially in relation to a game adaptation:
“I just don’t think that the right filmmakers have been paired with video game adaptations yet–people who have had their DNA and their brains re-wired by games. If you grew up on video games, there’s a language to those games that I think seeps into your brain at a very young age.”
With the comic book vs. gaming in movies debate, the MGS film director compared his point about understanding the genre with the success of the Spider-Man franchise:
"I think a lot of it, frankly, had to do with studios not understanding genre, and not understanding comic books, and then not putting filmmakers that they could trust, who also had an embedded love of these properties. And it took bringing guys like Sam Raimi, who actually had an invested interest and a love of Spider-Man from his youth, to sort of say, 'I understand cinema, I understand comic books, so how do we translate this?'"
"I'm just trying to be a part of a wave of guys who view the idea of talking about a movie and saying 'it feels like a video game,' as a positive thing..." Could Jordan Vogt-Roberts be a turning point in how video games are represented in video games? Could the upcoming Metal Gear Solid film be that stepping stone and become the perfect marriage between entertainment mediums? We hope so!