One big problem with most video game-to-film adaptations these days is that most of the screenwriters don’t really have a grasp what the games are about. As in, they don’t play them, or don’t watch people play them – they just adapt most of the ideas to a screenplay without getting an idea of what the games are really about. And it’s a problem that’s affecting more work than expected.
But, thankfully, Jordan Vogt-Roberts is aware that it helps to have extensive knowledge of the video game universe in order to translate it to film properly. The director, who previously worked on the action-packed Kong: Skull Island and is set to tackle the movie adaptation of Metal Gear Solid next, recently spoke with Glixel about the process that he’ll be using when it comes to hiring on writers for the project – they must be able to play the game.
Vogt-Roberts has talked about the importance of the franchise in the past, and how he wants to remain true to Hideo Kojima’s vision while still creating something compelling for the big-screen. But, obviously, writing plays a big part in that. “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 director explained, talking about the original Metal Gear games that started it all.
“I would let them play that, and generally, anyone was able to play that because anyone can pick up a game of that era and understand the mechanics of it. They’d play that 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."
Other games involved in this process include Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, and we’re pretty sure Snake Eater is probably in there somewhere, just to provide additional backstory where needed.
The video game adaptation is still early yet, so here’s hoping Vogt-Roberts takes the time and makes it one that works really well for the big-screen. If it’s anywhere close to his effort with Skull Island, we’re in for a treat.