In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, John Carpenter reveals that Konami was almost sued due to similarities between Metal Gear Solid and Escape from New York.
These past few months have had no shortage of strange stories involving Hideo Kojima, Konami, and Metal Gear Solid. From Hideo Kojima reportedly being fired to Konami bizarrely claiming that the legendary developer is just on vacation, the Kojima/Konami situation has had some interesting developments, to say the least.
The latest strange story surrounding Kojima, Konami, and the Metal Gear Solid series isn’t about something that happened during the development of the ridiculously successful Metal Gear Solid 5, however. On the contrary, it’s just been revealed by celebrated filmmaker John Carpenter that he was once approached with the idea of suing Konami over the original Metal Gear Solid for copyright infringement.
Ultimately, Carpenter didn’t move forward with the lawsuit. He explained why in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter:
“[CanalPlus] wanted to also go after the video game Metal Gear Solid, which is kind of a rip-off of Escape From New York, too, but I told them not to do that. I know the director of those games, and he’s a nice guy, or at least he’s nice to me.”
It’s no secret that Hideo Kojima’s work has been heavily influenced by film, and he has outright admitted in the past that Solid Snake is meant to pay homage to Snake Plissken from Escape from New York. Even so, there are striking similarities between the characters that arguably cross the line of just being an “homage.”
Beyond their clear physical resemblance and the fact that they share a name, Snake Plissken and Solid Snake are both stealth operatives with smoking habits. Furthermore, Naked Snake and Snake Plissken share a fairly uncommon visual characteristic, with both men sporting eye patches at various points in their careers.
Luckily for Kojima, Konami, and fans of the Metal Gear Solid franchise, Carpenter didn’t move forward with the lawsuit, which could’ve been very damaging to the series. That being said, future legal trouble may be just around the corner for Konami, as a certain head transplant doctor has expressed plans to demand compensation from Konami for using his likeness in Metal Gear Solid 5 without his permission. We’ll have to wait and see how that plays out, but considering the uncanny resemblance between the real world doctor and the fictional one from the game, it seems like he has a pretty solid case.
Do you think Metal Gear Solid is too similar to Escape from New York? Do you feel that John Carpenter made the right call by not pursuing the lawsuit? Let’s discuss the potential copyright infringement lawsuit that was nearly levied against Metal Gear Solid in the comments.