It goes without saying that video game film adaptations have historically been poorly-received, with Assassin’s Creed and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter being the latest entries in a long line of critically-panned video game movies. But if the words of Jordan Vogt-Roberts, director of the upcoming Metal Gear Solid movie, are to be believed, there are a few reasons why video game film adaptations have generally been terrible.
In a new interview with GameSpot, Vogt-Roberts shared his thoughts on why video game film adaptations have not been great over the last few years, saying that he believes filmmakers have very little desire to commit to the source material and thus ultimately end up making a movie that doesn’t capture the tone of what made the original video game great. It is this reason that the director signed onto the Metal Gear Solid film project unusually early, attaching himself years ago and working on perfecting the script with writers.
“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.'”
Vogt-Roberts contrasts the poor state of video game adaptations with the successful renaissance of comic book movies over the past decade, saying there are lessons to be learned from how comic book movies are made in terms of properly understanding what makes the source material resonate with fans. Given his love of Metal Gear Solid, Vogt-Roberts also believes that the right director who is passionate about video games has yet to be paired with the right adaptation project, and this has resulted in movies that have been tonally off the mark.
“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.”
Given his strong thoughts as to why video game film adaptations have yet to resonate with fans, it’s no surprise that Vogt-Roberts is putting in a great effort in ensuring that the upcoming Metal Gear Solid film project will honor the vision of series creator Hideo Kojima. Having recently stated that the script is still being developed with a new writer onboard, it is likely that we won’t be hearing much about the Metal Gear Solid movie anytime soon, but there are hopes that this will be the one to break the recent cycle of poor video game film adaptations.