Dear Sony,

As I am sure you are aware, you own the film rights to any adaptation of Metal Gear Solid, the outstanding brainchild of video game auteur Hideo Kojima. I have no doubt that since the property became a gaming icon after Konami brought it to the Playstation in 1998 many have tried to get a film adaptation off the ground. I'm sure you've heard pitch after pitch, and maybe even solicited some of your own, so I appreciate that no ground has been made on turning the beloved series - arguably the most cinematic game of all time - toward the big screen.

Yet I fear that with a big budget adaptation of Prince of Persia on the horizon, you might start getting antsy about making a big budget video game movie of your own; and if that's the case, please do not take up Paul W.S. Anderson on his desire to be the man who brings Solid Snake to movie theaters around the world. For the love of all that is sacred to gamers, please, please, please do not allow that to happen. I could rattle off a handful of different directors better equipped to bring the sweeping world of espionage, intrigue, double-twists, and giant robots than the man who simultaneously rendered two beloved franchises irrelevant with Alien vs. Predator.

Now I'm not opposed to making Metal Gear Solid into a movie. Though Kojima's storylines for MGS have become more twisted and entangled than a snake orgy at this point, I have no doubt that a competent screenwriter could make an excellent script out of the series' latest episodes. But it's going to take a director with real vision to transform Solid Snake from a game icon into the film God he deserves, and Anderson just doesn't have the minerals to do that.
Should you be actively exploring how to bring the stealth superstar to cinemas, your starting off point must be hiring David Hayter to write the script. Sure, he's been the English language voice of the Japanese game star for over a decade, so he knows the property like the back of Snake's eye patch, but with helping pen the scripts for X-Men, X2, and Watchmen he's proven himself more than just a man with a talent for killing it with a gravely voice.

You don't have to go with Hayter as your sole and final screenwriter, but at least give the man a shot. I'm sure he'd be willing to forget the draft he wrote for Konami in 2001 and start fresh, so even if you don't go with him as the writer, you'll at least have a nice jumping off point established by an insider to the franchise. But like I said, I'm less concerned with the script than I am with the director.

Metal Gear Solid is big. It's a big story with big characters fighting bigger villains who sometimes hide in even bigger robots. It's going to take someone who can handle spectacle to bring all of that to cinematic life and nothing in Anderson's career has him capable of tackling such a project; and this is coming from someone who actually enjoys some of Anderson's work. He's not an awful director, he's just wrong for this project. And to show you how wrong I think he is for it, I'm going to throw out a name I never, ever, ever would have imagined suggesting for MGS: McG.

Yes, McG, the man behind Charlie's Angels and Terminator Salvation. While I was, as a whole, unsatisfied by Terminator Salvation, his delivery of the first hour or so has me convinced that even he would be a better match for global stakes than Anderson. And if I'm willing to concede that McG is a better at something than someone, well, that should only go to show how ill-suited said someone is. [Clarification: I'm not saying I'd like McG to do MGS, I'm just saying that even he - another safe, commercial director - would be a better choice than Anderson.]

Back in 1998 I first envisioned Metal Gear Solid as a perfect vehicle for someone like John McTiernan, but I realize that you're likely to eventually (and I do believe that a MGS is not a question of If, but When) want to go with someone who has a recent record at the box office. I could easily assemble a fantasy list of who I'd like to see do it today, but that's not necessary. All you need to know is that Paul W.S. Anderson, though willing, is even more unnecessary. Let him stick to the Soldiers and the Death Races of the world. Let him stick to movies without congruous tone, characters, and scale. Just please let someone else usher cinema's future-favorite spy to the big screen.

I beg you,
a Nerd

categories Cinematical