While in Los Angeles for the Video Game Awards, Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima squeezed in some Hollywood meetings: one was with producer Avi Arad; the other was with filmmaker J.J. Abrams. The tweets didn't exactly offer any details.
In one, Kojima said he had a meeting with Arad about the movie. In the other, a day later, Kojima said he was having "another meeting" with J.J. Abrams — though he didn't specify what it was about. Above is a photo Kojima posted of the Bad Robot mascot for Abrams's production company.
Earlier this year, Konami announced that it was taking another stab at making a Metal Gear motion picture. The earlier attempt died on the vine. This time, super producer Avi Arad was on board.
"Comic books are now the biggest genre in cinema," said Arad at the time. "Video games are the comic books of today." The producer then added, "We will take our time and tell the story with all the nuances, ideology, cautionary tales needed."
There's good chance this movie simply will not get made. Everyone else who works in the movie business knows this, and, of course, Arad does too: He's also trying to get a Mass Effect film going, as well as an Uncharted movie that nobody wants to direct.
What's more, it's unclear if Abrams is in talks to helm a Metal Gear movie or not. Kojima met with lots of important people, so it's not always easy to suss out what's going on.
However, if — and that's a big if — J.J. Abrams is in talks to direct the Metal Gear movie, that would not only be exciting, but logical. Abrams is good at juggling paranoia as well as sentimentality, while able to employ complex, if not confusing, story structures that ultimately pull viewers in, but don't always add up.
The world of Metal Gear is extremely interesting and rich with panache, but as a straight story, it's a mess. Kojima is not a great video game storyteller in the way, say, the Housers at Rockstar are. Instead, he's a great stylist. A great mood creator. A great executor of individual scenes and engaging gameplay. A great wielder of big ideas. Kojima's work is deep, let's be honest here: his strong suit isn't spinning a straightforward yarn. And that's fine.
In that regard, J.J. Abrams is Kojima's best bet. Abrams wears his heart on his sleeve like Kojima does, which can result in unapologetic emotion. Abrams might be able to boil Metal Gear down to its essence, the way he did for Star Trek, and create something that is true to the series and stands alone for an entirely new audience.
We don't know if J.J. Abrams is in talks to direct Metal Gear. But goodness, I sure hope he is. Not only for Kojima's sake, but also for Metal Gear's.
Top photo: Hideo Kojima/Twitter