Can you believe it’s been thirty years since the first Metal Gear game came out? In 1987, Hideo Kojima released Metal Gear for the MSX home computer system. The franchise exploded in popularity; Eventually it was imported to America as a NES game of the same name and received a sequel entitled Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake.
The most revolutionary game of the series, however, came in the form of 1998’s Metal Gear Solid. This was the title that brought the franchise into the third dimension and introduced many of the crazy story elements and cinematic cutscenes that have become staples of the series.
Crazily enough, fans are still waiting with baited breath for any sort of Metal Gear Solid movie. Currently Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts is attached to direct with hopes that the film will begin production soon. However, we’ve all heard this before: Metal Gear Solid has been stuck in development hell for almost a decade. Why do fans keep getting their hopes up? Just to suffer? Every night, we dream about who could play Solid Snake… or Revolver Ocelot… or even Otacon. You think about it too, don’t you?
Let’s get down to business and do Fancasting a Metal Gear Solid Movie!
15. Sniper Wolf – Milla Jovovich
Anyone who has ever played Metal Gear Solid will remember Sniper Wolf. Upon her first encounter with Solid Snake, she shot Meryl in the leg as a ploy to draw out the hero. However, Snake only had short-range weapons at the time and the player was forced to walk back through half of the game’s entire map just to find a long-range sniper rifle.
The second boss battle against Sniper Wolf was just as memorable; the player had to engage her across a wide open field during a heavy snowstorm. Though we were never given her real name, we know that the villain was a hardened special forces operative with Russian heritage.
Milla Jovovich is the only logical choice for the character. Originally born in the Ukraine, she already has the look of the character down and could easily revert back to her native tongue for the accent. Not to mention, Sniper Wolf is the real deal, and Milla is the queen of the action genre! With titles like Resident Evil, The Fifth Element, and Ultraviolet under her belt, the actress is excellent at playing characters that you don’t want to mess with.
14. Decoy Octopus/The DARPA Chief – Jeffrey Wright
Every high-tech spy story needs their own “master of disguise” character. In Metal Gear Solid this comes in the form of Decoy Octopus, a FOXHOUND agent who is next to impossible to discover once he has decided to impersonate someone.
Octopus not only wore eerily realistic masks and copied the mannerisms of his target to a tee… He also went as far as to drain and inject himself with their blood so that his DNA would be a perfect match! In the events of the first MGS game Snake encounters Octopus impersonating the DARPA Chief, Donald Anderson, before he dies via an attack of the FOXDIE Virus.
Jeffrey Wright may not be the best choice to play a suave, sinister master of disguise, but remember that we only encounter Octopus as the DARPA Chief. Wright has already proven that he can play the role of “nerdy tech scientist” thanks to The Hunger Games franchise. But don’t mistake him as a typecast actor– this beloved character actor has given us some extremely well-acted roles throughout his long career. It may only be a bit part, but we think that Jeffrey Wright could make it a memorable one!
13. Master Miller – Josh Holl0way
When we met Master Miller in the first MGS game, he was just a minor character who had been carried over from Metal Gear 2. In the latter, he was available to the player via codec, giving Snake advice on how to survive in the harsh wilderness of his mission location.
Miller played a similar role in Solid, although in retrospect he was integral to the plot of the entire game; just three days before the Shadow Moses mission someone broke into his home and murdered Miller. The character the player had been talking to this whole time was really Liquid Snake. In the later prequel games, Master Miller’s role and story were expanded upon greatly.
The key point of casting Master Miller in a Metal Gear Solid movie is that he looks like the actor playing Liquid, leading us to cast LOST’s Josh Holloway. The actor isn’t going to blow anyone away with an Oscar-worthy performance, but you can’t deny that Sawyer has similar characteristics to Miller. He’s the gruff, wisecracking bad boy that everyone wishes they could be. Plus, he’s the spitting image of the character. Throw on some overly-large sunglasses and a beret and they’d look almost identical.
12. Nastasha – Noomi Rapace
Now, we approach the subject of this film with the assumption that there will be expanded roles for the game’s codec-only characters. Nastasha Romanenko only appears as a face on a screen during the course of the series. In fact, Metal Gear Solid is the only one she appears in at all.
Romanenko is a nuclear weapons expert who is tasked with helping Solid Snake during the Shadow Moses Incident; she works from a makeshift intelligence office run out of her home in Los Angeles. As a child in the Ukraine, Nastasha saw her parents die of radiation poisoning thanks to the Chernobyl disaster, and swore to help rid the world of nuclear weapons in her adult life.
Nastasha is spunky, independent, driven, and intelligent. Sounds like Noomi Rapace to us! The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Prometheus star has proven time and time again that she can play this type of character. The Swedish-born actress can hold her own with the big guns of Hollywood, and we’d absolutely love to see her play off of the other A-listers in this film in an extended role.
11. Vulcan Raven – Ricky Whittle
One of the charms of the MGS series is its bosses. Even in the worst of the games, the player is treated to a slew of unique bosses, each with their own abilities and personality quirks. Vulcan Raven is one of the baddest villains in video game history.
The first time we fight him he attacks the player with a freaking tank! The second time, he slowly lumbers around like a horror movie slasher carrying a gigantic chain gun. As his name implies, the villain was a shaman who wore a giant raven-shaped birthmark upon his head and was often accompanied by a slew of birds.
If the image of a beefed-up Ricky Whittle holding a minigun that’s normally reserved for an F-16 doesn’t intimidate you, we don’t know what will. The man may not have many well-known credits to his name, but he’s become a breakout star thanks to his part as Shadow Moon in American Gods. He’s already intimidating enough in that role… just imagine what he could do if he was able to fully let loose and play a straight-up villain.
10. Psycho Mantis – Andrew Scott
What can we say about Psycho Mantis that hasn’t already been said? The villain is considered one of the greatest video game bosses of all time on top of being one of the most creepy characters in the franchise.
On the off chance that you aren’t familiar with this guy, here’s the lowdown: Psycho Mantis discovered his powers as a young child. In a fit of rage, he used them to completely decimate his village; the resulting release of energy completely burned his face. During the battle between he and Snake, Mantis able to “read the player’s mind.” The only way to beat this boss was to plug your controller into the second port.
Sherlock fans have witnessed Andrew Scott’s insanity acting first hand. As Moriarty in the hit BBC series, the actor flips back and forth between cunningly evil and terrifyingly mentally unhinged; this seems like it’d be a good role for the actor. It’s a different type of evil than he’s known for; Mantis is something of a sadistic, eerily silent type of insane (as opposed to the gleeful Moriarty). However, that type of psychosis is present in his Sherlock role, even if it is more subdued.
9. Naomi Hunter – Hayley Atwell
Naomi Hunter is probably the biggest “behind the scenes” player in the original MGS. Throughout the mission she acts as a medical specialist to Snake, having injected him with nanomachines and several other elixirs that would help him survive in the cold Alaskan climate.
However, it was revealed later on in the game that there was something more sinister about her: Naomi was the adopted sister of Frank Jaeger, aka Gray Fox. Snake had seemingly killed Frank years earlier, and she wanted to get her revenge. When she treated Snake in preparation for the mission, she injected him with a strain of the FOXDIE virus. Though she was caught and apprehended, she resurfaced to play a major role in the fourth Metal Gear Solid game.
You know what would be really fun? To see Hayley Atwell play a villain! The British actress is mostly known for playing Peggy Carter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its spin-offs, but she has also held her own in shows like Conviction and Black Mirror. Although each of the aforementioned characters have somewhat of a “bad” side, we’d love to see Atwell try her hand at being full-on evil.
8. Mei Ling – Pom Klementieff
Mei Ling is easily the most underrated character in this franchise. In the first MGS, she is responsible for inventing the Codec communication system as well as the radar that tells the player where enemies are located on the map. Whenever you needed to save your game, the player would call her for help and she would deliver some sort of proverb or quote from a piece of literature as advice.
We like to see her as the Samwise of the series; she is always there to lend her advice to Snake or brighten his spirits when all seems lost. Mei Ling finally gets in on the action herself in the fourth game, where she is the commander of the USS Missouri.
She may be somewhat new to the scene, but Pom Klementieff is the only choice for Mei Ling. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 she played Mantis, an adorable character who was inquisitive, charming, and filled with child-like wonder about creatures and their emotions. Klementieff’s performance in this recent smash hit would translate amazingly to the MGS role; Mei Ling acts as the beacon of hope and light in a series that’s filled with darkness.
7. Colonel Campbell – Denzel Washington
Roy Campbell is a secondary hero in the entirety of the Metal Gear series. In Metal Gear 2, he was introduced as the commanding officer of Solid Snake’s mission, a role that he would take on again in Metal Gear Solid 1, Metal Gear Solid 2, and unofficially (he deals with Snake under the table) in Metal Gear Solid 4.
Campbell claims to be the uncle of Meryl during the entirety of Shadow Moses, but later admits that he is actually her father. He also gets replaced by an artificial AI in the second MGS game.
For the Colonel, we have to go with the iconic Denzel Washington. He may look older and more worn out nowadays, but Washington can still be a hardcore action star when he wants to be, as evidenced by The Magnificent Seven. Besides, Colonel Campbell is supposed to be a little bit grumpy and tired in his golden years, having served with the Marine Corps, the Green Berets, and FOXHOUND respectively since the 1970s. We think that Washington could bring the right gravitas to the role without losing the hardened edges that make the character who he is.
6. Gray Fox – Sung Kang
Frank Jaeger was one of FOXHOUND’s greatest agents. The character was an ally in the original Metal Gear before defecting in the second game. Here was thought to have perished during a fist fight with Solid Snake in an active minefield. However, Jaeger returns as an upgraded cyborg ninja in Metal Gear Solid, assisting his old friend once more before making the ultimate sacrifice. Of course, he has to get in one last bout of hand-to-hand combat with his old friend before he goes. You know, for old time’s sake!
Our pick to play Gray Fox is Sung Kang. Kang’s biggest role to date was in the Fast & the Furious franchise, in which he plays Han, a thief/street racer/member of Dom’s crew whowas one of the main characters in the third film. What makes Han stand out from the crowd in these movies is the fact that he is more reserved and quietly observant than his friends (er, family). Thinking about Kang’s silent composure mixed with a deeper, modified voice and costume like Gray Fox’s sends a chill down our spine.
5. Meryl – Amber Heard
Metal Gear Solid introduced us to Roy Campbell’s daughter (said to be niece), Meryl. She acted as both sidekick and love interest to Solid Snake in the game, consistently trying to one-up him in battle in an attempt to prove that she didn’t need his help.
From a young age, Meryl was a soldier through and through; she joined the military straight out of high school and was accepted into the Genome Solider program (which led her to Shadow Moses). Fans were able to decide the character’s fate during the torture segment of the game. If they submitted to the torture, Meryl was found dead at the end of the game. If not, she lived and escaped alongside Snake.
Let’s just throw this out there…Amber Heard has the look of Meryl down to a tee (especially when she dyes here hair red). The actress has come a long way since her early days, going from bit parts in Friday Night Lights and Zombieland to major roles like Aquaman. Heard has shown that when she is given good material to work with, she can turn in a well-acted performance. For the tough-as-nails Meryl, she had better be on her A-game!
4. Otacon – Aaron Taylor-Johnson
The bromance is real between Hal “Otacon” Emmerich and Solid Snake. When they first meet each other, Otacon is so terrified by Gray Fox that he urinates in his pants and hides in a locker. By Metal Gear Solid 4, Hal is a completely different man, he has found his courage, matured, and seems like he would do anything for his best friend.
Otacon is the ultimate sidekick in video game history; he’s loyal to Snake, highly intelligent and insightful, technologically gifted, and just an all-around genuinely good person. He acts as Snake’s contact on the outside in all three of his MGS appearances, sometimes even building specialized technology for the superspy.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson has gotten less and less dweeby roles lately, but remember his roots: yhis was the guy that perfectly embodied the character of Kick-Ass (one of the lamest superheroes to ever exist). And let’s face it… Quicksilver wasn’t as cool as he thought he was. Aaron Taylor-Johnson has shown that he is more than capable of playing the nerdy, sniveling-yet-loyal sidekick.
3. Revolver Ocelot – Viggo Mortensen
There’s Metal Gear Solid villains, and then there’s Revolver Ocelot. The character has been part of the series’ story since the ’60s, when he was a GRU Officer in the Soviet Union and was tasked with killing the future Big Boss. Over time, Ocelot worked his way into Big Boss’ favor, earning a spot on FOXHOUND and eventually taking over Liquid Snake’s legacy.
We’d still argue that Ocelot is the franchises’ main villain. After all, he’s the only character to make an appearance in all five of the core Metal Gear Solid games.
Now, picture Viggo Mortensen as a hammy Russian villain who is obsessed with gunplay. Mortensen is one of those actors who picks and chooses his roles carefully. He only appears in the public spotlight once every two or three years but when he does, he usually brings along with him an Oscar-worthy performance. The actor also has some of the greatest range we’ve ever seen, shifting from fantasy king to crazy wilderness man to post-apocalyptic survivor without even breaking a sweat. No matter how he played the character, we know we’d be in for a treat if Viggo was under the mustache.
2. Liquid Snake – Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Liquid is the leader of the FOXHOUND uprising that took over Shadow Moses. As a fellow clone of Big Boss, Liquid would constantly refer to Snake as his “dear brother.” The two had somewhat of a sibling rivalry: Solid Snake was cloned from Big Boss’ dominant genes, while Liquid was made from his recessive ones. This led to Liquid feeling that he was inferior to his brother, and wanted to prove himself better by defeating him in combat.
Even after his death, he refused to go away; his corpse’s arm was grafted onto Revolver Ocelot, somehow allowing his personality to take over the gunslinger whenever he was in the vicinity of his brother (like we said, weird and complicated!).
Liquid and Solid Snake are both clones from the same genetic material. However, the games gave him a completely different appearance than his brother. Take a good listen to Liquid Snake’s sinister, cocky accent and tell us that it doesn’t sound like Jaime Lannister.
There’s just something about Nikolaj Coster-Waldau that instantly makes us think “bratty violent rich guy!” He also has the mannerisms and appearance of Liquid down pat, making him our only choice for Solid Snake’s villainous clone.
1. Solid Snake – Hugh Jackman
Try as they might to shoehorn Big Boss in as the “new” hero of the MGS series, Solid Snake will always be the main protagonist. He’s been around for every single core series game with the exception of Metal Gear Solid 3 and Metal Gear Solid V.
The character is everything you could want out of a video game hero. He comes across as a cold, uncaring loner when in reality, he has a soft side for those he cares about and is always putting aside personal gain for the greater good.
For a Metal Gear Solid movie, there is no other choice for the grizzled special-ops veteran than Hugh Jackman. Heck, Jackman has basically been playing the character already in the form of Logan! Take away his claws and replace them with high-tech weaponry and you’ve basically got a perfect Solid Snake. Of course, Snake is a much more hopeful and positive character than Wolverine ever was.
Hugh looks the part, has acted the part, and would bring one of his incredibly memorable performances to one of the greatest video game characters to ever exist.
What do you think of our casting? Did we get them all spot on? Let us know in the comments! Or by Codec. But we’d definitely prefer the comments.