MTV caught up with screenwriter/voice actor David Hayter this past week and learned that work on a film adaptation of the Metal Gear Solid video game will not continue until a deal is made between the game's original creator and Sony.
Hayter has provided the voice of Metal Gear Solid lead character Solid Snake since the late 90s, and actually wrote a script for the film adaptation of the game. In fact, Hayter's credentials as a screenwriter include the X-Men movie, X2, and even a Watchmen screenplay which earned him the praise of the graphic novel's notoriously anti-Hollywood author, Alan Moore. He also earned a co-writing credit for the 2009 movie version of Watchmen.
Concerning his Metal Gear Solid screenplay, Hayter offered the following backstory:
"A couple of years ago, a producer friend of mind asked me if I would be interested in doing the adaptation. And I said 'Of course. I know it pretty well.' I think I can say without contradiction that I know it better than any screenwriter on the planet. I've said every word that Snake has said. So I felt well-qualified."
Video game movies have increased only a little in terms of quality since the early '90s, a time when such hilariously poor efforts as Street Fighter and the Mortal Kombat sequel (first was alright) miraculously managed to not kill off the genre. Currently, Prince of Persia has been met with mixed reception - you can read our own Vic Holtreman's review HERE - from moviegoers, while Kane & Lynch is expected to be a moderate hit next year.
Hayter is more than familiar with the sorry history of video game adaptations and seems inclined to deliver a Metal Gear Solid movie that actually entertains -- rather than one that merely cashes in on the franchise name. As he puts it:
"I really want to spring some things on people. Having been intimately involved with 'Metal Gear,' I would like to give people a story that will grab the fans. The fans will know the context that we're talking about once they see the trailers. They'll say 'Oh my god, they're going there.' But they won't quite know how the story is going to unfold or what some of the big surprises are going to be. And that's really the only way to keep a movie [adaptation] interesting."
Why then has progress been halted on the Metal Gear Solid movie? Hayter confessed that his information on the subject was received secondhand, but it seems that a deal between the game's creator (Hideo Kojima) and Sony fell through. He relented on speculating further on the matter, other than to say "there are far larger issues in terms of who's going to get the rights to do it and what sort of involvement Mr. Kojima is going to have. All that needs to be worked out before I would ever come up."
What do you think? Do you hope to see development of a Metal Gear Solid movie get going again soon? Are you excited by the prospect of the film being written by Hayter? Sound off in the comments section below.
We'll keep you posted on any future news concerning a Metal Gear Solid movie when we hear it.