While fans of the Metal Gear Solid games by Hideo Kojima have been pining for a proper movie adaptation for years now, Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts seems to finally be getting a chance to bring Snake and any number of characters to the big screen. But with a property like Metal Gear Solid, an adaptation was never going to be so easy. Will they decide to bring back Naked Snake (who you may remember from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater), Big Boss (MGS 5: Phantom Limb), or Solid Snake from the original games? Maybe all three? From what little we’ve heard about the film so far, it sounds like it may span across multiple generations and deviate from a typical story structure. Regardless of what happens, let’s hope they can cast the lead actor who can take on the tough role.
8 Andrew Lincoln
While fans of The Walking Dead have known for years the caliber of performance that Andrew Lincoln can put on as a man trying to bring about order in a world on the brink of collapse, we haven’t seen much else from him since his time at AMC. Casting Lincoln in the role of Snake would give the actor a chance to show a wider audience exactly what he’s capable of. There are definitely some similarities between Lincoln’s character on The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes, and Snake that could help to bring an authenticity to the role that Lincoln has spent years working on.
7 Chris Evans
Chris Evans is another actor that has had years of practice playing the soldier fighting to stop to end of the world. But with his contract with Marvel coming to a close, he’s sure to be on the hunt for new and exciting projects. If you’re at all familiar with Chris Evans’ work, then you know he’s peppered all throughout the cinematic adaptations of geek culture. From Scott Pilgrim to Captain America himself, it almost makes too much sense that he’d hop into the role of another famous icon in geek culture. Who knows what we’ll see Evans in next, but whatever it is, you can bet it won’t be too long before he jumps back into the geek landscape.
6 Diego Luna
This one is a bit of a long shot, but should the filmmakers be looking to add some diversity to the role, Deigo Luna would make a perfect fit. From his recent roles in Star War: Rogue One & Narcos, it’s pretty clear to see that Luna is capable of portraying the tough soldier endlessly fighting the good (or bad) fight. While Luna is not as physically imposing as some of the other actors of this list, he could bring a complexity to the character that would accentuate Snake’s analytical and tactical skills rather than focusing exclusively on his CQC prowess. We know that Luna has the acting chops to lead (or possibly co-lead) a franchise of films based on the Metal Gear Solid game series, the only real question is who would be cast as the Otacon to his Snake.
5 Dylan O’Brien
While Dylan O’Brien is definitely the youngest actor on our list, he’s certainly got the experience to back a claim to a potentially highly physical role like that of Snake. While some of O’Brien’s recent films like the Maze Runner trilogy and American Assassin weren’t terribly well-received by critics, they gave the young actor the opportunity to highlight and develop his skills for playing roles demanding of such astonishing physicality, which we can assume the role of Snake will be as well.
We’ve already watched as O’Brien led one franchise through to its conclusion, and another bonus of hiring an actor so young is being able to illustrate Snake’s growth throughout a series of films. There’s certainly plenty of Hideo Kojima’s story to tell.
4 Jake Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal has had the type of career where he’s been able to play just about any role. From a traumatized marine sniper to a time-traveling schizophrenic high schooler, and even a supervillain. It’s tough to imagine a role that Gyllenhaal couldn’t pick up. He’s definitely got the range to play a complicated and long-lasting role like that of Snake, but with casting still up in the air, it’s hard to say who exactly they’ll be looking at for the iconic role. Regardless of who director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and Hideo Kojima (a close friend of Vogt-Roberts) are looking at for the role, Gyllenhaal is certainly the caliber of actor that could really bring the role (and possibly the franchise) to life.
3 Hugh Jackman
While Hugh Jackman has given up on the role of Logan due to the excessive physical demands of the role, there’s not much stopping him from taking on the role of a character like Big Boss and portraying the character much later in his mercenary career. Big Boss, as we see all throughout Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, is no stranger to the phrase “if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself”. As we see, however, he’s not as agile and quick as he used to be. The years have noticeably taken their toll on the aging soldier. Something we’ve seen Jackman pull off to near perfection.
2 Christain Bale
Okay, this one is mostly wish-fulfillment. We know beyond any shadow of a doubt that Christain Bale can pretty much carry just about any film he’s a part of. The dedication to his craft absolutely bleeds through every single role he disappears into. Few other actors could likely bring the role of Snake to life in the form or fashion that Bale could.
While Vogt-Jordan has released some concept art with an eerily Bale-esque Snake hidden behind the wreckage of a car, he made certain to remind fans that casting was still up in the air and the concept art should in no way be taken as a casting announcement. We can dream though, right?
1 Mads Mikkelsen
If his role in Death Stranding is any indication of his relationship with Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima, then we can assume that Mads Mikkelsen must be on the shortlist for actors being considered to take on the role of Big Boss. Vogt-Roberts has already hinted that he would like the film to contain multiple generations of a story so that he can better illustrate the cycle of violence perpetrated throughout time. If you’re still not convinced that Mikkelson deserves the role, then I’ll simply refer you to the later portion of Netflix’s Polar adaptation (minor spoilers), after his character, The Black Kaiser, gets his eyepatch. If that’s not Big Boss himself, in the flesh, then I don’t know who is.