Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Solid creator and director of Kojima Productions, continues to entertain the idea of making his own movie as he works on his next game project, which he said will scale back on lengthy cutscenes and take a new approach to story-telling.
In an hour-long talk with The Art of Video Games exhibit curator Chris Melissinos at the exhibit’s opening GameFest event, Kojima answered questions from Melissinos and fans who had submitted questions ahead of time. Kojima Productions assistant producer Sean Eyestone translated the Japanese game designer’s answers.
“Honestly, I’m a movie fan, so it’s very special to me and honestly, I would love to make a movie someday. But that said, I think it has to be a certain special game that has to find the right setting, so someday maybe,” Kojima, a wannabe movie director turned game developer, said.
“But I don’t think that game would be Metal Gear Solid. The reason why is that Metal Gear Solid is developed specifically to become a game. It has a specific role, and a story that is well-suited and optimized for a game,” he said. “In my mind, Metal Gear Solid is a game and nothing else. So I think if I were to create something that would become a movie, I would have to come up with something a new story and characters, something that is better suited for movies.”
Kojima added that if he were to make a movie, he would have to completely start anew with different characters and an original story made specifically for a movie.
“I’m sure a lot of people here were hoping that I was going to say, ‘Yes, I am going to make a Metal Gear Solid film,’ but, even if that were to happen, I just want to be clear that I think if it were to be made into a movie, it would have to be something completely new, and I wouldn’t use my current scripts. I think I would have to get someone else to write a new script, get somebody else to direct it as a movie,” he said.
Kojima explained a movie project is always in the back of his mind, and gave a noncommittal, but excited, “I’m always thinking about it. I can’t really say too much right now but I’m working on something and I hope in the near future, I’ll have something to announce.”
Speaking of future projects, Kojima also touched briefly and vaguely on his next game, which he anticipates will have less of his notorious cut scenes and focus on giving the player more freedom.
“I do think that allowing the player freedom is very important. I think what’s the key, is to really achieve some kind of balance, where the player has an illusion of freedom and it feels like they’re really part of the story themselves, but then you’re still telling a story within that context. I still think that’s something that I really aiming for in my next game.
And so I think I kind of have a reputation for having these really long cut scenes (crowd laughs), but I just want to say that we are experimenting with new ways of telling a story, and I think that with my next game you can expect a little less cut scenes. But that said, there will still be a narrative where we experiment with telling a story in a way that’s free. So you’ll still be able to experience that story, but you’ll control the pacing and it will be free.”
Kojima and discussed a variety of topics, including the action movies that have influenced Kojima’s work (as well as Kojima comparing himself to Sylvester Stallone), the evolution of Snake as a character, the Metal Gear series’ antiwar and non-nuclear proliferation themes, and how games serve as a testing ground for important social services. The entire talk can be viewed on the Smithsonian’s website here.