Never mind Kojima’s Mad Max game – I want George Miller’s Metal Gear

According to a widely circulated comment on the red carpet: Furiosa director George Miller would love it his biggest fan Hideo Kojima is going to make a Mad Max video game. “You know, I’m one of those people where I’d rather not do anything unless you can do it at the highest level,” says Miller, who has an acting role in Kojima’s upcoming Death stranding 2told Game Bible. “I just talked to Kojima here (…) and he would take it upon himself, but he has so many fantastic things in his head that I would never ask him.” It’s a courteous professional compliment, from one author to another, that humbly assumes Kojima has better things to do.

My first thought was to agree. Whatever you think of Kojima and his games, he definitely has a distinctive vision and his work carries a strong personal stamp. Making a movie adaptation seems like a waste of his talents, even for such a movie-obsessed creator. You wouldn’t expect George Miller to make a Metal Gear Solid movie, would you?

My second thought was, damn, it was going to be a George Miller Metal Gear Solid movie awesome.

My third thought was: Isn’t it a double standard, even a kind of snobbery, to consider Miller and Kojima above adapting each other’s work? No one would blink an eye at the prospect of a famous film author (such as Paul Thomas Anderson) adapting a novel (such as Thomas Pynchon’s) for film. Wine countrywhich is Anderson rumor has it they make currently). Such an adaptation is seen as a conversation between two great artists, where one brings his own perspective to the other’s work. But we’re ready to think of movie-to-video game crossovers (and vice versa) as mere brand extensions — because that’s usually the case. (Including the not-bad-not-great 2015 Crazy Max game, which Miller told Gaming Bible was “not as good as (he) wanted,” and deserved an irritated reaction from one of the developers.)

1716586972 246 Never mind Kojimas Mad Max game I want George

Mad Snake and Solid Max.
Image: Warner Bros/Everett Collection and image: Konami

In his comments about Kojima, Miller dared to dream of something better. So let’s go with that Platonic ideal of adaptation and assume that it is possible, if only because it should be so. Is Kojima really a match for Mad Max? I’m not sure. Miller’s world is famous for having few words. (Anya Taylor-Joy says she continued for months Furiosasits without talking.)

Kojima’s worlds… aren’t. The Mad Max aesthetic is anarchic, crude and unapologetically metal. The Kojima aesthetic is techno-organic, militarized, sinister but tasteful. Kojima’s gameplay is meticulous and obsessed with details; Miller’s action films are about grand gestures on a blank desert canvas. I think Kojima would smooth out Mad Max and flatten the pop iconography with too much world building.

But the other way around: imagine a Metal Gear movie where the dialogue is stripped to the bare bones, the nuclear fear is implicit rather than described in philosophical monologues, and the visuals are amped up even further. Imagine what it would look like if Miller’s knack for flamboyant introductions of outlandish characters were applied to the great Metal Gear antagonists, like Psycho Mantis. Think of the frenzied intensity he would have his actors convey in Kojima’s operatic spy story. Realize that Miller would insist that the props department make a real working Metal Gear mech.

Of course it could never work. Everything else aside, Miller would have to work on the project with Konami instead of Kojima Productions, and Konami, which has misunderstood Metal Gear’s appeal since an acrimonious split with Kojima, might not understand. I’m sure there are many reasons why development on the actual Metal Gear Solid movie has stalled, but I’m willing to bet Konami is one of them.

So no, I’m not seriously suggesting that George Miller, who turns 80 next year, should spend his time making a Metal Gear Solid movie. He also has too many fantastic things in his head. But just imagine. It would rule.