Thursday, April 18, 2024

Star Wars’ Oscar Isaac cast as Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid movie

If you just heard a tell-tale alert go off, don’t panic – it’s a good sound for once, with the news that Oscar Isaac is set to play the iconic lead role of Solid Snake in the upcoming Metal Gear Solid movie.

It’s a great fit – not only is Isaac a near-perfect match for Snake’s grizzled, tough appearance, he actively pursued the role, telling IGN in 2019 he was “throwing his hat in” for the part of Snake. With his experience as Poe Dameron in Star Wars and Apocalypse in the X-Men franchise, plus the upcoming Dune, Isaac will also no doubt have plenty of experience in dealing with the rigours of appearing in tentpole genre films.

The news, courtesy of Variety, is the latest development in the game series’ long road to the big screen. A Metal Gear Solid movie has been in the works, in one form or another, since at least 2006. At that year’s E3, Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima announced that a film version was in development, at that point targeting a 2011 release. Kojima wanted another X-Men veteran, Hugh Jackman, to play the lead role.

However, by 2010, Metal Gear owners Konami had gotten cold feet, with Michael De Luca, the producer attached to the project, saying the Japanese corporation was concerned that a bad cinematic adaptation could damage the franchise as a whole. Given the typical quality of video game adaptations, that’s perhaps not an unfair concern.

Two years later though, things were looking rosier – at the Metal Gear 25th Anniversary event, Kojima announced that Arad Productions and Columbia Pictures were on board to bring the spy-fi series to cinemas. That’s the version that’s still in the works, with Jordan Vogt-Roberts – best known for Kong: Skull Island – coming on board as director in 2014.

More good news for long-time fans of Metal Gear can be found in Hideo Kojima still being attached to the film. Despite parting ways with Konami in 2015 – seemingly acrimoniously, with Konami even removing his name from promotional material for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – Kojima has been involved with the script for the film, with Vogt-Roberts saying he wants to make “the riskier, balls-to-the-wall, Kojima-san version” of Metal Gear Solid.

Quite what a Metal Gear movie will cover is still largely unknown. No synopsis has yet been released, although Kojima has previously said he would want a film to be its own story, as he wrote and structured the games with that medium in mind.

A few slight hints may be found in a 2018 Twitter thread from Vogt-Roberts though. There, he revealed concept art showing the series signature mecha, plus character Cyborg Ninja in combat, and stated that “MGS is about the cycle of pain” – potentially some clues as to the movie’s direction.

A more recent thread from the director also offered fresher concept art. For now, that’ll have to keep Metal Gear fans going, as the film does not yet have a release date. However, Isaac’s casting makes the film more of a priority for the studio, eager to capitalise on the actor’s seemingly unstoppable rise, so it may not be too long before we hear that familiar alert sound from the big screen.

Matt Kamen

[He/Him] Matt Kamen is a veteran media writer based in the UK, specialising in video games, film, and comics. If found, return to nearest coffee shop.