Just to be clear here… that’s Paul Thomas Anderson of Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and There Will Be Blood. Not Paul W.S. Anderson of Mortal Kombat, Resident Evil, and Alien vs Predator. A subtle distinction I know… but an important one.
Kotaku is reporting that PT Anderson is “interested” in directing a feature adaptation of Konami’s uber-popular videogame franchise, Metal Gear Solid. The bombshell came during an interview with Konami’s Aki Saito, the man in charge of film negotiations for the game company. Hideo Kojima, MGS’s creator, was long thought to be sitting in the director’s chair, but apparently they’ve decided to go the more traditional route of an actual film director with experience.
At first glance this rumor seems completely and utterly ridiculous. At second and third glance too for that matter… Konami’s trying to sell the movie in advance so some name-dropping is to be expected, but if that were the case, wouldn’t they drop some big box-office names? Spielberg? Bay? Hardwicke? Why try to lure studios and investors by suggesting a critically acclaimed art house director for your big budget espionage and action-packed sci-fi extravaganza? Brian Ashcraft, the Kotaku editor who actually conducted the interview even clarified after the fact that Saito explicitly said “Paul Thomas Anderson”.
There’s been no response yet from the PT Anderson camp, neither a confirmation nor a denial. The downtime between each of his films grows with each release; his latest gap being the five years between Magnolia and There Will Be Blood so there’s no reason to expect a pre-production announcement anytime soon even if the rumor is true. Of the many rumors that travel the internet pipes every day, this is easily one of my favorites. PT Anderson plus spies, guns, giant robots, mullets, and ridiculously corny codenames is a guaranteed recipe for fun.
I’ve intentionally held back from making any reference to a Metal Gear milkshake joke here because I think that particular slice of pop culture has run its course. If you disagree, please feel free to make your best effort in the comments below.