With the surmounting praise given to Hideo Kojima over the years, it only makes sense the legendary game creator would decide to tackle film in the near future. Though he is, at heart, a video game designer, exemplified by many years of titles from Snatcher and Metal Gear Solid to P.T. and now Death Stranding, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see he fancies himself a filmmaker more so than anything else. Yet, at the heart of his many games is terrific and unforgettable storytelling, narratives that draw players into their fictionalized folds. If he can do that with games, which are some of the most vexing and subjective pieces of art on the planet, films shouldn't be an issue... right?
Still, some may disagree. He may have won the first-ever Cologne Creative Award, yet there still remains a plentitude of Kojima detractors. More often than not, the skeptics simply don't understand his talents, the enigma inherent in his overall genius. He is, after all, a creative genius. But, sadly, this genius may not be so well-adaptable for the silver screen. Not everything creative is so easily translatable, especially in film.
Controlling The Narrative Vs. Accepting It
In video games, it's more often than not up to the individual player in what sort of route the character will follow. Whereas in movies, it's the main directors or screenwriters who have all of this power. In terms of creative ingenuity on film, lending Kojima Productions the keys to the kingdom, so to speak, may prove disastrous when up against a global audience. As previously stated, not everything translates so well to all viewers. One concept in Japan may have absolutely no meaning in America.
Yet, with Death Stranding, Kojima has proven to bridge this gap entirely by way of making a universal message. Not by using cliche concepts, like hope or strength, but of everlasting connection in the face of total destruction and annihilation. Is there anything more poignant or beautiful? Even the director of Mad Max: Fury Road contends with the hype, claiming that not only is Kojima a mastermind, but Death Stranding itself is a testament to terrific filmmaking.
Video Game Trailers That Feel Like Film Epics
George Miller isn't alone, as one of Kojima's closest confidants and friends, Guillermo del Toro, sees (and may even idolize) the mastermind's craft more than most. Appearing in the credits of both Death Stranding and the canceled cult horror hit P.T., del Toro has seemingly been through thick and thin with the Japanese game creator. And, as wild as Kojima's ideas may get, the Pan's Labyrinth director similarly knows no bounds when it comes to weaving together various ideas to create something beyond its initial construct. Witnessed full force in nearly every single piece of Death Stranding marketing, specifically the spellbinding short film of a launch trailer, it's not so much about selling a game, but more so about selling an idea. An adventure. An escape into the unknown...
An Unrivaled Mind In The Industry
Fans are left only with their trust in Kojima. While there are as many detractors as there are Kojima fanboys, there's simply no denying he has proven himself a worthy creator. In a recent Financial Times interview, he even identifies his own feelings on contemporary film:
"There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all."
One can tell he's ready to bridge that gap. Though it may not be what fans had hoped for, a Kojima Productions future film will certainly be worthwhile. If anyone was born to create, no matter what said media may be, it's Kojima. He's proven his talents time again, now it's on to his brightest chapter.