February 3, 2023

Death Stranding director Hideo Kojima has claimed that his upcoming Death Stranding movie is “taking a direction no one has tried before with a game film adaptation”, arguing that other attempts to squeeze movies out of games have failed because they “catch in on gamers”. He will be different, he says, because he “takes the approach of changing and developing the world of Death Stranding in a way that fits well with film.”

He also says there’s “not really a need” to turn games into movies, which is a genuine and enjoyable acknowledgment from someone who does.

This is from Kojima’s recent extensive interview with IGN, and it’s worth quoting the excerpts above in full.

“The failure of movie adaptations of games from a while back has led to a lot of movies targeting gamers, right? That’s why they look the same as a game. I don’t want the Death Stranding movie to be like that. On the contrary, I approach the world of Death Stranding in a way that fits well with film. I made Death Stranding as a game, and games are games. There’s no real need to make it a game. Movies. So in a way the Death Stranding movie is headed in a direction no one has tried before with a game movie adaptation.”

He also mentions that they “have not yet decided” whether it will feature characters from the game or not, so yes, they might be going quite off-piste.

Honestly, if you’re *going to make a movie out of a video game, this sounds like the right approach. The world of Death Stranding is weird and interesting and a part of me wants to see more of it, especially if Kojima is less hands on with the dialogue in the movie and the whole thing wraps up in under two hours. The other part of me knows that neither will turn out to be true.

Kojima also says he and producer Alex Lebovici, who produced that 2020 Bill and Ted movie, are more interested in making an arthouse movie than a Hollywood blockbuster.

“I was video calling a lot of people in Hollywood every week early last year, and not just for Death Stranding. I got a lot of offers, but from the start it was never my intention to make a blockbuster hit. Alex Lebovici of Hammerstone Studios shared my vision in that area. There were a lot of pitches to make a big-scale movie with famous actors and flashy explosions, but what good are explosions in Death Stranding? Making money isn’t something I’m focused on at all. I’m aiming for a more arthouse approach, and the only person who offered to make a movie like that was Alex Lebovici, which makes me think he’s a rather unusual type.’

The interview covers much more than just the movie, including why Kojima “completely rewrote” Death Stranding 2 after the pandemic. There’s a lot more I haven’t mentioned, so read it for yourself.

Death Stranding 2 is due out sometime in the future, hopefully that means Kojima will have to rewrite everything again for the next pandemic.

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