By request: Ideal cast for a Metal Gear movie

By request of asandoval2

I don’t really do this sort of “dream casting” very often because, well, the video game movies we invent in our minds are always better than the ones Hollywood makes. Except Scott Pilgrim, that was pretty boss. But here’s a request, and so here we go. I went strictly with Metal Gear Solid here because (spoilers) it’s the only Metal Gear game that could actually translate into a competent, watchable film.


Solid Snake: Andrew Lincoln

This one was pretty tough, because obviously Snake is the linchpin of the entire film. So he needs to be a capable actor, but you don’t want someone whose body of work overshadows the character. Lazy picks like Daniel Craig are right out. But Andrew Lincoln fits the bill; perhaps not the greatest actor of our age, but on The Walking Dead he does a pretty good job of mixing that weariness and determination that define Snake. He’s about the right age, too. And — here’s the real clincher — he looks right at home in a mullet.


Liquid Snake/Master Miller: Leonardo Dicaprio

I know the twin Snakes are supposed to be identical clones of one another, but they don’t look that much alike in the game art, nor do they sound alike. So, eh, screw it. Dicaprio would be great here because he can be very likable, but he’s long since given up his Titanic dreamboat status to play more nuanced (and frequently detestable) antiheroes. I don’t know that I want to see him walking around shirtless in a trenchcoat, but otherwise he’d make an excellent delusional, idealistic, manipulative villain.


Otacon: Jonah Hill

Let’s be honest, Otacon as he’s written in the games would be laughed out of the theatre. No one would take him (or his movie) seriously. Instead, I see the movie Hal Emmerich as a hybrid of Otacon and Jimmy from Ghost Babel, still pathetic, but with a surlier edge. Jonah Hill’s turn in The Wolf of Wall Street proved he has what it takes to be simultaneously a spineless loser yet completely toxic in his aggressiveness.

Taken 2 Red Carpet Premiere - 38th Deauville American Film Festival

Revolver Ocelot: Liam Neeson

Ocelot is the cheesiest villain in the game, and Liam Neeson is the cheesiest action star I can think of (see: Darkman, Taken, Star Wars). Plus he makes a nice, hammy, comic book villain (a la Batman Begins).


Kenneth Baker/Decoy Octopus: Dean Norris

Stocky older bald guy. Lots to choose from! But Dean Norris has the range to add enough nuance to the role that anyone who knows the truth about “Kenneth Baker” would see the appropriate extra meaning in his behavior is rad.


Donald Anderson: Keith David

He’s the right age, the right race, and has an awesome voice, which is a home run for what amounts to a cameo.


Roy Campbell: Terry O’Quinn

O’Quinn was the best thing about Lost, capable of believably pulling off a character who was by turns a beaten-down sad sack and a zealot driven by a voice only he could hear. He could absolutely sell Campbell, a former warrior living in secret disgrace and manipulating the hero for his own miserable personal ends. Yeah, pretty sure this is the best match-up on this entire list.


Meryl Silverburg: Mackenzie Davis

Mackenzie Davis has been the highlight of the wildly uneven Halt & Catch Fire, and she’d be perfect as Meryl. She’s the right age, has the same slim and slightly masculine physique, can juggle punk confidence with flashes of vulnerability, and would bring a welcome “what are you, stupid?” frankness to the character.


Sniper Wolf: Mía Maestro

Admittedly more Mediterranean or Latin in appearance than Kurdish (I think she’s from South America, actually), Maestro can definitely play a cold-eyed action character (see: Alias) and looks suitably “exotic” (read: not blonde) to be good enough for Hollywood’s casting directors.


Psycho Mantis: Matthew McConaughey

He’s weird and he’s not afraid to drop a ton of weight for a part. Alright, alright, Snake, compared to you I ain’t so bad.


Vulcan Raven: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Yes, I know. Totally wrong race. But can you name any hulking Innuit actors? I’m at a loss. Handwave him as being of mixed parentage or something, I don’t care. Akinnuoye-Agbaje basically was Vulcan Raven as Mr. Eko on Lost — a massive slab of muscle and mysticism and cryptic remarks. And he proved he can tote a belt-fed mini gun in that stupid G.I. Joe movie.

Linda PARK

Mei Ling: Linda Park

Enterprise‘s Hoshi Sato was cut from the same cloth as Mei Ling (that is, the post-Twin Snakes revamp version, after the voice directors realized oh hey maybe someone born in California shouldn’t talk with such a heavy Chinese accent): A capable and highly intelligent communications officer, but also a bit green from inexperience. And like (post-revamp) Mei Ling, Hoshi was of Asian descent, but that wasn’t her defining character trait.

This Is 40

Naomi Hunter: Leslie Mann

Mann might be slightly too old to play Naomi (who was evidently meant to be younger than she came off as in the game), but she has the right look and the right ability to slip into sardonic derision as the occasion requires. While more of a comedic actress, I feel like she could probably pull off the requisite heel turn. And if the film were to go with something close to Kojima’s original Metal Gear Solid script, her comedic timing would go a long way toward salvaging its more ludicrous moments.


Grey Fox: Ray Park

Well, I mean, come on. He’s already pretty much done this role.

Please note that Ray Park is not, to my knowledge, related to Linda Park.

5 thoughts on “By request: Ideal cast for a Metal Gear movie

  1. You’re gonna sit here and tell me Psycho Mantis shouldn’t be played by Crispin Glover?

  2. After watching him in True Detective, I’m convinced McConaughey can do just about anything.

  3. This was surreal. I saw this post and my name attached to the top with a two next to it, even though I could have sworn I didn’t make any requests. So I spent a good few minutes trying to figure out who else has my name in this community until eventually it bugged me enough to check my email and realized I sent an unfinished draft almost a year ago when I was wrestling with a request. This was like, one of three ideas I wrestled with before feeling like I didn’t have anything remotely interesting and giving up.

    Still though, these are some inspired choices and it was fun to read, so I guess it worked out? Thanks!

  4. That’s strange, I thought Decoy Octopus was posing as Anderson/SIGINT/the DARPA Chief.

    Nitpicking aside, those all sound like solid choices (and kudos for picking the best possible Liam Neeson photo for this article). Now I’m going to wonder if DiCaprio can sell the audience on really dumb rants about dominant genes.

    Question, though: would Ray Park also voice Grey Fox, or would that part go to someone else?

    • No, you’re right. It’s been like 13 years since I last played through the game. I’d gotten some details mixed up.

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