Death Stranding creator Hideo Kojima confirmed in a tweet that he will be ‘deeply involved’ in its upcoming movie adaptation, though he won’t be directing it. News about the film broke last year when Sony’s PlayStation Productions unit went on a spree, announcing numerous adaptations based on its first-part video games. Kojima Productions and Hammerstone Studios (Barbarian) are attached to develop the Death Stranding movie, but no details on the cast and crew had been revealed. Kojima has now claimed that he will be involved with ‘producing, supervising, plotting, look, design, and content’ of the film, hinting that his name would still be all over it — something the gamemaker is notorious for doing.
Kojima has never shied away from expressing his love for movies, with even his Twitter bio saying “70% of my body is made of movies.” With the amount of lengthy, movie-like cutscenes he has included in the Metal Gear Solid games, fans expected the Death Stranding adaptation to be his foray into film direction, but I guess that’ll have to wait. The report from last year alluded that while the film is set in the existing game universe, it will introduce ‘new elements and characters.’ As for whether this means a complete retelling of the existing plot or a new one, only time will tell. Kojima delivered the aforementioned new information a little after the premiere of his documentary Hideo Kojima: Connecting Worlds, where he also made other surprising claims.
Just to be clear, I am deeply involved in producing, supervising, plotting, look, design and content of the film adaptation of DS, just not in charge of directing.
— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) June 18, 2023
One of them was his desire to leave Earth and make a video game that one could play in space. While many believe that Kojima’s comments weren’t entirely serious, the auteur has previously experimented with unconventional gameplay mechanics — for instance: the ability to charge your weapons with solar energy in the Game Boy Advance title, Boktai: The Sun Is in Your Hand. “I want to go to outer space. I want to go to outer space and create a game you can play In space…So please someone send me up to space,” he said during the premiere event, at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Meanwhile, the documentary is largely focused on Kojima’s creative process as he launched his own independent studio, following his split with Konami. Expect to see interviews with acclaimed filmmakers such as George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road), Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water), Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive), and other influential forces in his career.
Plot details for the upcoming Death Stranding adaptation are still under wraps, but the original 2019 title followed Sam Porter Bridges (Norman Reedus), a courier tasked with reconnecting the last survivors of a post-apocalyptic America. In classic Kojima mind-bending fashion, there is a lot to unpack here, starting with an open doorway that connects to the land of the dead, a mysterious bottled baby, a beach flooded with dead, aquatic wildlife, and more. It also boasted an A-list ensemble cast, which I hope makes it into the film adaptation as well, namely Léa Seydoux as Fragile, Mads Mikkelsen as Clifford Unger, del Toro as Deadman, Refn as Heartman, Margaret Qualley as Mama/ Lockne, Troy Baker as Higgs, and Tommie Earl Jenkins as Die Hardman. Hopefully, they also tweak some of the dialogue, so it doesn’t sound too campy for mainstream audiences. An often ridiculed example is “I’m Fragile, but not that Fragile.”
Currently, there is no release window for the Death Stranding movie.