Movies based on video games are often action films or blockbusters, but that’s not how Kojima Productions is looking at the recently announced Death Stranding movie. According to Hideo Kojima, the Death Stranding film will be more like an arthouse movie and not a blockbuster.
Kojima shared this sentiment in a lengthy interview with IGN. When asked about what brought him to Hammerstone Studios, he talked about how his desire to go away from an explosive experience was one of the deciding factors.
“I was on video calls with lots of people in Hollywood every week beginning last year, and not just for Death Stranding,” said Kojima. “I received a lot of offers, but my intention from the start was never to make a blockbuster film. Alex Lebovici from Hammerstone Studios shared my vision with regards to that. There were a lot of pitches to make a large-scale movie with famous actors and flashy explosions, but what good would explosions be in Death Stranding? Making money isn’t something I’m focused on at all, either. I’m aiming for a more arthouse approach, and the only person who offered to make a film like that was Alex Lebovici, which makes me think he’s a rather unusual type.”
While not directly named, Lebovici was an executive producer on 2022’s horror film Barbarian, which was not a huge production with “flashy explosions.” Lebovici also previously stated that this will be a “grounded” film and an “authentic” Kojima production.
Kojima also spoke to his vision on adaptations in a question asking if Sam Porter Bridges would be appearing in the film. He said they haven’t decided, but explained why he thinks other video game adaptations have not worked and why he is making Death Stranding differently to avoid those pitfalls.
“The failure of film adaptations of games from a while back has led to a lot of movies that cater to gamers, right?” said Kojima. “That’s why they have the same kind of look as a game. I don’t want the Death Stranding movie to be like that. Rather, I’m taking the approach of changing and evolving the world of Death Stranding in a way that suits film well. I made Death Stranding to be a game, and games are games. There’s no real need to turn them into films. So in a way, the Death Stranding movie is taking a direction that nobody has tried before with a movie adaptation of a game. I think that what I need to make is something that will inspire some of the people who watch it to become creators 10 or 20 years down the line.”
Kojima also revealed that he was working on a short film that he wrote, but it was shelved during the pandemic. He said that the script for this “first dip into Hollywood” still exists, but he isn’t planning on making it anymore (at least for the time being).