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Metal Gear Solid headed to theaters

Plugged In

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Another big video game franchise may be headed to your local multiplex.

Columbia Pictures and Konami have announced plans to create a cinematic adaptation of Metal Gear Solid — which, ironically, is one of the most movie-like games in the industry.

The news came at a Metal Gear 25th anniversary event in Japan. Avi Arad, producer of the X-Men and Spider-Man films, will oversee production of this picture as well.

"For many years I fought to bring comics to theaters," he said. "Comic books are now the biggest genre in cinema. Video games are the comic books of today. … We will take our time and tell the story with all the nuances, ideology, cautionary tales needed."

Arad is also working on cinematic adaptations of Uncharted and Mass Effect.

The video game world is once again rich territory for Hollywood. Several major franchises, ranging from Assassin's Creed and Deus Ex to Rampage and Asteroids, are in various stages of development. On September 14, the fifth film in the lucrative Resident Evil franchise will hit theaters (that franchise has earned over $700 million since the release of the first film 10 years ago.)

[Related: 10 video game movie disasters]

The risk that comes with migrating games to films is, in some ways, the biggest advantage too: the built-in audience. Gamers are intimately familiar with the story and the characters, especially with a series like Metal Gear, so taking too many liberties can be catastrophic.

Sony is learning that lesson with Uncharted currently, as the studio has chewed through two directors and two scripts already. None have been able to present a satisfactory vision of how to bring the game to the big screen at a reasonable price.

This isn't the first time Metal Gear has made a run at theaters. In 2008, Michael De Luca (best known for Boogie Nights) signed on as a producer, but things fell apart over budgetary concerns.

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