It turns out that nice guys don’t always finish last. In a recent interview with film writer/director John Carpenter, it was revealed that video game writer/director Hideo Kojima was not sued over some copyright issues because, well, he’s a pretty swell dude.
Mention the name John Carpenter to most folks and they’ll likely know him from such films as the original Halloween series, The Thing or the cult hit, They Live. He’s also the creative force behind the movie Escape From New York, with a leading character many Metal Gear Solid fans will likely recognize.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Carpenter was asked about a lawsuit in which the studio CanalPlus sued director Luc Besson over his film, Lockout. According to the suit, Lockout was a little too close for comfort when it came to basically lifting the tale of Carpenter’s Escape From New York. The French courts agreed, and CanalPlus/Carpenter won the lawsuit.
According to Carpenter, CanalPlus wanted to take similar action back in the '90s when the PlayStation game Metal Gear Solid paid homage to Escape From New York’s protagonist.
Played by Kurt Russell, Snake Plissken is a gravely-voiced, eye-patch-wearing hero who smokes a cigar and knows how to sneak around and kill baddies. For his part, Kojima has never been shy about the fact that he adores movies and, yes, he absolutely based his Snake characters off of the concept of Plissken. That’s pretty much where the similarities stop, however, but it sounds like CanalPlus wasn’t too keen on the idea.
When asked about the more recent lawsuit against the film Lockout and its creator, Carpenter opened up about his knowledge of Metal Gear and his knowledge of its director.
[CanalPlus] wanted to also go after the video game Metal Gear Solid, which is kind of a rip-off of Escape From New York, to, but I told them not to do that. I know the director of those games, and he’s a nice guy, or at least he’s nice to me.
So there you have it: Kojima, Konami and Metal Gear were left alone because Kojima himself is a nice guy.
I suppose Metal Gear’s Snake does need to infiltrate a dangerous location on a rescue mission but, really, there aren’t many other parallels you can draw between the game and Carpenter’s movie. Then again, you can’t really blame CanalPlus for wanting to go after someone when they felt their property was threatened; it’s just one of the facts of the business.
So now that Kojima and publisher Konami have kinda sorta parted ways, Kojima at least has the name John Carpenter to add to his resume as a character reference.