'Metal Gear Solid' film being forged at Columbia

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Columbia Pictures is in negotiations to acquire the rights to adapt the best-selling video game "Metal Gear Solid."

The studio plans to turn the PlayStation game series from Konami Digital Entertainment into a character-driven futuristic spy thriller.

The game centers on Solid Snake, a Special Forces operative called out of retirement for one last mission. With terrorists threatening a nuclear facility in Alaska, Snake must penetrate their defenses and neutralize the threat.

Michael De Luca is producing, and "Metal" creator Hideo Kojima is executive producing.

Sony's Doug Belgrad and Sam Dickerman will shepherd the live-action project for the studio, working in consultation with Kojima as well as Michael De Luca Prods.' Josh Bratman, who brought the project into the company. Rick Privman of JEA will executive produce.

Belgrad praised the "Metal" property, saying it is "loaded with well-developed, intriguing characters and (is) one of the first games to ever use cinematic tools in its storytelling."

With sales of more than $1 billion and 20 million units, the "Metal" franchise is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed video game series in the marketplace. Since its debut in 1998, the franchise also has spawned ancillary markets, with 3 million strategy guides, 1.5 million action figures and 200,000 comic books sold.

CAA brokered the deal on behalf of Konami.
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