Hideo Kojima goes mad for the new Mad Max, says George Miller 'is my God, and the saga that he tells is my Bible'

Hideo Kojima attends Tribeca Talks: Tribeca Games Presents: Hideo Kojima With Norman Reedus - 2019 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC Tribeca PAC on April 25, 2019 in New York City.
(Image credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Game director Hideo Kojima, whose self-penned bio includes the line "70% of my body is made of movies", has long had a sideline in film criticism. You can even buy a book collecting some of his many pieces, among which my favourite anecdote was his recollection of watching Taxi Driver as a young man, after which he decided to dress like Travis Bickle: I only wish there were pictures.

Kojima used to write for many magazines, both in Japan and the west: PCG brand director Tim Clark remembers him penning a film column for the UK's Official PlayStation Magazine, which would apparently always arrive well over the wordcount and drive the poor sub-editor batty.

But these days Kojima goes direct to the public via Twitter, and divining the tea leaves of how he posts is enormous fun: mainly because, if he just says he's watched something and makes no further comment, you know he thought it was absolute dreck. If he praises it a little bit, he liked it, but when Kojima starts cracking out the excessive punctuation and themed jokes you know he's going gaga. A personal favourite is his Dune 2 review:

"Even as a movie buff, I was beginning to think it was time for me to start watching movies on my smartphone or tablet. However, when I watched 'Dune: Part 2', my rigid ways of thinking crumbled like sand! [...] it magnificently captivates destruction and aestheticism in beautiful layers. This film shouts, 'This is cinema!' and provides the 'spice' that we need to live. This masterpiece of Denis will likely become a 'resistance' that will significantly delay the spread of subscription services."

One of the threads in his cinephilia is a devotion to the works of George Miller, the wide-ranging director best-known for the Mad Max films (it amuses and impresses me in equal measure that he also directed Babe and Happy Feet). Miller's latest film is Furiosa: A Mad Max Story, and guess who got themselves down to the pictures, and loved what they saw to an absurd degree.  

"Witnessed 'Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga'," said Kojima. "This movie, which easily surpasses 'MAD' and even past 'FURY', is at its 'MAX' (masterpiece)! Ever since I saw the first film when I was 16 years old, George Miller has saved me, encouraged me, and changed my way of life countless times. He is my God, and the SAGA that he tells is my Bible."

This is obviously high praise coming from someone who seems to consider himself a semi-deity at times, but George Miller is the one man that Kojima could be fairly said to have an obsession with. Kojima's previously called Miller "my most respected god" and, after treating himself to the limited edition Mad Max Anthology, said "I'll display it on my 'God' shelf." The Japanese director is boyishly thrilled at an oblique reference Miller makes to him in a book and, as for a documentary about the struggle to make Mad Max: Fury Road, Kojima "watched it at work and cried."

"George Miller is my ultimate mentor," Kojima told Rotten Tomatoes. "I went to see Fury Road 17 times in the cinemas." He goes on to say that he first met Miller just after leaving Konami, and "he cheered me up in my darkest time." The 60 year-old Kojima also observes that, while there are older people in producer roles in the games industry, he feels "lonely" as a creator and director: "But then there’s George; he’s over 70, and he’s still wearing this leather jacket, still young. That cheers me up."

There's definitely something disarming about seeing such a feted figure as Kojima basically geeking out over one of his idols. Almost inevitably Kojima's managed to cast Miller in Death Stranding 2 (and posted a video of the director praising the trailer, natch), which comes after one of the key characters in the Metal Gear Solid series being called Master Miller. At the time of writing, Kojima is attending the premiere of Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, and hugging George Miller on the red carpet with glee.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."