Horror Mangaka Junji Ito Talks Silent Hills Involvement

Hideo Kojima’s Silent Hills was canceled in March 2015 due to conflicts between Kojima’s team and publisher Konami. While most of the high-profile individuals involved have since offered their two cents on the matter–including filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim), who’s had some choice words for the Japanese publisher–horror manga artist Junji Ito recently discussed his role with the project.

Ito, while at the Toronto Comics Art Festival this past weekend, was asked about his involvement with Silent Hills. His responses come via translation thanks to Twitter user MinovskyArticle.

Junji Ito asked about Silent Hills.
“I don’t know anything about games. I don’t play them. I am afraid if I get into them I’ll miss deadlines. I have never played Silent Hill. I have known Hideo Kojima for 20 years. He is a nice older brother type.”

— Minovsky (@MinovskyArticle) May 10, 2019

Kojima and Del Toro approached Ito around the time Pacific Rim came out. “I told them I know nothing about games. Kojima told me I would be fine. Del Toro gave me tickets to Pacific Rim. It was excellent.”

— Minovsky (@MinovskyArticle) May 10, 2019

“Kojima was at Konami back then. I came to a meeting and Del Toro hugged me. It turns out Del Toro is a big gamer. Del Toro wanted the game to be in one location and keep the horror in the player’s face in that way.”

— Minovsky (@MinovskyArticle) May 10, 2019

“Once the Silent Hills meeting was over, we went to karaoke. I didn’t hear anything after that. I heard that the plan got scrapped through outside sources. I have seen Kojima and Del Toro since. I never started designing monsters. Nothing exists. There are no roughs or sketches.”

— Minovsky (@MinovskyArticle) May 10, 2019

Though he may not have had the opportunity to contribute his signature brand of body horror to the project, Ito got to see Pacific Rim (for free) and sang his heart out with both del Toro and Kojima.

Silent Hills was announced through 2014’s P.T., a short, free PS4 playable teaser that confirmed Kojima was directing a new Silent Hill entry alongside del Toro and starring Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead, The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct) in the lead role. Kojima has since left Konami, pursuing game development under his independent studio Kojima Productions, which he founded in 2005 while still under Konami’s umbrella.

Since publicly splitting from Konami in 2015, Kojima has announced the studio’s first game, Death Stranding. “I’m embarking on a new challenge with a fresh slate,” Kojima said of the split. “But I intend to keep pushing the creative envelope until the day I die.”

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Author: Jeremy Winslow