Films that should exist: Half Life

Well this is a bit obvious: we need a Half Life film. Over the years there have been some very impressive fan made takes on the popular computer game series and I’ve included a couple of them after the jump, and there have been constant rumours about directors being attached to a professional effort – from Joss Whedon to Quentin Tarantino – ever since the first game was released in 1998.

Gabe Newell, CEO of Valve – the game’s developers – has stated that he would like to handle production of the film in-house in an interview with PCGamer:

“Where we got into this direction was after Half-Life 1 had shipped. There was a whole bunch of meetings with people from Hollywood. Directors down there wanted to make a Half-Life movie and stuff, so they’d bring in a writer or some talent agency would bring in writers, and they would pitch us on their story. And their stories were just so bad. I mean, brutally, the worst. Not understanding what made the game a good game, or what made the property an interesting thing for people to be a fan of.”

I have to admit I do have some reservations about this – I can see Gabe’s point that they do not want someone with no real understanding of the Half Life universe to come in and butcher their story and atmosphere (cough Transformers cough) but I still would worry that Valve don’t have the experience with directing a live action film, and that they may be hamstrung by budget issues. In my opinion, the film would not need to follow the story of Gordon Freeman from the games but could be seen from another character’s perspective (as has been done in the game series before). As for credible directors that won’t screw up the game’s atmosphere – how about Uwe Boll Neill Blomkamp, director of District 9 or Gareth Edwards director of Monsters – both are similarly downbeat bits of sci-fi constructed with a limited budget and both have tonnes of atmosphere, and I am sure both would be respectful of the source material in a way that say, Quentin Tarantino most certainly wouldn’t be.

The fan videos here seem to demonstrate a good understanding of what made the game good, in the first video the melancholy atmosphere (helped by The National soundtrack) is perfect and really serves as an excellent recap of just why people loved Half Life 2 so much, while the second effort is a great example of the visual style needed for a live action Half Life film- it certainly looks the part and is probably the most professional looking fan made video I have seen – though there are a lot of very good ones:

One Comment on “Films that should exist: Half Life

  1. I don’t think Valve will ever be involved in any movie making venture. Their attitude of ‘if it’s not up to scratch, throw it out and start again’ wouldn’t really gel in film-making, at least not on the blockbuster-scale a project like Half-Life would have to be at. Also, any Valve project without a silent protagonist just seems wrong to me.

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