A film based on Half Life, one of the most beloved game franchise of all-time, has long been in the work as game developer Valve has patiently been waiting for the right filmmaker to come along. And it appears as if J.J. Abrams (Star Trek) is that person. Speaking during a keynote conversation for the 2013 DICE Summit with Valve co-founder Gabe Newell, the Star Trek director expressed his desire to turn the wildly popular games into films.
Abrams told Polygon: “It’s as real as anything in Hollywood ever gets,” of the plans to develop movies based on Portal and Half-Life. “Which is that we are really talking to Valve, we are going to be bringing on a writer, we have a lot of very interesting ideas.”
While this is in the earliest stages of development, this is an extremely encouraging sign for the many fans of the games. It’s not a secret that Valve has been trying to get Half Life adapted to the silver screen with little success. Newell previously told PC Gamer in 2010 that he received many movie pitches. “And their stories were just so bad,” Newell said. “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.”
For those who don’t know, the original Half Life game centered on Gordon Freeman, a nuclear physicist trying to escape a humongous underground research facility after a scientific experiment goes terribly awry. As he tries to make his way out, he realizes that he has opened a trans-dimensional portal that alien creatures are using to invade the complex. To make things even more interesting, the US government is sending troops to stem the invasion and silence all witnesses.
For me, nothing has come close to the heart pounding moments of playing this game for the first time. It was literally being part of your own movie, which was basically unheard of at the time. And since the first game, the story line has greatly expanded and gotten even better, adding strong, compelling supporting characters to the dystopian science-fiction plot.
“There’s an idea we have for a game that we’d like to work with Valve on,” said Abrams. Newell added, “We’re super excited about that and we also want to talk about making movies, either a Portal movie or a Half-Life movie.”
What do you think?