Video game movies. Oh, video game movies. This is one nut Hollywood has tried, and consistently failed, to crack for decades. Last year seemed to be the year they could finally get it right. With Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed approaching with their releases, the future for the genre of films seemed optimistic. Warcraft hit theaters, and while it did perform pretty well overseas, it largely failed here in the U.S. On a critical level, the movie itself left a lot to be desired. Assassin’s Creed hit, and despite the great premise, it pretty much fell flat on its face. All in all, the age of the video game movie seems to have been delayed indefinitely.
Now, to turn the conversation to the game developer Valve. Between the likes of Portal and Half-Life, this is one developer that’s consistently put out quality games. Perhaps even more famously, they’re notorious for delaying and canceling projects (I’m sure some hopeful fans are still waiting for a Half-Life 3. Good luck with that). As such, it comes as no surprise that any prospect of a movie based on Portal and Half-Life has also yielded little fruit. In 2013, J.J. Abrams was attached to bring these films to life, and since then, all we’ve heard every six months or so is that the projects are still alive.
Well, I suppose we’re overdue for an update. In a recent Reddit AMA, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell confirmed that the films are still on the way:
“Yep. They’re coming.”
If you’ve played either Portal or Half-Life (or their respective sequels), then you’ll likely know that there is plenty of great material for the filmmakers to mine. Combined with the rich lore and the fact that they take place in the same universe, there is a real opportunity to make something audiences can connect with. Additionally, Portal’s sense of humor is so hilariously dark, and its narrative strong, that it seems like a perfect kind of low-key science fiction story to click with mainstream audiences. Not unlike what Abrams is doing with the Cloverfield series, these two franchises could, far and away, be the best chance the video game movie genre has of thriving.
Given that pressure, along with the pressure to live up to the high quality of the games, it’s no wonder all this is taking so long. Let’s just hope they take the right amount of time to ensure it’s the best film possible.
What do you think? Are you anxious to see movies based on the likes of Portal and Half-Life? Let us know your thoughts down below!