Half-Life movie: 'we'll do it if the right treatment comes along' says Valve

With Edward Norton as Gordon? Directed by Sam Raimi? That's what Valve wants...

Given the enormous popularity of all things Half-Life, it's a given that a movie will be made of the game eventually. Indeed, several attempts at getting such a project off the ground have been firmly rejected, Valve's Doug Lombardi revealed in a recent interview, but the developer behind the Sci-fi shooter phenomenon hasn't ruled out the possibility of extending the franchise to the silver screen.

Speaking to Eurogamer, the Valve marketing director admitted: "We've been approached by just about every major studio there is [to do a Half-Life movie]... we've met with some pretty serious players."

But despite being wined, dined, and meeting up with top movie stars, Lombardi and co have so far remained unimpressed: "Every treatment that I've seen for a Half-Life movie has stunk so badly I didn’t even want to be in the room with the script! I mean, [they were] just awful. We've been offered the whole deal, [but] it's like; we're not going to do that. We're not going to make another bad [game-related] movie.

Asked whether Valve would consider doing a movie of the game if the right treatment came along, Lombardi admitted it would be a go-er: "If one comes along we'll do it, if not... we're in this business to make games, right, we're doing pretty well for ourselves making games, there's no need."

Pontificating potential lead roles, Lombardi said: "Some people that thought Edward Norton would be a pretty good Gordon... I dunno. I think it would actually be pretty cool if we got someone who nobody had ever heard of before who's really talented and that's where they got the break.

"I think it would sort of go back to how we would want to play the movie in general. Y'know, we don't want to do the big Hollywood cheesy scene where Gordon falls in love at the end, y'know, the G-Man pulls off a mask and says 'I'm your father!' or whatever," he laughed.

On the subject of who Valve would like to direct a potential Half-Life movie, Lombardi said: "I think it would be really cool if someone who's really well known, a Sam Raimi or somebody like that could get into it and take a multi million dollar budget and went crazy with it and had great sets and great stunts - I think it could be cool that way.

"I think it could also be really cool done on a million dollar budget with three cameras and bunch of unknown actors. It's going to be the treatment and the way it's pulled off that will make it," he added.

Having obviously discussed the subject endlessly over the years, Lombardi's tone changed to one of pessimistic realism: "At this point, we’ve been round that track so many times, it's left us so disenchanted with the idea that it's now like, pffft, whatever."

But once the game's profile reaches new heights later this summer, it wouldn't be hard to predict movie moguls beating a path to Valve's door, once again - perhaps giving the studio an unprecedented creative control over the direction of any potential movie project.

Read our full interview with Doug Lombardi here, or you can watch it for yourself in movie form courtesy of Eurofiles.

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About the author

Kristan Reed

Kristan Reed


Kristan is a former editor of Eurogamer, dad, Stone Roses bore and Norwich City supporter who sometimes mutters optimistically about Team Silent getting back together.


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