Valve’s 1998 mega-hit Half-Life and its 2004 sequel, Half-Life 2, are widely considered to be not only two of the most influential first-person shooters, but also two of the best video games ever made.
Known for its innovative scripted sequences and impressive (for the time) visuals, the series received praise for pushing boundaries in video games. It also has an army of loyal fans – Half-Life 2 alone has sold over 12 million copies worldwide. So, where’s the movie adaptation?
Well, a big-screen version of Half-Life has been in development for a number of years now. That’s no surprise, really: the central premise – a theoretical physicist accidentally causes a dimensional rift and triggers an alien invasion of Earth – carries infinite cinematic potential.
Self-confessed Half-Life fan JJ Abrams – the A-list writer/director who’s recently resurrected both the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises on the big screen – announced that his production company, Bad Robot, had partnered with Valve and were working on movie versions of both Half-Life and Portal (the puzzle-platformer series which is set in the same universe).
However, that was back in 2016, and we haven’t heard much about the project since. Abrams is reportedly still committed to making a Half-Life movie one day, though – and if there’s anyone who knows how to wrangle a big-budget sci-fi blockbuster, it’s him. His schedule has freed up a bit recently, too, now that the Star Wars sequel trilogy is all done and dusted, so it could be the perfect time for a change of franchise.
In the meantime, here’s everything we know so far about the mooted Half-Life movie…
Half-Life movie cast
With the Half-Life movie seemingly stuck in the cycle of neverending development otherwise known as Development Hell, it hasn’t quite reached the casting stage.
We’re not even sure how closely the script will stick to the game story. If it does, though, we imagine the lead role would be that of Gordon Freeman, the theoretical physicist who unwittingly helps to unleash an alien invasion upon the world, and fights to fix his mistake. With Abrams in the director’s chair, we imagine the role will be one that’s much-contested in Hollywood – when, or if, the film does eventually happen.
Half-Life movie trailer
There’s no trailer for the film at the moment – it’s early days for the production, so we wouldn’t expect to see any footage for a while yet.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for a potential visual reference point, check out the trailer below for the series’ most recent entry – VR extravaganza Half-Life: Alyx, which was released on Steam earlier this year.
Half-Life movie release date
There’s no word so far on a release date for the film. However, with the release of Half-Life: Alyx this year – the series’ first main instalment in over 15 years – it seems there’s still life in the franchise yet. And with Abrams’ work on Star Wars now finished, perhaps he and Valve can get back to the negotiating table. Don’t write off a Half-Life movie just yet...
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