When you leave a theater after watching a film adapted from a videogame, how times have you felt cheated? For me, I can honestly say every single instant. It seems like Gabe Newell, the co-founder of Valve, feels exactly the same way.
While having a conversation with PC Gamer, Newell admitted Hollywood would constantly approach his company and try to convince them to develop a film based off the first Half Life. According to him, the pitches that presented to his company were terrible; furthermore, the film executives were baffled onto why gamers had such a connection to the original story.
“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.”
Due to the poor propositions made by Hollywood, Newell feels if a Half-Life film is ever-to-be, then his company would develop the project and not rely on any outside interference.
“That’s when we started saying ‘Wow, the best thing we could ever do is to just not do this as a movie, or we’d have to make it ourselves.’ And I was like, ‘Make it ourselves? Well that’s impossible.’ But the Team Fortress 2 thing, the Meet The Team shorts, is us trying to explore that.”
Making a movie might seem easy, especially if you make high-production videogames; but reality says it’s not. Jordan Mechner, the man who wrote three of the Prince of Persia games, also penned the film adaption. According to critics and fans, one of the bigger problems of the PoP movie was the story, and how it was chaotic — and not in a good way. So even Valve’s passion for Half Life would be in the evident in a film adaption, it doesn’t automatically make it good.
If Newell is ever interested in the possibility of Half Life becoming a summer blockbuster, and at the same time please the fans of the series, he should just hold out until he or the company can have creative control. Instead of relying solely on outside studios. Plus, having there resources would be much more beneficial to them, rather than depending on yourself.
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Our friends over at MakingOf.com, a site founded by Natalie Portman and CEO Christine Aylward, just posted a new 7 minute video on all things Avatar. The video features Aylward with Nathon Gunn of Social Game Universe and Kevin Shortt, the Lead Scriptwriter – Story Designer of James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game.
Check out the video embedded above that’s filled with in-depth information on the videogame as well as the film. Through the discussion you’ll learn the game takes place some 2 years before the events of the film. A handful of actors from the film are back to supply their voice talents, the most involved being Sigourney Weaver, who was ecstatic about the game development process. It’s somewhat ironic that Weaver was thrilled to be apart of a videogame because if you remember correctly, she was adamant about not being apart of the Ghostbusters game. It wasn’t until later she changed her mind because she learned the original cast were going to lend their voices for the adaption of the 80′s cult classic. But by then, it was too late because the game was already underway and she lost her chance to be involved. It sounds like she finally figured out that videogames are a new form of entertainment (duh) and when an opportunity arises to be apart of one, she’ll take the role.
Kevin, who also wrote the LOST videogame, divulges that the game will feature two playable narratives and that the final script was over 900 pages (Compare that to a film script that hovers around 100!) Finally the most fascinating aspect of the whole project has been James Cameron involvement with the game from the start of pre-production on the film. Cameron shared complete assets including storyboards, model renderings, and a complete translation booklet of the Navi language.
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This months Entertainment Weekly came out, and because of /film we get a subscription. An article that was featured talked about the release of the two blockbuster music games Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero: World Tour, and their significance on how they’ll help shape the music industry.
During the story, they had a small piece of what ‘famous’ real life rockers think about the two games. After the jump, read what they said. (more…)
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Film director Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy), apparently enjoys to play video games. He enjoys them so much he can have an in-depth conversation and give detailed answers about why he likes certain games. He even compares the atmosphere of some games to legendary movie directors such as Roman Polanski (Rosemary’s Baby) and George A. Romero (Dawn of the Dead).
I absolutely loved BioShock. I loved the world, the design, the lighting, the beautiful art direction and cinematography. I’m a fan of Silent Hill, Resident Evil and Devil May Cry. I love them all. The first Silent Hill was so beautiful, almost like a Lynch, Polanski or Romero type of horror experience…
I love the engine of GTA IV. I’m not a big fan of the actual game: I’m not into break-ins or running people over, but the engine is incredibly beautiful, and the sandbox is very complete. The same goes for Medal of Honor Airborne, Call of Duty 4 or Army of Two. There are only two games I consider masterpieces: Ico and Shadow of the Colossus… I have a 12-year-old daughter and we play together, but unfortunately she’s more into Sonic and Kirby.
The more time goes by and games become more mainstream, the more we see respectable Hollywood names come out of the woodwork and admit they play video games. When a ‘star’ used to ‘admit’ he/she plays video games, we usually got the “I’m more of a Pac-Man kind of person,” response. You know, the answer we always get when they want to look ‘cool’ for pop-culture.
Not only does del Toro admit he enjoys a next-gen game from time to time, but so does Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson. The growing trend of video games in Hollywood is great news for us gamers. With movies like Max Payne coming out later this year and Bioshock next year, hopefully movies adapted from video games will be the next ‘comic book’ genre for the film industry.
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While talking to CVG, Cliff Bleszinski promised that his next game Gears of War 2, will in fact be longer, maybe even ten hours. Thank god. I played and beat Gears 1 in about seven or so hours. It was a great game, but was just to damn short. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting anything longer then seven. So this is a welcome surprise.
“We definitely want it [Gears of War 2] to be longer. We won’t specify a number of hours right now, but it will be longer — I can guarantee that. And it’ll have a little bit more drama too…I think that, with campaigns like in Gears, Halo or Call of Duty, my personal preference is around the 10+ hours mark, with a co-op and a multiplier you can play in the longer term. But I find a lot of games are filled with padding to make them seem longer. They do stuff like, at the half way mark, demand that you play through all the levels again backwards, and you think “kiss my ass.” We’ll never do that. We’d always rather push forward and provide new experiences.”
I’m cool with ten hours, just not under seven. Please Cliffy, please don’t lie to us.
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