A long time ago in our galaxy — 2013, to be precise — Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens director and producer J. J. Abrams held a DICE keynote talk with Valve co-founder Gabe Newell, who's behind popular games such as Counter-Strike, Dota 2 and Portal. The two entertainment giants revealed that they were planning to work on games and movies together.
"We’re going to figure out if we can make a Portal movie or Half-Life movie together," said Newell, and we all held our breath. But there had been no updates to this exciting project until this week, when Abrams addressed these ideas again during the promotion of 10 Cloverfield Lane.
'Portal' And 'Half-Life' Movies Are In Development
In an IGN interview about the freshly released 10 Cloverfield Lane, the reporter snuck in a question to Abrams about whether his Valve projects had sunk into oblivion. His answer was vague, but positive:
"[I can't give you an update] yet, but they're in development. And we've got writers, and we're working on both those stories. But nothing that would be an exciting update."
So even though the films haven't really moved forward, it's good to hear that they weren't scrapped either.
Valve Wants To Make Their Own Movies
Newell's well-known stance on movie adaptations of his games could be the reason for the time it's taking to bring these projects to life. In 2010, he announced that the only way there would be a Half-Life movie would be if Valve was creating it themselves. It's possible that Abrams would produce something supervised internally at Valve, but it's also touching on the broader question on how to make a movie faithful to the game.
There's been a significant trend of game-to-movie adaptations recently, led by the big screen adaption of the Assassin's Creed franchise starring Michael Fassbender. But as movies take out the player component central to any game, the infinite number of ways we can experience a game's storyline is suddenly merged into one. This makes it all the more difficult to please the game's fans or honor its spirit.
The '10 Cloverfield Lane' Director Made A Movie About 'Portal'
Abrams's latest gig as a producer, the fantasy horror tale 10 Cloverfield Lane, happens to have been directed by Dan Trachtenberg. The director is also behind a fan film titled Portal: No Escape, which, you guessed it, is about the Valve video game. Although no mention of Trachtenberg has crossed Abrams's lips in regards to the Portal movie, he's got a precious source of advice at hand should the adaptation kick into gear.