ByEmily Browne, writer at
Twitter: @emrbrowne
Emily Browne

Following the recent announcement that J. J. Abrams hasn't scrapped the Portal and Half-Life movies, the Internet has been buzzing with all ways the Star Trek-cum-Star Wars director could be involved with bringing these beloved games to the big screen.

Even though Abrams cannot, at this time, give us much more information on the project(s), here are 10 things we need to see in the Portal/Half-Life movie adaptions.


Whether it be to befriend you, comfort you, taunt you and then ultimately try to kill you, a Portal adaption without this sassy A.I. wouldn't be a Portal adaption at all.

2. Headcrabs, Zombies, Aliens, Oh My!

Source: Winston Zhang
Source: Winston Zhang

Imagine these guys, 8ft tall, on the big screen. Please and thank you. Half-Life's beasties are such a part of the games that it wouldn't be right without them.

3. Aperture Science & Black Mesa

Source: Valve
Source: Valve

That moment at the start of Portal when you wake up, only to discover you're all alone in a dilapidated science lab, being taunted relentlessly by a maniacal A.I. as you perform test-after-test-after-test, is both bleak and brilliant. The Portal movie would need to reflect that feeling of abandonment while slowing revealing the dark and twisted history of Aperture Science, akin to the way it was revealed in Portal 2.

Similarly in Half-Life, Doctor Freeman's escape from Black Mesa is one tense experience, knowing that around any corner a creature could be lurking — capturing that unease is essential.

4. City 17 & Ravenholm

Source: Valve
Source: Valve

Half-Life introduced the wider world of the games through its expansion packs — so a good look at City 17's deserted streets is a must.

Secondly, if Abrams and his team wanted to add a lil terror to their cinematic outing, Ravenholm would be the place to go...

5. Easter Eggs

Self explanatory, but the more Valve-related Easter Eggs the better! Crowbars, Turrets, Cubes, all that good stuff.

6. Stephen Merchant As Wheatley

Wheatley's inception and execution In Portal 2 was a stroke of genius. His blabbering, sarcastic and overall good nature (well, mostly good nature) was a high point of the game, and Merchant's British charm made him all the more entertaining.

7. Chell & Gordon Freeman

Both Chell of Portal, and Doctor Gordon Freeman of Half-Life are mute throughout the games, but it would be great to explore and delve into their characters, and the effect their respective situations have on their personalities.

8. Awesome, Story-Driven Narrative

This fan-film was produced by none other than Mr. 10 Cloverfield Lane himself, Dan Trachtenberg, and had the right tone, characterization, and props needed for the ultimate Portal movie; so yeah, more like this:

9. A Shared Universe

From what Abrams has told IGN, we can deduce that writers are beavering away on both movies. If this is the case, then there is definitely franchise potential, or at the very least, a shared universe. This would add so much depth and story-telling potential to both worlds, plus make fans of the Valve games very, ver happy.

Source: Nitro Killer via Deviant Art
Source: Nitro Killer via Deviant Art

Abrams and Trachtenberg have recently teamed up to inject new life into the Cloverfield universe, so this is definitely within the realms of possibility.

10. Half-Life 3

Or, you know, Valve could just scrap the entire cinematic venture altogether and turn their attention back towards the enigma that is Half-Life 3. Or Portal 3. Or both. What do you think?

What would you like to see from a 'Portal' or 'Half-Life' movie?


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