Back in 2013, J.J. Abrams and Gabe Newell, head of game developer Valve, announced a joint effort to develop movie adaptations of the video game franchises Half-Life and Portal. The reveal came during the keynote discussion for the 2013 D.I.C.E. Summit, and their partnership was meant to produce both games and films. After three years of stagnant news, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens helmer finally has an update on what he promised, if only to tell fans that they’re still happening.
“Not 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.”
The first-person shooter Half-Life centers are scientist Gordon Freeman, who accidentally unleashes monstrosities in the Anomalous Materials Laboratory during what seemed to be a routine examination of a crystalline substance. Portal, on the other hand, is set in the mysterious Aperture Science Laboratories, where players complete challenges by opening portals, moving objects, and playing with space. As an example of what a Portal movie might actually look like, director Dan Trachtenberg, who also helmed the Abrams’ produced 10 Cloverfield Lane, reached viral fame with his short film Portal: No Escape.
While adaptations of these games may have been risks a few years ago when they were first announced, films based on video games are picking up steam. Duncan Jones’ Warcraft movie and the Michael Fassbender-led Assassins Creed are both coming later this year, and a sequel to the latter is already a subject of the Internet rumor mill. Elsewhere, adaptations of the award-winning The Last of Us was announced as a new Tomb Raider reboot shapes up and Crackle debuted a Dead Rising movie (subtitled Watchtower) last year.