Speaking to IGN on the Westworld red carpet, JJ Abrams confirms that the Half-Life and Portal movies are still in development, with a Portal announcement coming 'fairly soon'.
For those who are keeping track, it's been approximately three years since JJ Abrams revealed at DICE 2013 that his company Bad Robot and Valve would be teaming up to produce movie adaptations of Half-Life and Portal. Since that announcement, very little has been said about the projects, with the most recent update dating back several months ago when Abrams stated that Bad Robot is still working on the films. While both projects seem to be stuck in the perpetual development cycle that is Hollywood, it appears that both movies are still progressing forward and we may be getting a big announcement soon if a new statement from Abrams is to be believed.
Speaking to IGN while at the recent Westworld premiere, Abrams confirmed that the Half-Life and Portal movies are still in development and that if all goes well after an upcoming meeting with Valve, there could be a Portal announcement "fairly soon". When asked about whether the film adaptations would follow the established storylines in the games, Abrams kept his cards close to his chest and revealed very little:
"We are having some really interesting discussions with writers, many of whom...once you said you’re doing a movie or show about a specific thing that is a known quantity you start to find people who are rabid about these things. As someone who loves playing Half-Life and Portal, what’s the movie of this, it’s incredible when you talk to someone who just ‘gets’ it, it’s like, oh my god, it’s really the seed for this incredible tree you’re growing."
If the Portal announcement does indeed come soon, it will be a major milestone for the project and will undoubtedly bring excitement to a fandom that's had to make do with Portal fan films – albeit high-quality fan films – over the past few years. It's still very early days in terms of who could potentially direct the Portal film adaptation, but it appears that Bad Robot may already have a solid candidate in its ranks – Dan Trachtenberg.
Having initially made his breakout with his brilliant short film Portal adaptation, as well as having a solid working relationship with Bad Robot after directing the recent hit film 10 Cloverfield Lane, Trachtenberg is well placed to land the gig. Even then, it very clearly remains to be seen whether or not he will actually get the job.
Whether the Portal film will be successful remains in question, especially after the critically-panned Warcraft and Ratchet and Clank films that were released earlier this year. Given Bad Robot and Valve's good track records in the film and video game industry respectively though, the Portal film has every chance of being a brilliant video game movie.
What are your thoughts on Bad Robot's take on the Portal movie? What do you think the finished product will look like? Let us know in the comments below.