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Can you even think of a more dicey investment for a Hollywood studio than a video game adaptation? The genre has a long history of failures, and has remained more or less dormant over the last few years. That being said, adaptations of two of the most wildly popular modern video games may in fact become a reality very soon. Nerd emperor J.J. Abrams has just confirmed that adaptations of Half-Life and Portal are currently in development and will materialize at some point in the near future.
Sitting down with IGN to promote 10 Cloverfield Lane, J.J. Abrams admitted that he’s currently taking part in the development of movies based upon Half-Life as well as Portal. However, when he was asked if he'd be filming soon he said:
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.
So they’re coming; that’s all he will really give us. Knowing the level of secrecy J.J. Abrams keeps with regards to his projects, I would say that’s probably as good as we’re going to get for the time being. So while we don’t have any concrete information regarding story or casting details (I have a laundry list of actors to play Gordon Freeman) we know that these movies remain in development.
Don’t believe that there’s widespread enthusiasm for this sort of project to materialize? Just take a look at this insanely popular Portal fan film and try to tell me that J.J. Abrams couldn’t pull something like that off:
We seem to be on the verge of a potential video game movie renaissance. New reports indicate that the upcoming Assassin’s Creed movie starring Michael Fassbender will receive a sequel, and the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot has its sights set upon Daisy Ridley to potentially play protagonist Lara Croft. If these films perform well it could pave the way for more prestigious filmmakers like J.J. Abrams to continue looking to that medium for inspiration when it comes to brand new feature length film franchises.
We will have to wait and see what happens. Half-Life and Portal represent two of the most beloved modern video game franchise, and fans have clamored for films based on both of them for years. If any filmmaker working today has the chops to do these properties correctly, then we would have to place our bets on J.J. Abrams. We will keep you up to date regarding all of the latest and greatest details associated with the Half-Life and Portal movies as they become available to us. For now you can check out Abrams’ latest project, 10 Cloverfield Lane, which hit theaters this weekend.