J.J. Abrams Updates Fans On Planned Portal And Half-Life Movies

It's been several years since J.J Abrams announced plans to produce films based on two popular video game franchises. Now, we have a bit clearer idea what's going on with them. According to Abrams, films based on both Portal and Half-Life are still in development. What's more, it sounds like the future of the Portal film specifically is looking very good. So good that some sort of official statement may be right around the corner.

We have a meeting coming up next week with Valve, we're very active, I'm hoping that there will be a Portal announcement fairly soon. ... 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.

Of course "fairly soon" can be a relative phrase when it comes to movie development, but the fact that J.J. Abrams and Valve, the developer of both games, will actually be meeting next week certainly means that these two projects are more than just ideas. He also tells IGN that there have been conversations with writers, that sound like they have been quite fruitful. There could even be scripts already being worked on as we speak, at least for the Portal film, since it appears that project is a little bit further along than Half-Life.

While no video game has quite captured the imagination of movie fans quite yet, studios are committed to making that happen. Both the Half-Life and Portal games are quite popular with fans. Half-Life was a major evolution of the first-person shooter game genre when it was released in 1998. It deals with a world that sees an alien invasion following an accidental (or not) rip between dimensions. Portal is also a first person game, but it focuses on puzzle solving by use of a gun that only shoots portals, allowing the player to better traverse their environment.

Movies may be the best possible thing that fans of these games could hope for at this point. New entries in either game would be incredibly popular, yet Valve seems to have a phobia of the number three. While both games got sequels, neither has seen a full third entry. Half-Life even saw episodic sequels to the second game, which also stalled before the third one was released.

Could either of these titles be the video game movie that changes everything? Who's in your Half-Life dream cast?

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.