JJ Abrams Offers Updates on Portal and Half-Life Movies

JaredJones

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JJ Abrams Offers Updates on Portal and Half-Life Movies

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The notoriously busy director/producer claims that movie adaptations of both popular Valve games are "still in development."

It's has been three-plus years since J.J. Abrams first announced that he would be teaming with Valve Software's Gabe Newell to bring us not only a movie based on Valve's incredibly popular platformer Portal, but a Half-Life one as well. In the time since...nothing.

While doing the media rounds for 10 Cloverfield Lane, however, Abrams finally broke his silence on the projects, sort of, telling IGN [http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/03/12/jj-abrams-portal-half-life-movies-still-happening] that both films were "Not (done) 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."

Given Abrams' ability to sneak entire movies past us [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/moviesandtv/reviews/cinemarter/16858-10-Cloverfield-Lane-2016-Movie-Review], it's very possible that both Portal and Half-Life movie are already in the can and he's just screwing with us. Then again, given the long and well-documented failure of big studios to bring a "proper" or even "not terrible" video game adaptation to life, it's probably safe to assume that either movie is a couple years away at best.

Though we have no idea who these writers are that Abrams is mentioning, it's worth noting that 10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg did shoot a short film based on Portal in 2011 that was incredibly well-received by the game's fanbase. With reviewers citing the first-timer's direction as one of the key components of 10 Cloverfield Lane's success, one would have to imagine that he'll be involved in this project in some regard.

As for Half-Life, it might not be so cut and dry. Back in 2010 [http://www.pcgamer.com/valve-want-to-make-the-half-life-movie-themselves/], Valve's CEO and co-founder, Gabe Newell, said that any attempt at a Half-Life movie would be completed in house by Valve themselves, so who knows what the future holds for that picture.

All that being said, I suppose I should close by asking what seems to be the requisite question on these kinds of stories: Could Abrams and/or Valve be the team that finally cracks the video game movie code?


Source: IGN [http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/03/12/jj-abrams-portal-half-life-movies-still-happening]

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Nazulu

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Please no! I don't want Jar Jar anywhere near those franchises. The guy makes the most shallow focus group sponges imaginable! Isn't there any real directors these days that might be interested in these games?
 

Dalisclock

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So Valve is handling any movies based on their IP in house? We shouldn't expect to see them anytime in the next decade. Got it.
 

Jandau

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Oh, god, no...

I detest his directing style. It was IMO one of the main reasons why Force Awakens was simply "decent" and "fine" instead of "great" and "awesome". That film is good despite Abrams, not because of him. But he has wormed his way into the "geek" section of Holywood, and it just pisses me off. These are franchises I enjoy and would love to see films set in them. Sadly, if he directs them, they won't be very good...

On the bright side, he might end up producing them or something. He seems to be able not to fuck that up, so I'd be fine with that. Just as long as nobody lets him direct...
 

Soviet Heavy

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I actually didn't like that Portal fan film. Both Half Life and Portal have elements of horror to them, but fan production often forget the other elements that make the games work, and double down on the dark, edgy, emotional crud and ignore the stuff that makes the games fun. Horror is an undercurrent in the games, but the fan films make it so overt.

It's why, while I like Black Mesa Source, I hate the soundtrack, because it gets rid of the atmosphere setting synthesizers and replaces them with generic sad piano dreck.
 

SonOfVoorhees

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I would like a Portal movie but it would have to be low budget and one woman trying to escape while the AI is trying to stop her. You know, like the game. I really hope they dont make it all dark and dingy like that fan made movie. In the game everything was bright and clean until you got behind that and its dingy and dark back ares.
 

Ukomba

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-_- why does JJ have to keep touching my favorite things. At this rate, he's going to some how get a hold of Firefly and Red Rising. :p
 

Olas

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Ukomba said:
-_- why does JJ have to keep touching my favorite things. At this rate, he's going to some how get a hold of Firefly and Red Rising. :p
Because his movies do well.

You might hate them, but that doesn't mean everyone does.
 

Ukomba

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Olas said:
Ukomba said:
-_- why does JJ have to keep touching my favorite things. At this rate, he's going to some how get a hold of Firefly and Red Rising. :p
Because his movies do well.

You might hate them, but that doesn't mean everyone does.
Ya, he's a lot like Michale Bay in that way. He's really good at dumbing things down to the lowest common denominator. But his true genius isn't in story telling it's in marketing. I'd hire him to plan a marketing campaign or cut a trailer but I hate when he has creative control.
 

Kenjitsuka

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"not only a movie based on Valve's incredibly popular platformer Portal, but a Half-Life one as well. In the time since...nothing."

Well, DUH! It's obviously going to be based off of Half-Life 3's story! And everyone knows Portal 3 was the game that THAT movie got most of it's emotional heart from... which you should know is going to be based on the HL3 engine. Which will release in: (oh crap, that's where my PC Magazine December 2024 is missing half a page).
 

Olas

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Ukomba said:
Olas said:
Ukomba said:
-_- why does JJ have to keep touching my favorite things. At this rate, he's going to some how get a hold of Firefly and Red Rising. :p
Because his movies do well.

You might hate them, but that doesn't mean everyone does.
Ya, he's a lot like Michale Bay in that way. He's really good at dumbing things down to the lowest common denominator. But his true genius isn't in story telling it's in marketing. I'd hire him to plan a marketing campaign or cut a trailer but I hate when he has creative control.
You're worried he's going to "dumb down" Half Life and Portal? Like this is high art he's dealing with? If these movies are even comparable to the worst film he's directed (Mission Impossible 3, 70% on RT), they'd be the best video-game adaptations to date.

Look, I'm a big Valve fan, and I don't really see the need to adapt these games to film AT ALL. But if it's going to happen, Abrams would be on my short list of go-to directors. Obviously some of the people at Valve must like him, they put LOST easter eggs in HL2 Ep2, and included an interactive trailer for Super 8 with the release of Portal 2.
 

Ukomba

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Olas said:
Ukomba said:
Olas said:
Ukomba said:
-_- why does JJ have to keep touching my favorite things. At this rate, he's going to some how get a hold of Firefly and Red Rising. :p
Because his movies do well.

You might hate them, but that doesn't mean everyone does.
Ya, he's a lot like Michale Bay in that way. He's really good at dumbing things down to the lowest common denominator. But his true genius isn't in story telling it's in marketing. I'd hire him to plan a marketing campaign or cut a trailer but I hate when he has creative control.
You're worried he's going to "dumb down" Half Life and Portal? Like this is high art he's dealing with? If these movies are even comparable to the worst film he's directed (Mission Impossible 3, 70% on RT), they'd be the best video-game adaptations to date.

Look, I'm a big Valve fan, and I don't really see the need to adapt these games to film AT ALL. But if it's going to happen, Abrams would be on my short list of go-to directors. Obviously some of the people at Valve must like him, they put LOST easter eggs in HL2 Ep2, and included an interactive trailer for Super 8 with the release of Portal 2.
Clearly I'm talking about his earlier movies as he's never done a video game adaptation. e_e

But no, I'm sure he'll do the same thing every other director who tries to do a video game will do. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Shell and Freeman end up as romantic interests of eachother. That or Portal will turn into an Ex Machina clone while Half Life goes the Independence day rout. JJ isn't know for his respect of source material or originality.
 

Saelune

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Can someone stop this guy. I am fucking tired of hearing is pompous self-absorbed name. Hes just a slightly nerdier Michael Bay. Star Trek, Star Wars. Hell even if he wasn't garbage, he is being given too much influence on nerdom in general. What next? A new LOTR or DnD movie?
 

Vigormortis

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I'm okay with a Half-Life film, but I would prefer it center around characters other than those from the games. I would rather see an exploration of the story-verse, expanding on the events that take place, than rehashing the story we've already seen.

Soviet Heavy said:
It's why, while I like Black Mesa Source, I hate the soundtrack, because it gets rid of the atmosphere setting synthesizers and replaces them with generic sad piano dreck.
Finally! Someone who agrees with me.

I can't stand the BMS soundtrack. It's a well composed bit of music, don't get me wrong, but it just does not fit the atmosphere and aesthetic of the Half-Life universe. It feels so out of place while playing, like I've turned off the in-game music and turned on some generic movie score. It's very off-putting.

I think the best way to put it is: It lacks that distinctive 80's/90's sci-fi flavor the original soundtrack had.
 

FPLOON

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So... If these movies get made, then would Half-Life be the Cloverfield and Portal would be the 10 Cloverfield Lane?

Other than that, he's going to be producing them, right? ...Right?? RIGHT???
 

cikame

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Regardless of how all this pans out i only have one request, Gordon Freeman should never speak.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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I don't like how this guy suddenly has the monopoly on all of geekdom's treasured film rights.