Aside from the cult-classic first-person shooter series Half-Life, there is perhaps no other video game property created by developer and publisher Valve Corporation that has remained quite as popular as the puzzle-platform title that is Portal. Centering around the exploits of one Aperture Laboratories human test subject named Chell, the game consists of a number of inter-spatial planes which the player must traverse while solving increasingly challenging puzzles while using the iconic “Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device” to create portals between planes.
Featuring a unique physics engine that pairs well with the title’s central conceit, Portal players have by now become intimately familiar with the bizarre dystopia that is the game proper – completed by the inclusion of its nagging AI antagonist named GLaDOS (or Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System) and her deceitful promises of cake. What’s more, plans for a movie version of Portal – alongside the related Valve property Half-Life – have been in the offing for quite some time now, and the latest word has an official announcement of the new movie just around the corner.
According to IGN, writer, director, and producer J.J. Abrams was asked just recently at the world premiere of Westworld about the status of the forthcoming Portal and Half-Life movies, to which the frequent genre filmmaker remarked that both productions are “still very much in development” but that fans can expect a Portal announcement “fairly soon.” In regards to the status of the scripts for both films and whether or not they will follow the pre-established storylines from the games, Abrams explained:
“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.”
Abrams obviously didn’t want to give too much away this early in the pre-production process, but it’s heartening to hear that he is taking the tasking of adapting Portal and Half-Life as seriously as he is. It would be easy to churn out a cookie-cutter blockbuster out of either property, but it sounds as though the writers involved in adapting the video games to the big screen are players themselves, which should result in two faithfully recreated movies based on the best-selling games.
Granted, there are fans still waiting for the long-delayed release of the third Half-Life title ten years on, and as such they might not be over eager for Valve and company to be spending too much unneeded time on two motion picture adaptations. For everyone else, the very idea of an Abrams produced Portal movie should be more than enough reason to get excited.
Screen Rant will keep you updated on any information related to the Portal movie.