Producer-director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek Into Darkness, Star Wars: Episode 7) is one of the biggest names in Hollywood, and Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director of Valve, is one of the biggest names in the world of gaming. So what would happen if they banded together?
Answer: an entertainment partnership that could turn the geek world upside down. Or at least that’s what fanboys around the world are hoping after Abrams and Newell took the stage together at the annual D.I.C.E. Summit to announce a partnership between Bad Robot (Abrams’ production company) and Valve.
According to Wired, Abrams and Newell talked about several possible collaborations during the conference. For one, Abrams said that he has an idea for a game that he’d like Valve to work on. Then, Newell kicked things up a notch when he said that they’re “going to figure out if we can make a Portal movie or Half-Life movie together.”
Of course, we shouldn’t take Newell’s statements to mean that either a Half-Life or a Portal movie is in active development, but rather that it’s a possibility that the two companies are exploring. Still, it’s pretty exciting news for fans of the games.
Or is it? Getting the tone right for a Portal movie could be very difficult. Director Dan Trachtenberg struck Internet success with Portal: No Escape, a gritty, action-packed take on the game. But a more faithful adaptation would have to include the game’s delightfully dark sense of humor.
A Half-Life movie could be equally challenging. As anyone who has played the game knows, the main character, Gordon Freeman never speaks. This was a deliberate choice so that the player could experience the game more intimately. Obviously, this approach wouldn’t work for a movie. But could turning Freeman into a real-life action star diminish the impact of the character?
Abrams will be busy enough in the next couple of years with the Star Trek franchise, Star Wars: Episode VII, and myriad other projects, so it may be a long time before anything can happen with either a Portal or Half-Life movie (unless he takes a producer role, which he’s been known to do). Regardless, it’s a fun possibility to think about.
What would you like to see out of the Bad Robot – Valve partnership? Is it possible to make a good movie version of Portal or Half-Life? Let us know in the comments.