J.J. Abrams and Valve Teaming Up; ‘Half-Life’ and ‘Portal’ Movies in the Works?

Published 2 years ago by

JJ Abrams Gabe Newell Valve J.J. Abrams and Valve Teaming Up; Half Life and Portal Movies in the Works?

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.

half life movie gordon freeman J.J. Abrams and Valve Teaming Up; Half Life and Portal Movies in the Works?

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.


Source: Wired

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  1. I think Portal would be way easier to adapt than Half-Life.

    • I think it’s the other way round because of all the obvious reasons, but whatever.

  2. I’m familiar with Portal but i’ve never heard of Half-Life.

    • Seriously???? Portal came from half life its one of the most famous games ever made

      • Well Half-Life was made in the late 90′s so he’s probably pretty young, nothing wrong with that so many games and consoles have been sold in the last 15 years its not unusual for modern day gamers to be totally ignorant of games of the last century. There was a game called Portal built for the Amiga that goes further back than Half-Life but that was published by Activision and not Valve and was an adventure game, I think. I want a movie based on Alien Mind heh..heh that goes back 25 years! But really J.J. is trying to be this centuries Steve Jobs…

        • That’s no excuse. It’s like saying “the moon landing was performed in the late 60s, how would he know about that?”. Yes, Half-Life is that big a thing in games! The name still gets mentioned to this day when they describe certain gameplay elements in current games. Many reviews for “Dishonored” mentioned Half-Life, for example.

          By the power invested in me by the geek community I hereby decree that Nexus has to educate himself by playing Half-Life and Half-Life 2 as soon as humanly possible!

          • @LostWinchester

            I agree. Half Life basically revolutionalized first-person shooters. Before that all we had were games like Quake, Doom, and Wolfenstein. So many games draw inspiration from Half Life and Half Life 2 it’s a shame kids now don’t appreciate it. I’ve honestly haven’t seen a fps of Half Life 2′s caliber since…

            This is a bad idea though, you can’t really put Gordon Freeman on screen since he isn’t as much a character on his own as he is ourselves put into the game since he never talks, never acts without our direct input, and doesn’t have a second of consciousness that we do not witness first-hand…

            • Heheh, knowing Valve, maybe they’ll make him a mute in the beginning of the movie and the actor really won’t speak. ;p That would be an interesting challenge to incorporate.

              • @Thren

                Yah, but the point really isn’t that Freeman is a mute, it’s part of the whole concept of how the character in the game never does anything that you don’t do. And since the technology doesn’t exist where you can dynamically talk to the characters inside games, they simply made him not talk. So a movie, even if he doesn’t talk, he’s moving and doing stuff that you’re not controlling, you’re just watching. So that takes the magic out of Freeman in that you’re not him anymore, someone else is…

                • That’s true enough. You would never be able to replicate that experience of playing the character as your own in a movie. They might be able to find a characterization for him that many people would enjoy, but it would be with the understanding it would not represent some people’s fond memories and interpretations of the character at best. I still would be interested to see what they could do with a Half Life movie, though.

    • -_-

    • Yeah right, everybody’s heard of Half-Life. Claiming you haven’t is like not knowing who Mario is.

  3. Uh … he should put his focus on Star Wars and Star Trek, and NOTHING else at the moment.

  4. Half Life 2..Best Game Ever.

  5. It’d be go to see… in like 6 or 7 years. I love both games, but I think a Half Life movie would be more interesting to see. The Portal games are enough for me, they should’ve asked him when the next one is coming out.

    • *good

  6. Half Life, Half Life!!!

  7. I think its no problem for Jar Jar to develop some stuff here,he always does the beginning and leaves the rest,and rel work to the real creative people to handle it ! :) Should be soon enough !

  8. A Half Life movie would be awesome, if handled right. Start it from the Black Mesa incident. Then move on to the Combine and City 17. Then onto whatever Valve intended to do but then abandoned.

    I could see a trilogy of movies for it.

    Since the company that created Portal’s homicidal AI, GladOS, is mentioned previously in Half Life, they’re in the same universe, so Easter egg and tie-in possibilities are there.

    Portal was an original that forced you to think as opposed to just shooting anything that moves, and in the second game a story did start to evolve, albeit a lot more tenuous than Half-Life’s, which is story-driven I think.

    I wonder who could play Gordon Freeman? Or Alyx? And maybe it could get Newell to revive the franchise?

  9. Yes please! Gimme, gimme, gimme!

    • @Ken J
      Absolutely right! Episode 3 already! Once Episode 3 comes out and possibly concludes the story, then I might support a movie for it. Until then, let J.J. focus on Star Trek & Star Wars.

  10. Valve needs to focus on concluding the Half Life series of games… We are STILL waiting for Episode 3…

  11. You know, I hope instead of making a movie, he is hiring JJ Abrams to direct the next installments to the games… THAT would be freakin’ amazing…

    • @Ken J.

      Wrong, that would not be freaking amazin.

      That would be….Wait for it!….LEGENDARY!

    • @ACW

      Cake, and grief counseling, will be available at the conclusion of the test.

      Goodbye, Caroline. You know, deleting Caroline just now taught me a valuable lesson: the best solution to a problem is usually the easiest one. And I’ll be honest. Killing you? Is hard. You know what my days used to be like? I just tested. Nobody murdered me. Or put me in a potato. Or fed me to birds. I had a pretty good life. And then you showed up. You dangerous, mute lunatic. So you know what? You win. Just go.

  12. Wait.

    Let me fumble around my mind for a moment.

    Ok…Got it!

    I want to see a movies that revolves around GLaDOS.

  13. You want your freedom, take it
    That’s what I’m counting on
    I used to want you dead
    But now I only want you gone…

    I’m 100% for this

  14. i think they gonna make Left 4 Dead first rather than half-life ora portal. those two games are too complex to be filmed

  15. the male character in that picture looks like Robert Downey Jr and/or Gary Oldman

    • Actually, he looks exactly like Hugh Laurie

  16. They need to cast my friend , Brett as Gordan. https://www.facebook.com/btphotos?

  17. I bought The Orage Box for the PS3 which includes both Half-Life 2 and Portal (and another game I can’t remember the name of) and so far both are cool. A portal movie could be fun for sure!

  18. My favorite game of all-tine (Half-Life) getting a quality film adaption?!!?!?!?!

  19. J.J’s style is far more fitting for a portal game then a half life game. Half life needs more of a dirty feel to it.

  20. 2 huge things here:

    Gordon CANNOT talk! He should be cast as a mute doctor, just doing his job like in the actual game. It’s already got a very fantastic script and even better voice acting, which brings me to #2.

    The original voices of the head scientist (I can’t remember the old guy’s name, but he helps Gordon) and of course the loveable Barney, should actually be cast in the movie as the actor’s for those roles.

    I know it seems like a long shot, but it would be great to see what they actually look like and also if you can voice act, you can certainly ACT, it’s just they probably don’t have the prototypical “look”. I’m really not familiar with either of them, so I’m not sure if they’ve done any TV or film, but their voices are iconic.

    My vote for the black guy that helps Gordon with his daughter would totally be Morgan Freeman. He’d be perfect if they can get him. As for the girl, a half-black half asian would be appropriate. As for Gordon, I think Matthew Fox of LOST would look perfect with some nerdy glasses on. Looks like an everyman, but he’s jacked enough to know how to handle a gun believeably.

    • And if Cave Johnson is featured at all, say they decided to mix in some Aperture Science scenes, they should hire J.K. Simmons back to do his voice like he did in Portal 2.

  21. Kristin Kruek as Alyx Vance, I’m calling it!

  22. I’m actually more interested in a Team Fortress 2 movie…. Seems like it is already design for at least short animations.

  23. Abrams should make Portal on the condition he use the hot actress from the Dan Trachtenberg version.

  24. That’s great news. But Valve is considering doing this *before* they finish making Half-Life 3? Come on now, Valve, quit procrastinating and finish Half-Life 3 already.

  25. I want Brandy Norwood as Alyx Vance, she’s black with asian features and she’ll make an unexpected casting.

  26. This news is not really new, Portal 2 has a Super 8 level

    You can see it here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYpj4XHvhO8

    Proof there was already a Bad Robot link back then.

  27. I hope its Portal im a huge fan cant wait!!!! XD Portal would be easier also.

  28. Ross Scott for Gordon Freeman. I am Captain Gordon Freeman from the Intergalactic House of Pancakes ordering you to make this movie.

    But first finish Half-life 2 already! I mean, We’ve been waiting for just an EPISODE for 6 years now? Come on.

  29. I think a saga TV series of the two science corporations Aperture Science and Black Mesa and the backgrounds of all of their key staff from the games would be cool. Almost like a drama/scifi series like LOST or Battlestar Galactica. Except it would involve their WHOLE lives. For example season one would be the beginnings of Aperture Fixtures and Cave Johnson’s starting career.

    Season two would begin to show Dr. Breen’s ambition to start a science company of his own to rival Aperture Science Innovators and so on. There would be drama mixed in with everything of course.

    Towards the final seasons, it could be after the Seven Hour War and show scenes of Doug Rattman doing his thing in the bowels of the GLADOS-controlled Aperture facility, and also Freeman doing his thing, battling the Combine/Advisors.

    There would even be an episode involving the Borealis and showing viewers/gamers exactly how it happened. There could even be drama around the growing relationship between Carolyne and Cave and maybe another young scientist couple.

    It could be great!!!