J.J. Abrams & Gabe Newell Hint at a Portal/Half-Life Movie Collaboration
At the 2013 D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit conference in Las Vegas held February 5th, 2013, the keynote speakers were J.J. Abrams (he of Star Trek and newly Star Wars fame) and Gabe Newell, head of the video game company, Valve – creators of Portal, Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress 2, the Half-Life series, and the Steam digital distribution software.
During the keynote, both men proclaimed mutual admiration for each others’ work, and Newell dropped:
“What we are actually doing here, we are recapitulating a series of conversations going on. We reached the point that we decided to do more than talk. We’re super excited about that and we also want to talk about making movies, either a Portal movie or a Half-Life movie.”
Abrams also had this to say about the talks:
“It’s as real as anything in Hollywood ever gets, which is that we are really talking to Valve, we are going to be bringing on a writer, we have a lot of very interesting ideas. Both a Portal and Half-Life movie are things I want to see. We’re also aware of the cautionary tales of movies that became games and vice versa. Our goal here to is to treat the world Valve has created in both these properties like anyone would a book or some great story that comes from a pitch or original script — just to treat it with the respect they treat their games and their players with.”
While Valve’s games have been critically acclaimed and enjoyed by gamers worldwide, this is the first official announcement from Newell regarding moving the properties into the cinematic realm.
Newell had plenty to gush about one of Abram’s produced films – (caution: spoiler alert):
“One of my favorite moments in any of your movies is in Cloverfield, in all of this craziness and all of this CG on the screen and then this woman goes behind the screen and she just explodes, what does that mean for her and everyone involved. We need to do more of that in games.”
Abrams, likewise, mentions about his experience with Valve’s games:
“Obviously, for anyone who’s played Portal, you have no sense of who you are, why you’re there, and there’s an incredible sense of mystery that pulls you forward. “The crazy mystery that is GLaDOS compels me to move forward… the entire experience is an exploration of GLaDOS. The more you play, the more you felt.”
“Die Hard spends 23 minutes investing in these characters, which is important to make you care about the characters, rather than throwing action moments at you that you’ll remember later.”
Are you excited at the prospect of Abrams taking on the gaming world in addition to helming the two biggest tentpole sci-fi franchises of all-time? Can he appeal to every geek in existence simultaneously? Only time well tell.