J.J. Abrams is looking to add the hugely popular game Portal to his already impressive collection of projects. According to him, a movie based on Portal will be announced “fairly soon.” Abrams has also been previously linked to the ongoing development of the game-to-film adaption of Half Life.
Game developer Valve announced back in 2013 that Abrams would be working to bring these two projects to the big screen. Though they have actively been in development for the last three years, not much information regarding the process has been discussed until now. IGN caught up with J.J. Abrams at the premiere of Westworld, and he stated that he is meeting with Valve concerning the two projects next week. The comments were brief, yet hopeful as Abrams stated, “we are having some really interesting discussions with writers.”
For those in need of a refresher, Portal is a first-person puzzle platformer, in which the player has to essentially shoot holes through the walls (thus creating a ‘portal’) in order to maneuver Aperture Laboratories and conquer its many obstacles. Portal was first released in 2007 and received praise for its magnificence and originality, despite its short play time of roughly four hours. However, what the first game significantly lacked in the story (and popularity), Portal 2 did a great job of expanding the complex world of Aperture and even heightened the personality of its snarky AI, GLaDOS.
Similarly, Half Life is also a first-person shooter in which the player is tasked with escaping a research facility (Black Mesa) after an experiment goes horribly wrong. Half Life is unique in that it relies on scripted scenes throughout the whole game in order to move the story forward, and it could be said that the first Half Life even championed this technique for games to follow, including franchises like Call of Duty.
There is a lot of material within the Portal universe that could be made into a successful film, and J.J. Abrams’ obvious excitement for this project should let fans know it’s in good hands.
Tori is a writer and gamer originally from Vault 111, but now she resides in Chicago. She has an MFA in creative writing-fiction, runs primarily on coffee, and is an expert on AMC’s The Walking Dead. Follow her on Twitter @torithatnerd.