It’s been eight long years since J.J. Abrams and video game producer Gabe Newell brought together their Bad Robot and Valve companies to collaborate on feature film adaptations of Valve’s wildly popular video game franchises Portal and Half-Life. And it’s been five years since we’ve heard an update on either film. But Abrams finally has an update on the long-awaited Portal movie, which the producer and filmmaker says is back on track.
In an interview with IGN, Abrams confirmed the movie based on Valve’s Portal video game is still in the works, with a script currently being written. Abrams was naturally coy on the subject, but said that Warner Bros. is excited about the direction the movie is going in, and that it “feels like that thing’s finally on the rails.”
The Portal movie will adapt the first-person puzzle game first published in 2007, which was hailed as one of the most original games of its generation (it went on to spawn a spin-off for Xbox Live Arcade and an equally beloved sequel). In the original game, the player navigates a series of “test chambers” in a mysterious facility, using a portal gun to create pathways through space. The obstacles get increasingly complex to the point of being deadly, finally revealed to be the work of an A.I. called GLaDOS, which had been guiding the player before betraying them. In 2011’s Portal 2, the story and scope expanded to introduce more complex backstories and characters. The games have been praised for the challenging puzzle elements, but more so for their dark humor and sharp writing.
The Portal movie was first revealed back in 2013, when Abrams and Newell announced their collaboration on stage at the DICE Summit. But apart from a short film from 10 Cloverfield Lane director and friend of the site Dan Trachtenberg, Portal: No Escape, there hasn’t been much news or even speculation about what a Portal movie would look or feel like. But with video game movies enjoying a new resurgence in Hollywood, Bad Robot and Valve might be feeling the pressure to get things rolling on their Portal and Half Life movies.
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