J.J. Abrams and Valve Plan to Collaborate on Movie and Game

Speaking at the 2013 DICE Summit, J.J. Abrams and Gabe Newell of Valve have revealed plans to work together on either a Half-Life or Portal movie, as well as develop a game idea from Abrams.

Abrams kicked it all off, by stating “there’s an idea we have for a game that we’d like to work with Valve on” adding “we also want to talk about making movies, either a Portal movie or a Half-Life movie.”


Very interesting then – while I’d like to see more Portal and Half-Life games before they make the leap to the big screen, Abrams and Newell collaborating for the project gives me some hope, rather than some ill-informed studio making a mess of something great, as we’ve seen before.

A game from both Abrams and Newell could be a great project too, it would be brilliant to see someone as talented as Abrams move into another medium, with arguably move freedom, and work with one of the best developers – at least in my opinion – around in order to make something fantastic.

[drop2]Obviously this will all be a few years down the line and nothing’s set in stone yet – Abrams said himself after the keynote, while speaking to Polygon that these projects are actually in the early stages, summing it up nicely with “we are really talking to Valve, we are going to be bringing on a writer, we have a lot of very interesting ideas.”

Abrams is wary of the risks, “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.” he continued.

Great stuff, then. When and if either of these movies come to fruition, they could be very good indeed.

Describing the suggested game, Abrams stated that it should explore “the limits of gaming in a perfect way” continuing with “We’re not looking to make a movie in the gaming world, we’re not looking to impose what we do on that, we’re looking forward to taking some of our strengths and collaborating with some of these incredible minds that make some of my favorite games”.

The rest of the keynote included Abrams and Newell providing some interesting analysis of each other’s mediums; Newell pointing out that in films such as Cloverfield, viewers had no choice with the story, with Abrams retorting by showing a clip of Half-Life where the player was ignoring the story altogether.

So, would you like to see a Half-Life or Portal movie? If it has to happen, then this definitely seems like the best way for it to go. And what about the game – it would be great to see something new from Valve, wouldn’t it?

Source: Polygon, Joystiq



  1. Not really. Both Half-life and Portal put you the player in the centre. It’s your game. Seeing an actor running about might spoil that.

    That said, some of the fan-made Portal videos have been great.

    • Isn’t that the case for every first person shooter? I personally don’t care if it’s supposed to be “me” in the story, or someone I control. I’m interested in the story itself.

  2. I’m not particularly interested in seeing either. I’m all for having a story made for a video game though.

  3. I think a Portal movie could work if they do it right. Would have to bring back Merchant as Wheatley!

    • God i dislike that shit and Gervais.*Shudders. but as @xdarkmagician says he should get his priorities straight and just sort out the next star wars film.

  4. I would rather see more games first, especially Half Life. I guess if anyone were to make a Half Life movie, he sounds like he would give it due respect as a fan of the series.
    I’m not sure about a Portal movie although a movie with portal guns in real world situations could be fun.

  5. damn-it JJ, you should be focused on the new Star Wars movie, not playing around with trying to make a halfed-assed video game movie. If you fuck up the next Star Wars movie nobody will care what youre doing, you’ll get thrown in the trunk with Jar Jar. And hey Gabe if youre looking to expand the Half-Life franchise just release episode 3.
    To recap,
    JJ Abrams- episode VII
    Valve- episode 3
    Thats all you two should be focused on.

    • And if Lucas happens to find that trunk, well let’s just say, if you’ve watched South Park, you know where i’m going with this. *shudders and feels sick*

      • lol, I have, lol, for some reason I just imagined Lucas in the scene from Pulp Fiction saying “bring out the gimp” which then reveals a gimp-masked Jar Jar.

    • Wait a second, Star Wars?! Since when is he making a new Star Wars?

      • Disney announced it the other day, he’s directing episode VII. I’m not sure how much influence he’ll have in the writing, but I’m sure he’ll get a producer credit so he’ll have alot of influence in the direction.
        on a side note were also getting Solo and Fett spin-offs.

  6. JJ is a very busy man. Star Trek, then Star Wars, now this.
    If I had to choose, I’d hope for a Half Life movie. The Half Life world would be a much better fit for a JJ movie than the confinement of testing areas in Portal. It’s not fun to watch someone jump through dozens of puzzles without having to think them through yourself.
    If they do a Half Life movie and release a game about it (it would probably be the other way around) then that at least means we get more Half Life. That’s a win in my books, no matter how the movie turns out.

  7. The game part I like. The film idea however, no thanks.

  8. I hope Gabe will make sure the main character in the film is a retarded autistic.

  9. Portal won’t work as a film due to the nature of the game and Portal doesn’t have enough material to work into a film. It’s basically, wake up, something happens, shoot portals, kill Glados, eat cake, kill Glados, kill people who use the it’s a lie meme etc.. Oh bugger, i’m making it seem a bit crap when it’s not.

    As for Half Life, it could work, they could do it in the style of the aliens films or terminator, or both. I did see a fanmade film that was created using some CGI software a while back and that looked excellent. But again, a silent main character rarely works in films.

    Also, does this mean Half Life 3 will offically be announce soon and due to release at the same time as the possible movie? Also, Valve can count to 3!? :O

  10. For me I think the move would be to make Half-Life Episode 3 in game form and Portal as the movie. Yes, the story that runs along in the Portal games would make an awful film. A mute women solving physics puzzles whilst being bullied by an invisible computer… No. But, the story of how Apature (sp?) ended up in the state it did, the experiments run by Cave Johnson and how GlaDos ended up as A.I. etc would make a good film plot. Also, there is not much more room for Portal to go in the games market apart from add ons, can’t really see how they could make another successful game from the same mixing plot whereas Half-Life as a game has a much more decent scope for another episode.

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