J.J. Abrams Gives An Update on ‘Half-Life’ and ‘Portal’ Films

By March 12, 2016

While video game adaptations have been a lot more miss than hit, film studios continue to churn them out in the hopes that eventually they’ll get it right. There’s hope that next December’s Assassin’s Creed (and its sequel) could finally break the streak and deliver a film that appropriately translates its source material to the big screen. If that film can do for video game movies what Iron Man and The Dark Knight did for comic books, we could see the next big trend in blockbuster film franchises.

Two projects that are currently in the works, and would definitely hope to be at the forefront of this potential new trend, are films based on the hit games Half-Life and Portal. Both are being developed by J.J. Abrams, and during a recent interview with IGN he gave a very exciting update on the films:

“Not yet, but they’re in development,” he answered. “And we’ve got writers, and we’re working on both those stories. But nothing that would be an exciting update.”

Way to rain on my parade there, J.J.

Half-Life debuted in 1998 on PC and Playstation 2. It was one of the most popular games of the era and is regarded as one of the best and most influential games of all time. A first-person shooter, it told the story of Gordon Freeman, a physicist at Black Mesa Research Facility who battles aliens from another dimension. Its sequel, Half-Life 2, was released in 2004 on PC, XBox 360, and Playstation 3 and may have surpassed its predecessor in both quality and acclaim. The saga of Gordon Freeman has captivated gamers for nearly two decades, and rumors of Half-Life 3 are continuously met with eager anticipation.

In 2007, Half-Life 2 was re-released as part of a bundle called The Orange Box. This collection also included a revolutionary puzzle game called Portal. In it, players control the character named Chell, who must use a portal gun to escape from increasingly difficult trap rooms. Aside from Half-Life 2, it was the most popular and critically acclaimed game on The Orange Box. A sequel was released in 2011.

So even though we don’t know when exactly these films are expected to be released (or, literally, anything else about them), the fact that they are still in the works has to be good news for fans of both games. Valve Corporation (the company behind both games) clearly wants to get this right, as is evident by the fact that they’re collaborating with J.J. Abrams. Both games, Half-Life in particular, seem well-suited for the big screen, so here’s hoping things start heating up with the development of their film adaptations. Let the fan-casting for Gordon Freeman begin.

Make sure to keep checking back for updates – right here on GeekNation.


Joe Ruggirello
Joe is a writer, retired comedian, and giant nerd. He's particularly fond of comic books, pro wrestling, and Godzilla. Oh, and that Star Wars thing. You can yell at him on Twitter @JoeRu23.