Gabe Newell and J.J. Abrams to collaborate on Half-Life or Portal film

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,131   +154
Staff member

Valve CEO Gabe Newell and director / producer J.J. Abrams recently found themselves sitting aside one another during the keynote at the 2013 DICE Summit. What started out as a casual chat about storytelling in video games and friendly critique over each others’ work eventually turned into an announcement that the pair have been in discussion about doing a movie together based on Portal or Half-Life.

At one point, Newell played a clip from Cloverfield where the protagonist continues to use his camcorder as the head of the Statue of Liberty is blown off and lands right near him. As a gamer, Newell said he’s telling him to put the camera down and run but “you won’t let me do that.”

abrams gabe newell -life portal movie half-life jj abrams

Conversely, Abrams pointed out a scene in the beginning of Half-Life 2 where two computer players are telling Gordon Freeman valuable story information while the player is walking around and playing with random stuff in the room. Newell countered by claiming the player is the architect of their own amusement.

SlashGear says the two icons briefly discussed the possibility of working on a film although details are scant at this point. Each used clips from Valve games and Abrams’ movies to discuss different storytelling methods. Newell did say, however, that the two are going to try and figure out if they can make a Half-Life or Portal movie together and that it was time to do more than talk.

If you aren’t already aware, Abrams is responsible for directing or producing a number of hit films and television shows like Mission: Impossible III, Cloverfield, Super 8, Lost, Fringe and the new Star Trek film Into Darkness.

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Posts: 4,405   +5,132
I'll only be okay with this if Morgan freeman plays Gordon freeman.


Posts: 55   +2
Man, I'm so afraid their going to **** it up. It's Hollywood, ****ing up good ideas is what they do. Doom, Hitman, Max Payne, all awesome games, terrible movies.


Posts: 12   +0
Great Idea I think some of the fan portal mini films have been excellent so JJ can do this way better!! Kudos


Posts: 886   +153
When the Doom movie came out I was disappointed the whole thing wasn't first person perspective, like the FPS game with -you- as the silent protagonist. Maybe they'll be the first to do something like this.


Posts: 363   +86
I'd be happy with a Half Life movie pending Gordon never talks.
I honestly don't think Portal would be a great movie. The game had absolutely no story other than "Do these puzzles and you get cake." Movies based upon games that had no story always end up terrible (Doom, Mario, Mortal Combat, Street Fighter, I could easily go on).


Posts: 1,030   +493
Here's why I am not worried, it was only a few months ago were I think Gabe or someone else from valve said gaming movies never turn out well and Valve had no desire to see any of there games up on the big screen. But if you look at all the other gaming movies to date they all did the same thing, the publisher sold the rights of the game to be used in the movie and then went on there merry business. If Gabe and Valve are more involved, the movie will turn out great. A game developer is actually a good candidate for making a movie since games and movies share a lot in common with how they entertain the viewer/gamer. I think if the two seriously collaborated on the movie it would turn out well. But its the same scenario to me as a book movie. Movies are 2 hours long, sometimes 3, game stories can be played for hours and hours on end, as can a book, its hard to condense a entire story down into 2-3 hours and keep all the action and dialogue from the original source.


Posts: 358   +42
I think you guys are overlooking two major differentiating factors when making your judgments: J.J. Abrams and Gabe Newell