clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

J.J. Abrams, Valve in talks for game and Half-Life or Portal film

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Update: Polygon spoke with J.J. Abrams following his on-stage discussion with Newell. "It's as real as anything in Hollywood ever gets," Abrams said of the just-announced plans to develop movies based on Portal and Half-Life. "Which is that we are really talking to Valve, we are going to be bringing on a writer, we have a lot of very interesting ideas." Read more on the movie project here.

In discussing the game project, Abrams said, "We've had so many meetings and finally got to a point where we said, 'We need to start making stuff.' And so the ideas that we've had for games, the ideas they've had for turning Portal and Half-Life into a film, we just decided we actually have to start doing this stuff." Read more on the game project here.

Original story: Valve and director J.J. Abrams want to make a video game together and perhaps a film based on Portal or Half-Life, Abrams announced with Valve co-founder and managing director Gabe Newell during their storytelling discussion at the 2013 DICE Summit today.

"There's an idea we have for a game that we'd like to work with Valve on," said Abrams. Newell added, "We're super excited about that and we also want to talk about making movies, either a Portal movie or a Half-Life movie."

For most of their 25-minute talk, Abrams and Newell rolled clips of each other's work — Valve games such as Half-Life 2 and Abrams films like Cloverfield — as well as other films, including Die Hard. They focused on similarities and differences between the ways in which films and games tell stories, as well as the successes and failings of both forms in doing so.

"I love the experience of playing your games," Abrams told Newell. The Valve co-founder mentioned a scene from Cloverfield in which a woman explodes, and called it "one of my favorite moments in any of your movies."

At the end of the talk, Newell revealed that the DICE lecture was a public rehash of discussions that he and Abrams already had.

"What we are actually doing here, we are recapitulating a series of conversations going on," said Newell. "We reached the point that we decided to do more than talk."

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon