I’m off in the strange, far-away land of Las Vegas right now, and I just got done watching Gabe Newell and JJ “Warring Trek of the Stars” Abrams chat each other up on stage. I’ll have more from the talk for you soon, but here’s the big take-away: Valve and Abrams are officially collaborating. “What we’re actually doing here,” Newell said at the talk’s conclusion, “is recapitulating a series of conversations that have been going on [between Abrams and I]. This is what happens when game and movie people get together. And we sort of reached the point where we decided that we needed to do more than talk. So we’re gonna try and figure out if we can make a Portal movie or a Half-Life movie together.” Meanwhile, Abrams added: “And we have a game idea we’d like to work with Valve on.” Finally, Gabe wrapped it up: “It’s time for our industries to stop talking about potential and really execute on it.”
You might remember "Enter The Freeman," a very cool short Half-Life film we featured a few months ago.
The fan-film's creators are crowd-funding $75,000 to turn it into a whole series, which may or may not be welcome news to Valve, considering that CEO Gabe Newell just announced he'd like to make movies with director J.J. Abrams based on Half-Life and Portal.
Still, it sounds cool, and you can read and see more about "The Freeman Chronicles"—which they're hoping will be seven episodes of around six minutes each—on their Indiegogo page.
Appearing with the director J.J. Abrams at D.I.C.E. Summit today, Valve's Gabe Newell said the company would "find out if there's a way we can work with you on a Portal and Half-Life movie."
Polygon reports that things may be a little further along than that. Speaking after the panel, Abrams told Polygon "We are really talking to Valve, we are going to be bringing on a writer, we have a lot of very interesting ideas."
However, "it's as real as as anything in Hollywood ever gets," he added. Which means it could be a sure thing, or could amount to nothing, or could take forever to bring to life. Like, well, Half-Life 3.
Kicking off the DICE summit in Las Vegas today was a keynote presentation by Valve head Gabe Newell and Star Trek director J.J. Abrams. At the talk, the two teased that they were interested in working together on future collaborations. "There's an idea we have for a game that we'd like to work with Valve on," Abrams said, while Newell said: "We're super excited about that and we also want to talk about making movies, either a Portal movie or a Half-Life movie."
But how serious are the pair in making their wants a reality? Apparently, pretty serious. "It's as real as anything in Hollywood ever gets," Abrams said. "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."
"Both a Portal and Half-Life movie are things I want to see," Abrams told Polygon, noting that he's well aware of the pitfalls other game-to-movie adaptations have faced. "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."
Of course, Abrams has his hands tied for quite some time, having already signed on to direct Star Wars: Episode VII, which is aiming for a 2015 release. Valve fans, however, are known for being a patient bunch, so the years-long process to make a movie a reality shouldn't faze them too much.
Gabe Newell and J.J. Abrams spoke about storytelling in each of their mediums. When the panel ended, this exchange happened:
Abrams: There's an idea we have for a game that we'd like to work with Valve on.
Newell: We're going to find out if there's a way we can work with you on a Portal and Half-Life movie.
And the two men walked off, without any further details. Both creators are renown for keeping secrets, so don't expect any details about these proposed projects anytime soon. But just the very notion of a collaboration between the company behind Half-Life 2 and the man behind Lost is a tantalizing prospect.
Portal is a natural theme for Valentine's Day, as we saw with these cards Valve released in 2011 before Portal 2's arrival. This one is the best of a Valve-themed series done by Tumblr user applenail, which got a lot of attention over the weekend and yesterday.
Print them out and put one in a friend's locker next Thursday.