Newell and Abrams announce team-up

Portal and Half-Life movies could be on the horizon.

Have you seen this shit now? At a recent industry event, Gabe Newell of Valve games met with TV and filmmaker JJ Abrams to discuss storytelling’s converging crossover between stuff you watch and stuff you play. Abrams mentioned that his production company, Bad Robot, could soon work with Valve on a new video game. Quite an impressive step into new territory; two creative minds working together on something, could be very impressive.

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But then, fucking then, Newell dropped a bomb. “We’re going to figure out if we can make a “Portal” movie or “Half-Life” movie together”, he said to a crowd which presumably lost its shit immediately after.

I realise the potential life-changing effect this announcement had on people, just as I’m sure there are children out there named JJ and Gabe in honour of their parents’ creative gods, but…no. Just no. There’s a reason these games are so fucking good, and that’s because they are games; games which let you pick up the crowbar and get shit done yourself. Games which take just one single element of a first-person shooter – physics – and turns it on its head so brilliantly. Half-Life 2 and the Portal games are very high up there on my list of “absolute best things ever” – and maybe I’ve just seen too many shitty film adaptations of insanely good source material but the prospect of a single thing going amiss with either of these potential adaptations would make me cry great big nerdy tears. Budget, casting, anything. Not one false move. Not one bad line of dialogue (which, to their credit, you wouldn’t get from Half Life’s leading man) or special effect.

We nerds have these stories in our heads already because Valve did such an amazing job of telling them in the first place; ironically it’s my whole take on the keynote speech Newell and Abrams used to announce their partnership. Valve doesn’t need to strike it rich in Hollywood because they’re at the cutting edge of its gaming equivalent already.

And what of Abrams? Well, you read my Star Trek thing already right?

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