J.J. Abrams is a creator presiding over many projects. Late last year, the director was able to juggle Star Wars: The Force Awakens and producing duties on this month’s claustrophobic thriller, 10 Cloverfield Lane. But when it comes to the dormant Portal and Half-Life films, don’t expect either project to emerge out of left-field bearing its own trailer in the vein of Dan Trachtenberg’s directorial debut.
Speaking in an interview with IGN, Abrams offered a brief status report on each video game adaptation, revealing that both projects are still very much in the early stages.
“Not yet, but they’re in development,” he said. “We’ve got writers, and we’re working on both those stories, but nothing that would be an exciting update.”
First announced all the way back at DICE 2013, there’s been nary a mention of potential directors or casting news for either Portal or Half-Life. Incidentally, Dan Trachtenburg first garnered attention in the industry for his live-action short film, Portal: No Escape, meaning the director could potentially come full circle should Abrams and Co. ever consider to entrust Trachtenburg at the helm of a video game adaptation of Valve’s nascent sci-fi feature.
Beyond that, 2016 has all the makings of a defining year for the genre. In a few months’ time, we’ll have glimpsed Sony’s Angry Birds movie, yes, but the tentpole event of the summer for many is Duncan Jones’ Warcraft: The Beginning. Ubisoft Motion Pictures and Macbeth director Justin Kurzel will also jump-start a franchise of their own with the release of Assassin’s Creed in December. It’s too soon to tell whether either – or indeed both – can break the video game-to-movie curse, but if not this year, then when?
Until more information comes to light about the Portal and Half-Life movies, you can share your early impressions of each film adaptation below.