J.J. Abrams has said that a movie based on Valve’s Portal is still in the works, and that a script is finally being written, according to IGN. Abrams is light on details, but says that Warner Brothers is excited about the direction the movie is going in, and that it “feels like that thing’s finally on the rails.”
We originally heard about the movie all the way back in 2013, when Abrams and Gabe Newell were on stage together at the DICE Summit. At the time, Abrams apparently told Polygon that the plan was “as real as anything in Hollywood ever gets.” That was eight years ago, so it seems he was right to couch it like that.
From the archives: Abrams and Newell on stage at DICE 2013 Summit, talking about movies and games.
We’ve heard confirmations that both the Portal and Half-Life movies were still in the works from both Abrams and Newell in 2016 and 2017 respectively, but news about either movie has been scarce since then. Talking to IGN, Abrams did mention that his production company, Bad Robot, isn’t actively involved in the “Half-Life thing” at the moment.
Like games, movies can also suffer from development hell, though some do make it out: Zach Snyder’s Army of The Dead, which released on Netflix on May 21st, was announced in 2007. This is to say that, while it does seem like there’s signs of life for the movie, it’s not time to break out the ca— er, celebratory muffins just yet. It seems like it’s still in early development, and we’ll just have to wait and see if it actually manages to solve the puzzle of how to make a movie in the Half-Life universe, or if it gets stuck flying between two portals (or companies, in this case).