Hollywood is still working very hard to try and make the first truly great video game movie. Sadly, 2016 wasn't able to deliver one despite having a few promising titles in the pipeline, such as Warcraft and Assassin's Creed. For quite some time, movies based on the games Portal and Half-Life have been in development, both of which could be that first great video game movie. It has been a while since we've had any kind of an update, but Gabe Newell, co-founder of Valve, which is the game company behind the titles, has promised that the movies are still coming.
Gabe Newell recently took part in a Reddit AMA and was asked about the status of both the Half-Life and Portal movies. He really couldn't say much, but he did confirm that both movies are on the way by simply answering "Yep.They're coming." It may not be the most enthusiastic or informative answer, but it does confirm that the projects are still in the works, at least.
Development on both games as movies started back in 2013 when J.J. Abrams met Gabe Newell and started discussing the possibility of bringing Half-Life and Portal to the big screen. J.J. Abrams' production company Bad Robot has been developing both properties for several years now, but the progress seems to be slow moving. While promoting 10 Cloverfield Lane last year, J.J. Abrams also offered an update, but his was also somewhat bland and unencouraging to those who want to see the movies sometime this decade.
"They're in development. And we've got writers, and we're working on both those stories. But nothing that would be an exciting update."
Portal was released in 2007 with a sequel coming out later in 2011, both of which were incredibly popular. The game is a first-person puzzle-platform that was developed by Valve. The game consists of a series of puzzles that must be solved by teleporting the player's character and simple objects using "the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device", a device that can create inter-spatial portals between two flat planes. It is a simple yet very mind-bending concept.
The original Half-Life was also developed by Valve and released in 1998. The game is a first-person shooter that revolves around Dr. Gordon Freeman, who must fight his way out of a secret research facility after a teleportation experiment goes horribly wrong. The gameplay mostly involves fighting enemies and solving puzzles, but unlike many other games at the time, Half-Life features no cutscenes and the player has uninterrupted control. The sequel, Half-Life 2 was released in 2004 and is among the most well-liked and best-reviewed games ever made. So it seems like a good candidate for a movie adaptation.
We don't know who the creatives are for either the Half-Life or Portal movie at the moment. When it comes time to find a director, don't expect J.J. Abrams to step up, though, as he recently said that he wants to focus more on original ideas and less on sequels and reboots. Not that a video game movie would be a sequel or a reboot, but it doesn't quite fit into the "original idea" box. However, director Dan Trachtenberg, who handled 10 Cloverfield Land, got his start with a Portal short film called No Escape that was very well-received and helped get him the job working with Bad Robot. So, maybe he would be a good option? We'll have to wait and see, but at least for now, it doesn't look like we should expect either movie anytime soon.