We've got some more exciting news for all you, J.J. Abrams and video game fans out there! The filmmaker is looking to adapt Valve's Portal and Half-Life video games franchises into feature films! How freakin' cool is that?!
Abrams recently made the announcement at the D.I.C.E. Conference in Las Vegas while discussing the storytelling differences between films and games. According to Variety, he plans to work closely with Valve to adapt the two video game franchises. As of right now the projects are in early development at Bad Robot and Valve, but they do not have a studio home yet.
Abrams and Valve Corp president and co-founder Gabe Newell agreed that there are "elements of both forms of entertainment that connect with viewers and players in different ways and the two hoped to combine those as they move forward with the Valve adaptations." Abrams went on to say,
In many cases, games are better at telling stories than movies... players are often driving scenes in the wrong direction.
He went on to point out that Portal's slow reveal of its characters and plot was an innovative and great way to build a mystery, explaining,
You start 'Portal' with no idea why you're there. The whole game is about figuring out the mystery and what's going on. The more you play, the more you learn, the more you felt.
Newell went on to use funny Cloverfield as an example as well, saying,
I'm looking at that as a gamer and saying, put the fucking camera down and fucking run! Characters in movies don't do what you want. When playing a game, however, it's our story. It's about us and what we're doing
It's funny because I felt the same way, which is why I didn't like the movie. Abrams talked about filmmaking in general revealing that he likes to hide things in his films that people will discover over time, and that "If you don't care about the characters, nothing matters."
The time is near when we're actually going to start seeing amazing video game films! There's a ton of other game projects currently in development such as Assassin's Creed, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, Need for Speed, World of Warcraft, Uncharted, Mortal Kombat, Asteroids, Missile Command, Spy Hunter, Twisted Metal, Mass Effect, and just recently a new Hitman movie was announced.
Abrams is finishing up work on Star Trek Into Darkness, and is going to start work on Star Wars: Episode VII next. Hopefully these projects gain some traction because they could end up being amazing movies.