As if he doesn’t have enough on his plate, J.J. Abrams continues his bid to become the king of pop (geek) culture by teaming up with Valve for possible big-screen versions of the software giant’s two most-loved franchises: Half-Life and Portal.
You know, that J.J. Abrams is having a heck of a 2013. He’s got his big tentpole movie coming out this Summer, Star Trek Into Darkness, and by all accounts, it’s going to be the Summer movie to beat at the box office. He’s signed on to direct the next installment of that other big science fiction franchise, Star Wars: Episode VII. And now we have word that he’s been hanging out with Valve’s Gabe Newell, brainstorming ways the two of them might team up.
One such way is for Abrams and his Bad Robot production company taking charge of producing big-screen movies based on Valve’s Half-Life and Portal. Not every video game would make a good movie (okay, we’ve yet to see a single decent movie based on a game), but these two titles are no-brainers. They’re perfect fodder for movies — if done right — because they’re already such great stories. In the hands of a savvy storyteller like J.J. Abrams, they’d be brilliant.
Another way Abrams and Newell are thinking of teaming up is to have Abrams work with Valve on a new video game. It’s unknown if Abrams already has something in mind for this, such as an idea for an original franchise, because all of the talk is very preliminary at this point. Also potentially problematic is Valve’s highly unorthodox corporate structure, which could make sorting out partnerships outside of the company rather awkward, if not difficult. But the mind boggles at what these two powerhouses of entertainment could come up with together.
No contracts have been signed, there’s no ink still wet. It’s merely a verbal commitment to work together at this point. But when we’re talking about Valve and J.J. Abrams, that’s more than enough to get me excited!
[Portal poster fan art by Andrew Bradley.]