Producer J.J. Abrams says that the movie adaptation of Portal is still happening, with a script on development. This is huge news, given that the project of a Portal movie was announced eight years ago, and little has been said about the project so far, giving the impression the adaptation would not really happen.
Talking to IGN, Abrams said: “We [Bad Robot] actually do have a script that’s being written for the Portal movie now at [Warner Bros.]. We’re really excited about the take and the pitch, so it feels like that thing’s finally on the rails.” The last time we heard some news about the Portal movie was back in 2016, when Abrams promised concrete news “fairly soon”. It took longer than expected, but if a script is actually in development, that means the movie is moving along the development stage.
Abrams didn’t reveal the name of the writers involved with Portal’s script, and there’s no director involved with the movie so far. Even so, it looks like the adaptation will take some creative choices concerning the story. As Abrams puts it:
“It’s got enormous potential for a lot of reasons, one of which is because of the limited narrative of the game, as ingeniously told as it is, the potential of it is so huge. It’s gonna be super fun.”
First launched in 2007, Portal became a cult classic both for its unique gameplay and for its approach to the story. Portal introduced the idea of thinking with interconnected portals that are placed around the level by players, in order to create teleportation gates and bend space to your will. The first game also introduced us to GLaDOS (Ellen McLain), an Artificial Intelligence that conducts experiments inside Aperture Science labs, from which the silent protagonist Chell must escape.
GLaDOS would become one of the most charismatic videogame villains of all time for the sarcastic way it teases the player throughout the game. Portal 2, released in 2011, would flesh out Portal universe even more, by giving us access to recordings of Aperture’s founder Cave Johnson, voiced by the amazing J.K. Simmons. There’s much a Portal movie can use to be great, but whatever version we get, we must at least have Simmons’ Lemon Rant from Portal 2.
Abrams is currently involved in several high-profile projects for Warner Bros. after its production company Bad Robot Productions signed an exclusivity contract back in 2019. Most of Abrams’ projects for Warner include DC properties, such as the upcoming Black Superman movie, and the new Batman animated series. However, Warner’s recent success with Mortal Kombat and Detective Pikachu might mean the company is ready to invest in more videogame adaptations.